Clarity, Capacity, Community, and Continuous Improvement: An evaluationof summer programming
School districts throughout the United States invest in summer programming meant to effectively leverage students’ typical out-of-school time for continued growth. In this study, we conduct an evaluation of middle school summer remediation programming within a large school district in the Southeastern United States. Designed to aid the district’s leaders in assessing current operations and planning for improvement-oriented next steps, the study employs a mixed-methods approach. We first qualitatively examine the purposes, practices, and products of summer programming across the district’s eight middle schools, and subsequently conduct a preliminary impact evaluation using existing internal student assessment data in reading and math. District leaders expected variation in approaches and implementation across schools, but such variation did not emerge as the primary point of interest; instead, this evaluation illuminates an overarching and persistent lack of clarity of program purpose, some opportunities to better align with research best practices, and gaps between the program’s academically-oriented intentions and more evident social-emotional outcomes.