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Building a Successful Summer School Program with EdOptions Academy

Building a Successful Summer School Program with EdOptions Academy

Summer school programs are a fantastic opportunity for learners to recoup credits, get ahead, and prepare for critical grade-level transitions. However, many constraining factors, such as budget, schedule, curriculum, and access to instructors, can get in the way of providing students with the options you know they need. In instances with such challenges, a virtual program option with a trusted partner can often be your answer. Let’s take a closer look at the best ways to approach building an online summer school program using our flexible virtual learning program, EdOptions Academy.

Define the goal

Every good program needs a North Star to follow. Are you aiming to make your program all about credit recovery? Before the school year ends, identify the students who are a suitable fit, and start getting in touch with families to drive enrollment. Want to offer flexible options for learners to get ahead? Consider how you can position your summer offering as one that will enable increased schedule flexibility the following school year. Have you seen 9th graders historically struggle with the transition from middle to high school? Consider how you can set up a program just for those learners, focused on shoring up gaps and previewing key content to promote academic success. For these and other programmatic needs bthat you might decide to focus on, decide early and communicate effectively for maximum success.

Assign educators

Perhaps the most difficult challenge of any summer program is garnering support from your staff to stick around during the summer months and keep teaching. If you are facing staffing shortages or simply know that your overworked staff will require the time to recharge, there are options you can turn to for outside help. Through Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy, we pair rigorous, credit-bearing curriculum with our own state-certified virtual teachers to drive effective learning across a robust catalog of course needs.

Select your summer school format

Even with a virtual school partner in place like EdOptions Academy, you still have options on how to orient your summer program. We’ve seen success from our partners who choose to make the program still brick-and-mortar in style but utilize reduced staff to support logistics, just-in-time student support, and other school needs while students receive the specialized instruction that they require from their EdOptions Academy virtual teacher. Other programs might utilize some brick-and-mortar component and create a hybrid option where students have more autonomy to decide when to come in, perhaps with requirements for in-person learning on key testing days. And finally, others still may elect to go fully virtual, giving students maximum flexibility to complete their summer learning goals. Consider your budget, building access, transportation, enrollment numbers, and technology needs before planning what learning environment is right for you.

No matter what your goal is for your summer school program, Edmentum is here to help. By partnering with EdOptions Academy, you can structure a summer school program that will make a difference in the lives of your students and set them up for a successful school year. Interested in learning more about EdOptions Academy? Watch our OnDemand webinar to get a full overview of our virtual learning solution.

This post was originally published June 2021 by Debbie Crawford and has been updated.

madison.michell's picture
Madison Michell

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.