The Summer Learning Recruitment Guide
RAND found that students needed to attend at least 20 days over the course of the summer program to experience academic benefits. So what kinds of programs do students and families like? A variety. RAND found that the two districts with the highest average attendance rates included one that looked like the school year and one designed like a camp. Timing, messages and messengers were all found to be critical components of a successful student-recruitment effort.
Programs should communicate with families early and often, leading right up to the first day of the program, and use accurate messaging. Advertising that overemphasizes one aspect of the program over others (such as “fun” enrichment over academic learning) may result in disappointed students and lower attendance. Districts with the lowest no-show rates made personal connections with families in their program reminders, including handwritten notes from teachers and phone calls from district and site leaders.
For additional guidance and tools, visit the Summer Learning Recruitment Guide