As summer vacation comes to a close, students and educators across the country prepare to head back to the classroom. While many students are looking forward to seeing their friends and teachers again, there’s one thing that can dull the excitement of a new school year – summer learning loss.

Extended summer breaks can lead to a decline in academic progress, creating frustrations for both teachers and students when it comes to lessons building on what students should already be familiar with. The good news is that there are ways to work through summer learning loss efficiently and effectively, and even prevent it before it happens! Here are some of our top tips.

Make Use of Diagnostic Assessments

Before educators can do anything to combat learning loss, it’s crucial to know what students are affected. Diagnostic assessments help to gauge students’ learning levels and provide insights into the specific area where learning loss has occurred. This can help teachers to not only provide appropriate students with targeted, early intervention, but also to see exactly what subject areas they should be focusing on.

Keep Learning Over the Summer

Of course, the simplest way to address summer learning loss is to prevent it from happening altogether. Summer programs like those offered by FACTS Ed can be customizable, fun, and make use of innovative teaching methods that may not be possible during the normal school year. This is the perfect time to get students involved in hands-on activities and interactive projects that will help them retain knowledge well into the new academic year.

Create Personalized Learning Plans

Based on diagnostic assessments, schools can develop personalized learning plans for each student suffering from learning loss. These plans should include targeted interventions, additional support, and appropriate academic challenges. While this may seem daunting, third parties like FACTS Ed can help schools develop tailored plans with small group and intensive instruction from experienced classroom teachers.

Get Parents Involved

Parents are essential partners in supporting their children’s educations. Schools can facilitate parental involvement in many ways, from sending home regular progress reports to organizing parent-teacher conferences and sharing strategies for learning at home. FACTS Ed can help your school develop special parent and family engagement events where students can learn hands-on alongside their parents, fostering an atmosphere that shows learning is just as important at home as in the classroom.

Make Sure Teachers are Prepared

Teachers are the first line of defense in identifying and treating summer learning loss. Professional development is crucial for educators to recognize the signs of learning loss in students and feel confident addressing them. With professional development, schools can equip teachers with these important strategies and help them introduce students to new methodologies that can create a lifelong love for learning. Some educators may also benefit from personalized, customizable coaching.

Don’t Forget Social-Emotional Learning

Learning loss can really take a toll on students’ confidence. While making sure students are performing well academically is important, it’s also crucial to prioritize social-emotional learning (SEL) to help students cope with the challenges they may face during their return to school. SEL programs can create a positive, support atmosphere the promotes resilience and a growth mindset.

While no educator or students wants to return from summer break to learning loss, there’s no need to panic if it happens. By implementing some of the steps listed above and partnering with an organization like FACTS Ed, it’s possible to bridge the learning gap and ensure a successful academic journey for all students.