In Miami-Dade school’s out, but summer learning about to start


Miami-Dade County Public Schools is expanding its summer program through technology.


•  Elementary and middle school students can register at any open summer center through July 6. Check here for a list of summer centers.

•  If a student’s home school is not open as a summer center, students can register at their home school by June 7.

•  High school students who want to enroll in adult education classes have until June 18 to register and show up for class.

The Summer Waves of Learning is free.

For more information about the Summer Waves of Learning, visit or call 305-273-2830.

Students from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary classes can catch a wave this summer.

An academic wave, that is.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is expanding its summer offerings, largely through technology and web-based courses.

So, even though Thursday marks the last day of the official school year, there’s still time to learn.

The expansion, approved by the School Board in May, comes after three difficult years, when many summer programs in Florida took budget hits. Miami-Dade has managed to maintain limited summer offerings.

“For the first time, we are going back to what summer school used to be - through technology,” said Millie Fornell, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The program, dubbed the Summer Waves of Learning Initiative, will target students in three main ways:

•  those who need remediation or need to recover credits in subjects like reading and algebra

•  allow students to continue learning skills and compensate for the time away from school during the summer months

• and give more students access to summer school through technology, dubbed the “e-learning wave.”

The idea is students in all grades and at any academic level can access digital learning at home or on computers at public libraries, neighborhood resource centers, county and municipal parks and recreational centers.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the initiative will try to bridge the gap from the end of one school year to the start of the next and create a “constant perpetual wave of learning.” Many students in South Florida and across the nation fall behind in math and reading during the summer. “I favor a year-round approach,” Carvalho said.

To meet students at their level, the district’s web-based platform will access a student’s performance on standardized exams and then determine what level of lesson is appropriate.

Carvalho said the cost for the program - $9 million from federal grants and state funds - is the same as the previous budget. But the number of students will grow. Last year, there were 18,500 seats for students in summer educational services; the new program can coach 70,000 students.

“To me it sounds like a sneaky way to have summer school,” said Board Member Wilbert “Tee” Holloway, of the focus on technology. He meant it as a compliment.

Research shows that students, in particular low-income students, lose ground academically during the summer. Gary Huggins, chief executive officer with the National Summer Learning Association, said students lose on average about two months of math skills during the summer. In reading, students from middle-class families actually improve. But low-income students typically fall even more behind in reading skills - more than two months on average, Huggins said.

Huggins commended the Miami-Dade district for finding an innovative way to reach more students during the summer, especially in tight budget times, and for moving away from the stereotype that summer school is a punishment.

“It’s encouraging that there is a clear recognition that addressing summer learning is important to their academic bottom line,” he said. “It’s important that they’re not just focused on remediation, but a get-ahead piece.”

Huggins said families can do simple things to keep their children engaged. Some tips:

•  Visit libraries, parks, museums and other community spots.

•  Have your children read and ask them about what they read.

• If on vacation, ask your children about what they see and experience.

For more education news, follow @lauraisensee on Twitter.

Read more Top Stories stories from the Miami Herald

  • Florida Keys

    Scientists probe secrets of Dry Tortugas

    Scientists embark on NOAA research cruise to Dry Tortugas in Florida Keys

FILE--Nubia Barahona, 10, was found dead in the back of her adoptive father's pick-up truck in West Palm Beach on Valentines Day 2011

    Child Welfare

    Nubia Barahona’s adoptive sister sues DCF

    The adoptive sister of Nubia Barahona, the child whose gruesome death while under the care of her adoptive father and mother shook Florida a few years ago, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Florida Department of Children & Families, a child welfare worker, and two former DCF investigators.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson is sponsoring an effort to expand the county’s anti-discrimination law to include transgender protections.

    Miami-Dade County

    Transgender protections come before Miami-Dade commission — again

    Two Miami-Dade commissioners will attempt for the second time to add transgender protections Tuesday to a county law that bans discrimination in government employment and the delivery of public services.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category