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How Can I Support My Middle Schooler In Summer School?

Written by Maria


    By now, all parents have been notified whether or not their child is required to attend Summer School this Summer.  There is multiple promotional criteria that is considered when making the decision to require Summer School for any student.

    In most cases, the criteria consists of the student passing all core courses including English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  Additionally, students are required to pass all state exams along with maintaining an attendance of 90% or better.  When considering attendance, schools do include latenesses as part of their calculations.

    If your child has been required to attend Summer School this year, it probably means that he or she did not meet one or more of the promotional criteria.  This does not mean that your child will not be able to progress to the next grade in September.  However, it does mean that they must comply with some requirements before they are promoted.

    Summer School normally lasts anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks depending on the state that you live in.  Its purpose is to provide students with additional instructional support to ensure that they achieve proficiency in learning standards and performance standards in order to move to the next grade level.

    During this time, students are expected to produce a body of work that documents their progress towards meeting performance standards.  Upon completion of the program, those students who performed extremely below grade level on state exams are required to take these exams again and pass them in order to qualify for promotion.

    It is important that all parents be aware of the level at which their child needs to perform in order to meet their district’s promotional standards.  Most schools offer parents opportunities to attend family learning programs in their native languages.  Maintaining an open communication with your child’s Summer School teacher is essential so that you can support good attendance and also make sure that your child completes all required work.

    Parents should also understand that this is a difficult time for their child.  There can be a stigma attached to having to attend Summer School and even potentially having to repeat a grade.  Children in Middle School can be very vulnerable at this time and it is of utmost importance that they feel supported and loved.  Although it can be disappointing to hear that your child did not meet promotional requirements, it is not the end of the world.

    As a matter of fact, it may indicate that your child requires specific interventions and alternative instruction.  This kind of differentiated instruction is crucial in ensuring the academic success of all students.  By maintaining an active role in your child’s education you are contributing to their long-term academic success.



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About the author


Maria Castro es la propietaria y editora del blog en el que ella documenta sus experiencias como madre de dos niños, esposa y maestra de escuela intermedia en la ciudad de Nueva York durante más de 10 años.

  • Isabel

    I hope a lot more people will get to read this post because these are some essential things parents must know if they have a child who needs to attend summer school. I made the mistake of being critical to my first child when he needed summer school and I still don’t forgive myself for not being more supportive and understanding. The only good thing I got out of that experience is that I would never make the same mistake with my younger boy in the event that he goes through the same experience. Talk to your children, lay down the rules but be supportive, and never be critical of your children.

    • Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      Isabel, I’m glad you found the post to be useful.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Parenting is not easy and we are not given handbooks to guide us through every situation.  I think that you are absolutely right, it is very important to talk to your kids while establishing boundaries.  This is a great balance to try to maintain in all parenting moments.

  • Santiago G.

    I think the first reaction as a parent when your child fails a class is the disappointing look on your face. How quickly we forget that we hated to see the same from our parents and we do the same to our children. I’m not the most approachable man I know and I can be downright intimidating at times because of my military background, but I’m working very hard to change myself to better understand and relate to my children. Live and learn I guess, at least I’m trying everyday to become a better father.

    • Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      I think it is wonderful that you are trying to maintain an open mind and to better relate to your child.  It’s easy to forget, now that we are adults, what it felt like to be a kid and disappoint one’s parents.  I applaud you for reflecting on your parenting and maintaining open lines of communication with your child.