By Deneane Davis, Academic Dean & Kori Mackall, Summer Program Director, The Piedmont School
Most teachers will tell you that it often takes a month or two to help our students recover from their summer break. Most classrooms spend September reviewing skills forgotten before even starting their current grade level curriculum. If you do the math, kids are losing approximately 4 months of possible instruction during the year that could otherwise advance them to the next level. This isn’t even taking in to factor that May is also a month spent in review simply to help prepare students for end of year testing and exams at most schools.
In my experience of teaching and tutoring students in the summer, I’ve witnessed tremendous gains and results from that small amount of time. I’ve had an opportunity to not only review and remediate skills but to also accelerate many of my students giving them a sneak peek of upcoming curriculum standards as well. As a mom, I’ve even used this same strategy to help my own daughter who showed some signs of auditory processing disorder that caused her struggle in the early grades. After getting her a weekly tutor during the school year and providing about 4 weeks of summer academic enrichment consistently every year, she qualified for Advanced Learning services by 4th grade and is currently thriving in her middle school.
So many of our parents are missing this perfect opportunity to help prepare their children for the rigorous expectations and increasing demands of our current curriculum. After suggesting to a parent that her child needed help in the summer one day, she replied, “But he’s worked so hard all year and he needs a break.” Well I ask this question in response to that common feeling among parents: Is the break worth seeing your child struggle for the next 10 months? I can only tell people what that extra time in the summer has done for my own daughter. She now feels good about herself, she loves school, and she is successful. My daughter still enjoys her time swimming and vacationing at the beach each summer. She also has extra time to still participate in drama and gymnastics camps as well. Approximately 3 hours each day of academics in the summer has provided my daughter consistency of her yearly routine and restored her self esteem for a lifetime.
As an educator at The Piedmont School, I struggle with the purpose of this extended time off every year. I’ve seen summer become more detrimental for our students of all backgrounds. So the question we need to begin to ask ourselves: Is summer break, breaking our kids?
Academics and Fun at The Piedmont School This Summer
In our years of teaching and coordinating the Summer Program at The Piedmont School, we have always seen parents struggle with the decision to enroll in academic tutoring due to needs their child has or to enroll in the “fun stuff” to provide their child with a “break”. So this year at The Piedmont School we have decided to offer a unique, one of a kind program in our area that provides both elements. The Piedmont School Summer Enrichment Program will offer academics in the morning and enrichment activities in the afternoon.
The morning academic sessions will group students by ability, meaning if students are struggling and needing to play catch up they can be accommodated accordingly. We will also accommodate students who are performing at grade level and provide them with instruction to prepare for the upcoming school year. Instruction will be taught by our highly qualified teachers and groups will have a 1:6 ratio. The Piedmont School has always been dedicated and specialized in working with students with learning differences (such as ADHD, processing disorders and other challenges), however our summer enrichment program is open to anyone looking to benefit from continued academics while having some great fun this summer!
Our program runs 6 weeks (June 16th-Aug 1st, closed the week of July 4th). We have several options available including a half day/academics only option, a full day academics and enrichment option (8am-3pm) and a full day academics and enrichment option with extended care (8am-6pm). Enrollment is now open and will close May 23rd. Please visit ourwebsite for more information or contact Deneane Davis (Academic Dean) firstname.lastname@example.org or Kori Mackall (Marketing Coordinator and Summer Program Director) email@example.com.
The Piedmont School
815 Old Mill Road High Point, NC 27265