What is Summer Learning Loss?

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What is Summer Learning Loss?

What is Summer Learning Loss? 540 401 admin
 Principals and teachers alike have been asking, “What is summer learning loss? How does it affect my students?” The short answer is most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in reading and mathematical computation skills over the summer months – what educators and researchers refer to as “summer learning loss” or  “summer brain drain.”


This annual loss of knowledge accumulates every summer and results in the loss of 18 months of math skills and nearly 2 years of reading skills in students who do not practice academic skills over the summer.  High school drop out rates can be directly correlated to the amount of learning that students lose over the summer months during elementary school.

A student who is able to maintain their knowledge over the summer, as shown by the pink line in the graph, is able to learn new knowledge as soon as they return to school.  The student who loses knowledge over the summer, the gray line on the graph, must struggle to both re-learn old material and to learn new material.  Unfortunately, the student who loses learning over the summer rarely catches up to the student who maintains learning over the summer.

Summer learning loss is a chronic, and often unaddressed, contributor to the achievement gap.  It impacts standardized test scores, students ability to meet their academic potential, and grows the achievement gap between students of varying income levels.

It is imperative that principals, teachers and parents address the issue of summer learning loss to see our children and students become the successful adults we know that they can be.

The ThinkStretch Summer Learning program is an affordable and effective way to stop summer learning loss.