Benefits of Virtual Summer School

Abra Gist
October 11, 2023

Published: January 2022    Updated: October 2023

Benefits of Introducing Virtual Summer School 

While most of us are bundling up for our fall and winter activities like sipping hot cocoa and shoveling driveways full of snow, it’s never too early to start planning for summer school. There are multiple reasons for district administrators to consider using an online 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. 

From summer slide to summer climb - Some students have fallen behind and need to catch up. Others are right on track and don’t want to lose momentum during the summer break. A few are ahead and want to bulk up their academic resumes. Although students are starting at different points on the educational mountain, they are all just searching for the tools to help them summit their academic career. Synchronous online summer courses enable all students to reach the peak.

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 reduced course loads enable students to have more time to focus on their interests and explore a new path. Proximity Learning Live Virtual Summer School programs can give students the time and space they need to explore these interests and enrich their learning and lives. Districts can offer expanded courses including marine biology, culinary arts, and business management to expand opportunities for their students. 

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. Advanced students want to keep their strong momentum during the summer months, continue learning to keep their skills sharp, and make the most of their time. 

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. 

World 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 world 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 via course expansion. 

When Sol Gonzalez, a Curriculum Specialist with Milwaukee Public Schools, needed a summer language program for her elementary students, she called Proximity Learning, which 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 Learning, 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 educational 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.” Without practicing their academic skills year round, students lose motivation. 

Partnering with Proximity Learning’s virtual certified teachers 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. 

This is a great opportunity to give students a boost for the next school year.

How Can Proximity Virtual Summer Schools Partner with Districts? 

Kip Pygman, Director of Virtual Schools at Proximity Learning, wants administrators to know that when it comes to virtual summer school, Proximity Learning is at the forefront, working with districts 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 by tailoring virtual summer school programs and high-quality educators to a myriad of needs. No matter where students are in their climb to the academic summit, Proximity Learning can give them the synchronous instruction and tools they need to propel them to the peak. 

Contact us today to find out how we can support your students to turn the summer slide into the summer climb.

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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