Summer Enrichment

Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
June 20 - July 13 

Registration Opens in March

As the school year comes to a close, many students look forward to a break from the structure, expectations and demands of school. However, students with special needs, are at higher risk of experiencing difficulty in retaining skills learned through the academic school year after extended time off from school, such as summer months or spring break. This is commonly referred to as “the summer slide.” These extended interruptions break the rhythm of instruction, lead to forgetting, and require a significant amount of review of material when students return. Ultimately, the student's skills regress. Likewise, recoupment (i.e. regaining skills lost over such periods of time) may take longer than a typical child. This cycle of regression/recoupment poses a hindrance to our children's academic success.

Summer slide is nothing new. Research spanning 100 years documents that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwise and Alexander, 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al., 2004.) On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months (The Johns Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning, 2010.) Retention of reading skills are also in jeopardy with some children tending to lose the equivalent of one month of reading instruction during school breaks (ECONorthwest/Chalkboard Project,2008.) Although school districts are required to offer Extended School Year Services (ESY) to children with disabilities, parents must first document regression over a period of time, oftentimes for two years, to justify ESY services. Then parents must accept sporadic classes that may not even address the child's area of weakness, and also may be led by an instructor without a background in special education.

Summer slide is also nothing new to our DSAGC families. Many of the DSAGC parents have expressed a desire for effective summer enrichment classes for their child to help maintain academic skills over the summer months.

Therefore, the DSAGC has a summer enrichment program to offer expanded learning time for children with Down syndrome led by high quality certified special education instructors with a ratio of one teacher and one assistant per four students. The teachers will address the two areas of greatest learning loss: math and reading.

The DSAGC is committed to creating a high quality, beneficial program for our families led by hand selected certified special educators. Certified teachers possess the skills and experience to adapt curriculum to meet students' needs, modify individual lessons, create picture schedules to keep students focused and differentiate instruction so that children can benefit from instruction via multiple learning channels. We strive to create a brighter future for people with Down syndrome!

Questions?  Contact our School Age Matters Coordinator, Joanie Elfers at or 513.761.5400.