On Monday Sept. 23, Tuscaloosa City Schools hosted a Summer Learning Symposium to discuss progress on the Summer Learning Initiative. This initiative, which began during the 2016-2017 school year, is designed to address summer learning loss by shifting from traditional summer school programming to targeted academic instruction and highly-engaging enrichment activities. The initiative also encourages relationship-building among community collaborators to create a network of high-quality summer programs.
More than 1,000 Tuscaloosa students participated in a summer learning program in 2018. In 2019, that number rose to over 1,400 students.
During the symposium, Mayor Walt Maddox gave an endorsement of the community-wide commitment to summer learning, and offered a promise to continue to work together with Tuscaloosa City Schools to create a community-wide standard of excellence for summer learning.
“The data is pretty much self-evident,” Mayor Maddox said. “If you provide students with six more weeks of school with a qualified teacher in a results-based program, we can mitigate summer learning loss and target students who need additional enrichment to get them on grade level. This sets our children on a trajectory to achieve the success that they deserve.”
Elevate Tuscaloosa’s plan to make summer learning a priority will continue to expand the program to serve more students in the future. “I’m very proud that through Elevate, and because of the relationship we have with the Tuscaloosa City Schools, we can contribute to this initiative,” Maddox said. “My hope is that as Elevate grows, we can do even more.”