Planning for Summer Learning

Planning for Summer Learning
Posted on 12/09/2022
Letters and numbers on paint sticks

During the summer of 2021, MNPS launched our largest-ever summer learning program: Promising Scholars, a free, four-week program structured like a typical school day that mixes a rigorous curriculum with a focus on reading and math, along with fun programs related to science, technology, arts and engineering.

We will offer this program again in the summer of 2023 from June 1 to June 30, with registration opening later in January, and we are particularly encouraging all parents of current 3rd grade students at MNPS to plan on their student attending.

Information for Third Grade Students

Here’s why: In early 2021, the state legislature passed a law that requires school districts, starting in 2023, to retain many 3rd grade students based on their TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) results unless they

 participate in intervention programs provided by the district, which include Promising Scholars (summer learning) and/or Accelerating Scholars (high-impact tutoring). Tennessee has intentionally difficult academic and testing standards, which means that last school year, nearly 65% of students across Tennessee would have been required to be retained or participate in these intervention programs if the law had been in effect at the time.

teacher and students doing a science experiment

There’s a lot of complexity to the law and the rules adopted by the state, with exceptions to who is required to be retained or receive these interventions. The Tennessee Department of Education has an Frequently Asked Questions document that answers more of those specific questions.

The retention law is triggered if a student does not meet or exceed expectations on their 3rd grade ELA TCAP test, which is administered in the spring. Unfortunately, the district and parents do not typically get these results until near the end of the school year – and sometimes after school ends – which doesn’t give a lot of time for parents or schools to prepare for students to attend summer programs based on TCAP results. That’s why we are encouraging 3rd grade parents to go ahead and plan now on registering their students for Promising Scholars this summer to ensure they are on track to get the interventions required and be promoted to 4th grade.

MNPS is sending home letters to parents of 3rd grade students with more information about this law, the requirements, and how their student performed on the benchmark assessments provided in the fall. While those assessments are meant to create an early snapshot before students have received instruction, the results are the best available data at this point in the school year to show how a student might perform on the TCAP test.

Registration Opens in January

Again, registration for Promising Scholars will open later in January, and we will send notifications to all MNPS families about how to register and attend this free summer learning program.

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