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Summer Assignments: No, we aren't trying to ruin your summer!

It’s here. The end of the school year. Summertime.

For our students and staff, the end of the school year can be a hectic time of finishing up work, final exams, awards events, and preparing to hit the ground running next year.

Summer is certainly the time for students to rest and relax and to spend unstructured time with family. It is important, though, that relaxation doesn’t turn into regression, which can happen when skills, knowledge and abilities diminish due to lack of use. Research shows us that youth can lose up to two months of grade level equivalency in reading and mathematical computation skills over the summer months (Cooper, Nye, Charlton & Greathouse, 1996).

Here in the Jackson School District we hope that in between trips to the beach or barbecues, students are reading, writing and practicing what they learned during the course of the year so they can stay sharp. Despite what some students may think, our goal is NOT to torture them with homework over the summer, but rather to make their lives easier when they return. We want to keep their minds working so that all the hard work they put in this year doesn’t start to slip away.

During this school year our staff looked at every area of the Summer Assignments we require of our students. We streamlined assignments, reduced expectations in some areas and redesigned work in other areas. We created summer study sessions for many of our advanced courses so the students could complete the work in a collegial setting as well.

I encourage all of our parents to take a look at the Summer Assignments online and to find ways to talk to your children about the work they are doing.  We also encourage students to learn through experiences such as trips, visits to museums (either in person or virtually), if possible.

The township public library is open and full of resources and events in which students can participate. I urge our parents to keep on their children to read all summer long, and to choose varied subjects and genres to widen their children’s reading experience.

The goal here is to balance summer assignment time with important time spent with family and friends working, resting, and exploring other important experiences. We want them happy, but we also want them ready when September comes around.

At the district level, even though the school year is ending, the preparation for the coming year continues.  As we work here this summer, I hope our students will do the same. I look forward to seeing meeting up again in September improved, refreshed and ready to tackle another great year.

 

~ Dr. Stephen Genco