An academic summer learning plan is critical for student success. Ensuring kids don’t regress every year makes sure the money already invested in teaching them throughout the year is maximized. Having your students go through a robust summer learning program also reduces the time your teachers spend on remediation in the fall.
Making an investment in academic summer learning requires a real financial commitment. As such, you should be ready to put the time and effort in to do it right. After reading about the appropriate pace to scale your summer learning interventions, it should be extremely obvious why summer should be outsourced. Here are five of the many reasons why we advise outsourcing:
1. Lack of Time
It is the end of the school year. Your teachers are tired, you’re emotionally and physically drained, and you have more than a dozen different things to do in order to close out the school year on a high note. The last thing you have the bandwidth to do is figure out where one of your students’ application for summer enrollment wound up. Though you’re tired, your kids and parents are not. They need someone who has the time and energy to make them feel just as important during the summer as you make them feel during the school year.
2. Infrastructure & Know-how
The infrastructure needed to run a large-scale summer program is large. Moreover, the know-how to run a quality program with the appropriate follow-up, information to collect, metrics to assess for success will take years to adequately figure out on your own.
Hiring a contractor or outsourcing your summer education programs (remedial, enrichment, acclimation, etc.) is more cost-effective than trying to build your programs in-house. If you decide to hire a full-time staff member to plan summer during the year, you’ll likely have to cover their salary, benefits, and deal with the people problems. If you outsource the programs and the programs aren’t successful after the first year, you don’t have to deal with any retention issues or layoffs, which are generally a nightmare because of the amount of paperwork.
When you’ve committed to a summer education plan for your students, you’ve just presented an opportunity for yourself to bring in a provider who truly understands academic summer learning to boost your credibility. This allows outsiders to realize the validity behind your investment before the results are shared from the summer.
5. Shared Accountability
When you run your programs in-house on your own, when things go wrong you’re on your own. If you’ve ever run any Out of School Time (OST) program, then you know that things are more likely to go wrong than not. When you work with a partner, the burden of success is shared. More importantly, you have someone who is committed to making improvements for future iterations in a specialized realm.
Education is incredibly political. Working with a vendor who you can contract your summer learning programs out to mitigates some transition risk. When elected officials or appointed education officials have their terms end, initiatives that were once started with great intention will likely get derailed because the inspiration or driving force behind them is no longer there. Working with an outside operator significantly reduces that risk.
Lastly, if for no other reason, public-private partnerships allow us to accomplish more.