Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Michael Coquyt


summer learning loss, achievement gap, summer vacation



The purpose of this study was to determine whether a lengthy break from school, with no formal academic activity, caused a decrease in a student’s academic achievement. Specifically, if reading scores decreased. The study aimed to compare two groups of high school students, primarily in grades 9-11. The study compared those who enrolled in summer school courses for remedial purposes and those who did not enroll in summer school. The study focused on students’ reading skills before and after their school’s summer vacation, which is approximately 12 weeks long. District assessments of student’s ability were the metrics used for data collection in this study. Results showed that the students who enrolled in summer school courses had higher gains than those who did not take summer school courses. As far as skill loss, both groups showed some skill loss. Of the members of the group who enrolled in summer school courses, 25% showed skill losses over the summer, compared to 33% of the student group who did not enroll in summer school courses. Of the students that showed losses, the students who were not enrolled in summer school showed over twice as much loss as those who were enrolled in summer school. Data were collected among students who had been MAP and/or RI tested, were taking summer school for remedial purposes, in a district located in a metropolitan area with population 238,124. The school the study took place in was one of three high schools in the district. The student body in this building was a diverse population, composed of 66% Caucasian, 16% African-American, 9% Asian-American, 4% Hispanic American, 3% Native American, and 2% “Other”/Unclassified. Thirty-six percent of the students in this building qualified for free and reduced lunch, 13% were classified as EL, and 14% were on an IEP.