Mayor McGinn, Seattle Public School officials, community leaders, and local students and parents gathered at Northgate Elementary School to announce the beginning of a city-wide investment plan to support summer learning programs – the first of its kind – included in the 2011 Families and Education Levy.
The Levy will invest in school and community-based programs serving students entering Seattle Public Schools’ elementary, middle and high schools in order to provide struggling students with additional learning time to avoid summer learning loss and catch up with their peers.
“We know that summer learning loss disproportionately affects low-income students. Research shows that summer learning loss is estimated to account for 2/3 of the literacy achievement gap in the primary grades,” said McGinn. “By funding summer learning programs across the city, we will help close the achievement gap and reinforce our commitment to all students.”
The summer learning proposals represent a variety of partnerships between schools, Community Based Organizations (CBO) and the City. Among recipients is the Northgate Summer Academy, a collaborative program created by the Seattle Human Services Department, the Seattle Public Library, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Northgate Elementary School. This program will use innovative academic interventions and engaging enrichment opportunities to provide a supportive and creative learning environment essential to student success. All recipient programs, like Northgate Summer Academy, will provide families with unique, nontraditional methods to enhance the learning experience.
This is the first time the Levy has included funds for summer learning. Recognizing the need to offer extended learning opportunities to some students, the Levy planning committee designed a plan to use Levy funding for that purpose. The Office for Education (OFE) carried out a Request for Investment (RFI) process from Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013 to award funds for the summer of 2013. Schools and Community Based Organizations, alone or in partnership, were encouraged to apply. Nine organizations have been awarded funds equaling $903,924, which will be used to benefit more than 950 students this year.
Seattle Parks and Recreation
Seattle Public Schools
The Denise Louie Education Center
Denny International Middle School
YMCA of Greater Seattle
YMCA 9th Grade Transition
Refugee Women’s Alliance
Southwest Youth and Family Services
Programs awarded funds this year will continue to receive Levy funds through summer 2019 contingent on meeting performance targets. The Levy is expected to provide funding for summer learning programs at all grade levels totaling $17.2 million over 7 years.