Summer Learning Programs For Struggling Students

Helping Students Succeed To Strengthen Ontario's Economy

TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontario Liberals will offer voluntary summer learning programs across the province to help struggling elementary students succeed.

"Voluntary summer learning programs will help struggling students stay engaged in learning so they come back in September ready to go," said Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education in the Ontario Liberal Government.

The summer learning programs will give students in Grades 1-3 the chance to improve their reading, writing and math skills so they're ready to take on the next grade.

Typically students' skills decline in the summer months when they are out of the classroom — having them engaged in learning during the summer will keep their knowledge sharp.

About 7,500 students will be able to take advantage of the new learning programs which will be available in schools across the province. It's part of the Ontario Liberal plan to build a strong workforce by helping our youngest students get the possible start.

Supporting our struggling students will help us reach our goal of at least 75% of students achieving and exceeding our standards in provincial testing.

Under the last PC government, Ontario experienced eight years of cuts and chaos and conflict. Now, with a $14 billion hole in their platform and the threat of unspecified cuts to programs like full-day kindergarten to come, the Hudak PCs are at it again — putting education and students at risk.

The disappointing NDP platform doesn't even mention education. With an opposition determined to drag Ontario's schools backwards, Ontario Liberals are the only party with a positive, forward-looking plan for education.

"Today, our students have higher test score and more students are graduating than ever before. We've achieved these results by working together," said Dombrowsky.

"We know there's more to do, so we'll continue to support kids who need help the most."

Ontario Liberal Party

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SUMMER LEARNING PROGRAMS FOR STRUGGLING STUDENTS

Ontario Liberals have been working hard to build the most educated workforce in the world — from full-day kindergarten to university, college and apprenticeships.

We want every student to have the opportunity to succeed — and we're going to give them the support they need.

In 2010, Ontario Liberals began offering summer learning programs to students at GTA, northern and rural school boards as a pilot. The two week programs were delivered by teachers and aimed at students entering Grade 2 and 3, to help them get caught up with their peers.

The new summer learning programs will be available in every school board for students in Grades 1-3. About 7,500 students will benefit from the program at 250 schools throughout the province.

The programs will help struggling students in elementary schools boost their reading, writing and math skills so that they are ready to succeed in the next grade.

Supporting our struggling students will help us reach our shared goals of at least 75% of students achieving and exceeding our provincial standard in test scores.

SUMMER LEARNING LOSS

Experts say that summer learning loss results from a gap in learning during the summer months.

Many students experience some kind of learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. In fact, research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer

In 2008, the Canadian Council on Learning found that on average summer learning loss cost students one month of teaching. The 2004 report "Schools, Achievement, and Inequality: A Seasonal Perspective" also found that students from at-risk communities experience more summer learning loss than others.

The current school year calendar - used throughout North America - means that during the summer students disengage from the classroom.  When they return in September, teachers must go back over lessons from the previous grade, reintroducing concepts and ideas before the new curriculum can be taught.

Keeping our kids engaged in learning during the summer will combat summer learning loss — so they can return to school in September ready to pick up where they left off.

SOURCE Ontario Liberal Party

For further information:

Ontario Liberal Media Office
416-961-3800 x 328

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