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Summer Matters

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson's vision for summer learning.

By 2020, students across California will have access to high quality summer learning opportunities that blend academic support with enrichment and recreation and are an integral part of their year-round educational experience. Read State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson's Vision Statement.

Why Summer Matters

While some students end their summer with new friends from camp, memories of family vacations, and newly learned skills from a variety of activities, many children–particularly those from low-income families–return to school having lost months of learning.  Many also come back less physically fit and with unhealthy weight gain.

This reality has been well-documented.

How Summer Learning Programs Matter

A growing body of research indicates that high quality summer learning programs make a difference. Key findings from a 2012 evaluation found that programs in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Sacramento achieved the following results:

These programs were not traditional, remedial summer school.  They intentionally combined academics and enrichment in creative and engaging ways that had a strong, positive impact on children’s achievement, as defined both by academic outcomes and the social-emotional outcomes that support achievement.

The full report External link opens in new window or tab. can be accessed on the Summer Matters Resources Web page.

How You Matter

What can districts, schools, and families do to mitigate negative outcomes and support positive ones during the summer months? Here are some suggestions.*

The Role of School Leaders

*Adapted from National Summer Learning Association, 2011

The Role of Teachers
The Role of Parents

For more resources and tools visit the Summer Matters Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

Summer Reading and Mathematics Resources

The California Department of Education has identified resources for parents to use with their children to keep them engaged with reading and mathematics during the summer.

Questions:   Craig Cheslog | ccheslog@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0800