In Summer 2019, the Anacortes School District plans to launch Project Impact, a summer school program to provide targeted support for students entering kindergarten through third grade. IMPACT builds on the success of the Jump Start program – a three-week summer intensive launched five years ago to help entering kindergartners become ready for school. Jump Start will become part of IMPACT, with an expansion to third grade.
The rationale for launching IMPACT considers the following factors:
- About 30 percent of ASD students in K-3 are below grade level standard, based on assessment scores
- Research shows that third grade is a critical marker for learning to read. Those who are not at grade-level standards by third grade often struggle with the rest of their schooling and face a higher risk of dropping out
- Research shows that struggling learners face “summer learning loss.” The long summer vacation leads to a drop in performance when they return for the new school year
- Research shows that well-organized, targeted summer programs, with a focus on core subjects plus enrichment, can have a positive impact on student achievement
In 2017-2018, the district conducted a feasibility study to examine the possibility of launching a summer school program. The study unearthed the above research findings, while determining that quality instruction, transportation, food and overall leadership stood out as key considerations in launching such a program.
Based on available resources, ASD is prepared to roll out IMPACT gradually as needed. For example, Summer 2019 may include just kindergarten and first grade, if resources are limited. A planning committee will make a determination on scope in February 2019.