Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws

Abstract

Summer vacation is an opportunity for students to relax from the academic demands of school. Unfortunately, during the summer break, student literacy skills decline, and growth is limited. This decline is especially significant for high-poverty students within urban public school districts. High-poverty students lose, on average, 3 months of academic learning over the summer months while other students gain or stay the same (Stein, 2016). Participating in an intensive reading program and engaging in academic experiences similar to those of their advantaged peers minimize summer reading loss (Schacter, 2003). The purpose of this program evaluation was to examine the impact a revitalized summer school program has on reading achievement for high-poverty students. This research used a mixed-methods approach. The quantitative portion of the study was conducted to determine the impact of summer school on summer reading loss for high-poverty students. It was measured by the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). The Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading (STAR) was used to measure the impact of the summer school instruction while teacher perception surveys and curriculum trainer interviews tracked the overall effectiveness of the summer school curriculum and implementation of the literacy strategies. The findings of the program evaluation revealed that some students made gains or avoided summer reading loss, while more students than not continued to make declines. While the findings did not completely support the author’s anticipated outcomes, this study adds to existing research of summer school programming and characteristics deemed necessary for effective summer learning experiences.

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