It was always a plan for Bridgeport’s Total Learning Initiative to have an extended year – an additional month of school. Research told us that if the children were behind their more advantaged peers, they would need time to catch up! ABCD received funding for a pilot this year.
It was only 18 days in July for 22 rising 3rd graders. The air conditioning was broken, and it was summer! And . . . it was Total Learning Summer Camp from 12 noon to 3:30.
Why rising 3rd graders? To reduce the dreaded summer slump – the loss of reading skill over the summer break. With mastery tests in 3rd grade, this was the obvious choice for a pilot program.
Did it make a difference? The report is attached so you can read for yourself! It’s pretty exciting what can happen in 18 days! And if you think about your school year in 18-or-so day chunks, how much could get done?
Most exciting for me was the attitude changes of almost every child. By the end of July, they were asking if they could come for another month! Kudos to Allison Logan for creating an exceptional plan, and Rosmarie Marquez and Diane Bolarinho for their support.
Unanswered questions: Will the gains remain through August? Will they make a difference in Grade 3? Will the district notice the findings and plan a larger sample for next summer? Let’s hope the answers are yes, yes and yes! Stay tuned to find out!