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STEAMspark Montessori Experience

The Extended School Year - Summer Programming

The Extended School Year - Summer Programming

One of the incredible benefits STEAMspark offers students is our extended school year. When students spend more consistent time in the classroom, they experience better academic results. Our school year begins on the first Monday in August and ends on the last Friday in May. In addition to this, we consider our structured summer camp, "summerSPARK," as an extension of the regular school year. This 10-week instructional period over the summer keeps children engaged in ways that help them to excel academically.

Here are four reasons why an extended school year leads to long-term academic success:

1. Eliminate the "Summer Slide"

Many educators of young children will take note of the "summer slide," or a general decline in academic skills and knowledge that happens over the summer. This decline tends to be more evident in younger age groups, like pre-k and elementary school-aged children. An extended school year can help limit the loss of knowledge because students are continuously practicing and improving on learned skills. The summer slide is less noticeable when the break between in-class sessions is shorter. Extended school years are a great way to eliminate these potential achievement gaps.

2. Avoid Summer Boredom

Children crave stimulation. During the school year, they spend their days interacting with peers, solving problems, learning new skills, and engaging with a wide variety of subjects. Over the summer, the absence of stimulation often leads to boredom. Bored or under-stimulated kids may act out or experience doldrums. Some parents can supplement enough summer activities to keep children engaged and socially happy, but options may be limited for others. An extended school year can eliminate summer boredom, ensuring that your child receives the stimulation and socialization they need throughout the year.

3. Increase Educational Stamina

Your child can receive a higher quality of education with an extended school year. Students learning new things [consistently with shorter, regular breaks built in] develop more robust educational stamina. Educators can utilize this stamina to cover more material in greater depth. Teachers can also expand what they teach to include more arts, world language, music, and more! When you spend less time reviewing material to re-acclimate students after a long summer break, you can cover new material or delve deeper into old material. More time spent learning new things is more quality time spent in the classroom.

4. Maintain a Structure that Works

Many young learners thrive with consistent, predictable structure. After summer break, educators need to re-teach classroom rules and procedures to help students get back into school year routines. When children have an extended school year, they spend less big chunks of time away from these routines. This means students take less time to get back into the swing of things with the new school year. This kind of consistency is helpful for teachers, students, and parents!

STEAMspark has seen first-hand the benefits an extended school year holds for our students. We see students with robust academic stamina, a deeper understanding of subjects, and increased skill and knowledge retention. If you are considering an extended school year for your child, our summerSPARK program is a great place to start!