Seattle Public Schools

Summer Programs The Learning Never Stops

Summary: SPS summer programs help students beat summer learning loss, they also provide ways to extend their knowledge and build friendships.  

Learning Never Stops 

SPS summer programs offer students a way to develop their talents and joy for education beyond the school year. Not only do these programs help students beat summer learning loss, they also provide ways to extend their knowledge and build friendships.  

Summer programs are offered every year for students in all grades—from preschool through high school. This summer, students across the district participated in courses and experiences offered through staircase and recovery services, high school skills center, developmental preschool, special education extended school year, Amazon Future Engineers, and more.  

In staircase and recovery services, elementary and middle school students spent time growing their English language arts (ELA) and math skills. Students benefitted from small group learning environments that pushed their thinking.  

A small group of students sit together with a teacher in a classroom

“We have a really great staff and student ratio where we’re able to really personalize instruction for students and develop relationships, which are so critical during these short three and a half weeks,” said Tammie Le, Thornton Creek Elementary summer programs site coordinator.  

Le emphasized that connecting with students is one of the most significant parts of the learning experience.  

“It’s really important that we build relationships with these students, so we have a connection with them and engage them in their learning,” Le said. “To have that kind of attention is preparing them for a successful school year in September.”  

Summer programs also allow students to work together and strengthen partnerships with peers.  

Students in the summer construction trades Skills Center course worked together to build a tiny house for the Low Income Housing Institute.  

A teacher and student work together on a construction project outside a school

“It’s very much a team effort,” student Cooper said.  

While teamwork was one aspect of building a tiny house, students also gained skills they might not otherwise develop in other classes.  

“You’re going to need to learn your own skills, and this actually helps you build those skills,” student Natalie said.  

“It’s really cool, it’s really empowering. You realize you can build things,” student Jonah said. 

Some students were stretched beyond their comfort zones but realized the importance of learning new skills.  

“It kind of felt weird to be the only girl, but this was worth it. I really liked it. I’d recommend other girls to do it,” Natalie said.  

Another program offered this summer aimed at developing students’ talents was the CareerLaunch206 Amazon Future Engineers Externship. Amazon professionals taught students about coding, financial literacy, computer science, and cloud education—among other topics.  

Students finalized their externship by solving a real-world problem using a microbit—a pocket-sized computer that teaches how software and hardware work in sync. 

Whether it’s learning to code, building a tiny house, or working on ELA and math skills, SPS summer programs provide educational opportunities beneficial to every student.  

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