Benefits of Virtual Summer School

Abra Gist
January 24, 2022

Benefits of Introducing Virtual Summer School 

Although the Spring semester has just begun, and most of us are still sipping hot cocoa and shoveling driveways full of snow this time of year, it’s never too early to start planning for summer school. There are multiple reasons for districts and administrators to consider using a virtual summer school program to keep their students engaged and learning throughout the year. Finding a program that caters to the needs of students, teachers, and districts is the key. 

Learning Enrichment and Career Interests 

Summer is an excellent time for students to explore classes and interests they wouldn’t have the time to schedule during the regular school year. Whether a student is attending a brick-and-mortar school or a virtual program, student schedules can get bogged down with core curriculum classes, demanding electives, extracurricular activities, and/or other outside obligations. Nevertheless, summer offers a time when course loads can be reduced and students have more time to focus on their interests. Proximity Learning Virtual Summer School programs can give students the time and space they need to explore these interests and enrich their learning and lives. 

Prerequisite Fulfillment for Advanced or Dual Credit Classes

Summer is also the perfect time to take on prerequisites for Pre-AP, AP courses, and/or dual credit courses students might want to take in the fall or spring semesters. Instead of being enrolled for a whole semester or entire school year for a prerequisite course, students can take advantage of virtual summer schools’ accelerated programs and schedules to complete their prerequisites in a shorter amount of time before the school year even begins. Thus, giving students an edge and the opportunity to spend more time and energy in the typically challenging and demanding Pre-Ap, AP, and/or dual credit classes. Partnering with PLI’s Virtual Summer Schools can help students get ahead and free up course loads in the Fall and Spring semesters. 

Foreign Language Exploration 

Summertime is the right time for students to delve into learning a new language - not only for credits but also for cultural and life enrichment! Sadly, some school districts have limited in-house foreign language programs - typically only offering one or two languages in their schools. Introducing a virtual summer school program can literally open up a whole new world to students seeking to acquire new world language skills. 

When Sol Gonzalez, a Curriculum Specialist with Milwaukee Public Schools, needed a summer language program for her elementary students, she called Myken Caviness, VP of Programs at Proximity Learning, who helped her build an American Sign Language enrichment course for her students. 

Because of the exciting and positive feedback from both parents and students of the previous ASL virtual summer school program, they will now offer American Sign Language to Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders and Chinese Mandarin to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, in addition to the several world languages Proximity Learning was already live streaming into classrooms like Spanish, French, German, and Chinese Mandarin. 

“It is amazing. We have been blessed to be able to work with Proximity for the last 5 years. You can’t pass it. You have to do it!”

By partnering with Proximity’s Virtual Summer School, districts can have access to language teachers and programs well beyond their physical walls.

Credit Recovery and Preventing the Summer Slide 

Summer is a time when districts can not only help students recover credits for courses not passed, but they can also prevent students from falling behind in the summer months. 

The National Summer Learning Association attributes the “Summer Slide” as one of the missed opportunities in closing the Education Achievement Gap. The “Summer Slide” is what often happens to disadvantaged children during the summer months. When the regular school year comes to a close and summer starts, these students begin “to tread water or even fall behind, while higher-income children build their skills over the summer months.”

Partnering with Proximity Learning’s high-quality virtual educators can not only help students recover credits, but can also keep students from falling behind. In fact, according to researchers, it only takes approximately 2-3 hours of work per week to prevent learning loss over the summer, and students who attended at least five weeks of high-quality summer school programs experienced benefits in both Math and Reading skills. 

How Can Proximity Virtual Summer Schools Partner with Districts? 

Kip Pygman, Director of Virtual Schools wants administrators to know that when it comes to virtual summer school, Proximity Learning is at the forefront, working with districts and administrators to keep students engaged and learning during summer months. 

According to Pygman, his team “can work with any K-12 school that wants to expand their summer programming in live virtual formats. We can do that in one of two ways: They can use our platform curriculum instruction teachers and we can be flexible on those start and stop dates. Or if that individual school needs to retain their own teachers [for summer programming], we can team up  - where we would allow their teachers to teach their students while leveraging our platform and ecosystem - like tech support, our curriculum, etc.”

Proximity Learning can help districts achieve their summer school goals with virtual summer school programs and high-quality educators that cater to a myriad of needs. 
Learn more about our virtual school offerings and find out how we can support your students this summer.

Abra Gist is a writer and educator in Austin, Texas with over a decade of experience in the education sector. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in English at The University of Texas. She is currently an MFA Creative Writing Candidate at Texas State University. She loves exploring nature, practicing and teaching yoga, and sharing her industry knowledge for Proximity Learning.

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