Summer programs with an academic focus can yield significant improvement in learning, suggests a policy brief by the Harvard Family Research Project.
The brief by the Cambridge, Mass.-based project highlights current research and evaluation of programs that take place outside of school time. It concludes that summer school programs led to an increase in students’ knowledge and skills. It points out that the impact on learning was greater when summer programs provided small-group or individual instruction, rather than larger classes. The brief also lays out seven criteria that can help improve the effectiveness of summer programs.