Sierra House Elementary School

Cultivating a Lifelong Joy for Learning
Summer Blast 2016

Summer Blast is a summer instructional and enrichment program focused on early intervention (K-2).  In 2016, 60 students received 2 weeks of Academic Instruction and Enrichment.  Major thank yous to our community partners for making our experience so rewarding: LTCC, Lake Tahoe Inversion Gym, SLT Ice Arena, and Heavenly Epic Discovery Program.  Our students also experienced amazing local hikes from Eagle Falls, Nevada Beach, Pope Beach, High Meadows to Cold Creek and High Meadows to Trout Creek.

Mark your calendars, our 2017 Summer Blast will take place between July 31 and August 18, 2017.

Summer BLAST Instructional Program

Sierra House Mountain Academy, May 2016

Two compilations of research review by the RAND Corporation were sourced to develop best practices for successful summer school learning programs. The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis.

·         Augustine, Catherine H., et. Al. “Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success”, RAND Summer Learning Series, 2013.

·         McCombs, Jennifer Sloan, et. Al. “Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning”, RAND Education, 2011


Purpose/Mission/Guiding Principles

·         “The primary source of the achievement gap is the summer break. By grade nine approximately two-thirds of the reading achievement gap could be linked to the student’s first four summers of schooling (or lack of schooling-R.G.) Summer attributed to 80% of the achievement gap that existed at grade six (Augustine, 2011).

·         The greatest influence on student learning is teacher instruction. (McCombs et. al., 2013) Obviously quality teacher instruction is paramount.

·         An intensive literacy based summer school program growth is greater than any other point during the year. (Augustine, 2011)


Components of Quality Summer Learning Programs

·         Research based instructional programs

·         Smaller groups and classes

·         Individualized and differentiated instruction

·         High quality instruction-prof dev, GLAD, teacher support through coaching

·         Instructional programs

o   Align with school year curriculum (review or preview years content)

o   Thematic in nature (GLAD, growing domes, science, math)

o   Daily skills and activities build upon each other through content

o   Routines allow for maximum time on task

o   Resources available and instructionally intensive

o   Inclusion of enrichment activities-promotes attendance and creating a summer school culture

o   Targeted instruction to small groups (guided reading, SIPPS, SUTW)

o   Beyond “drill and kill”-allows for students to “feel” unique and propel them in their learning





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