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News and Speeches

Chancellor Fariña Announces Summer in the City

3/1/2016


New approach to summer learning includes a revamped summer school curriculum with visits to cultural institutions, as well as STEM and college readiness enrichment programs

City expanding programming to serve over 150,000 students across five boroughs

NEW YORK – Chancellor Fariña today announced the launch of Summer in the City (SITC), a brand-new approach to summer school for grades 2-12 which combines new curriculum, college-level and STEM-oriented enrichment programming, and educational visits to New York City cultural institutions. SITC will run from July 7 through August 11 at over 300 sites in all five boroughs, and will serve more than 150,000 students. These students will include both mandated students – students who must complete summer school to be promoted – and non-mandated students. The expanded programming will provide students with an engaging summer experience and important instruction to prevent summer learning loss.

“We’re committed to equity and excellence for all our children, and students need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills – especially in the summer months. Summer in the City will expose thousands of students to hands-on learning, STEM opportunities and the City’s cultural institutions to instill a love of learning and the skills needed for achievement,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We’ve designed this new and expanded summer program to address the ‘summer slide’ head-on, and we’ll make sure teachers have the necessary training to get kids prepared for September.”

Summer in the City programing includes:

New Primary Curriculum

Students who are mandated to attend summer school will have the opportunity to learn from innovative, research-based literacy, math and STEM curricula to help prepare them for the next grade, including LitCamp, Math Navigator, Engineering is Elementary, Quest Science, and DOE-developed units of study in Social Studies. These curricula encourage rigorous, hands-on learning and real-world connections that engage students.

Summer STEM Enrichment

The Summer STEM enrichment program for non-mandated students, which started in summer 2015 with support from Microsoft, will expand from 1,200 students to include 4,200 students in grades 2-10, engaging them in hands-on, high-quality STEM instruction including Engineering is Elementary, Little Bits, Science of Smart Cities, and i2Learning, as well as Lego Robotics. The curricula revolve around problem-based learning and real-world concepts like infrastructure, energy and transportation, computing and robotics.

Enrichment Programs for Renewal High School Students

Students in grades 9-12 who are currently on track to graduate at Renewal high schools will have access to a wide array of summer enrichment programs to prepare them for college-level work. These include a summer bridge program, ExpandED Summer, Enriched Writing, Career Clues and college-level classes through CUNY’s College Now program. 

Visits to Cultural Institutions

Student who participate in SITC will have the opportunity to visit the City’s rich cultural institutions and museums. The DOE has partnered with institutions including the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Guggenheim Museum, and Marquis Studios, and students will have a chance to explore educational concepts in these and other exciting non-traditional settings.

“I’m proud we have developed a new curriculum to strengthen our schools’ ability to take student learning to the next level, by combining engaging hands-on experiences with high-quality instruction,” Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. “Summer in the City will not only ensure our students are on track to become college and career ready, it will further deepen their critical thinking skills by engaging them in exciting explorations of the world around them.” 

SITC programming aligns with the City’s commitment to Equity and Excellence in education, advancing a vision where by 2026, all students are reading at grade level by 2nd grade, 80 percent of high school students graduate on time, and two-thirds of those graduates are college-ready. The hands-on, research-driven Summer STEM curricula support the Algebra for All and Computer Science for All initiatives. The expansion of college readiness programs for students attending Renewal high schools will help students build a path to college and make plans for a career, two key goals of the College Access for All initiative.

“Conventional summer school models based remediation theory have not worked. Instead, we should give students good teaching with good curriculum – good teaching works best,” said Phil Daro, a principal author of the Common Core Math Standards.  “Good teaching with good curriculum aims to build healthy mathematical character. A productive disposition to try and learn from trying, persistence, and confidence that effort leads to learning and learning leads to growing mathematical brains. To accomplish the development of character and belonging NYC needs a future facing summer program such as this that is focused on the challenges ahead; not the bruises of the past – good teaching and good curriculum.”

The integration of partnerships with arts and cultural institutions in Summer in the City also builds on the City’s additional $23 million investment in arts education, which has funded the Teen Thursdays program – inviting middle school students to explore cultural institutions every Thursday – and over 200 new and expanded school-based arts partnerships.

SITC is expanding upon best practices and core learnings from previous summer programs including Summer Quest and Summer STEM, both of which were made possible by public funding as well as support from private donors. In addition to focusing on enrichment and providing rigorous and engaging summer learning opportunities, SITC will offer parent engagement opportunities, as well. The total cost of the program is $66 million.

“This program turns summer learning into an opportunity to explore STEM subjects, a field we know is growing quickly, and it allows kids to get outside the classroom and learn in a more exciting way by visiting some of the great cultural landmarks in our city, said Carl Heastie, Speaker for the New York State Assembly. “This is truly an amazing opportunity for our youth.”

“It's great that so many students and their families will be able to participate in everything great a New York City summer has to offer, learning new skills for our world and century," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.

“To truly succeed in school, education requires a full-year commitment from students and families. Summer in the City is an invaluable opportunity for our young men and women to explore new subjects, reinforce previous lessons, and visit cultural institutions. In particular, I am excited by this initiative's potential to further some of our long-term goals as a city, including our shared commitment to STEM education and my mission to teach coding to every child in Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“I applaud the Chancellor’s commitment and vision to create a program that will support the learning of countless students this Summer. This comprehensive program will prepare mandated summer school students for the next grade while enriching the educational experience for thousands of other children,” said Senator Marty Golden. “This program will undoubtedly keep students engaged in productive activities and provide a safe environment in which to spend their summer vacation.”

“I applaud Chancellor Fariña and the de Blasio administration for continuing to push New York City’s education system with bold academic initiatives. As we all know, summer is a time when children are away from their studies, while the potential for them to regress on their lessons remains prevalent,” said Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley. “By incorporating innovative, research-based literacy, math, and STEM curricula into summer school sessions we can prepare our young scholars to be competitive for secondary and post-secondary education tracks going forward.”

“This engaging summer session is a great opportunity for students to continue their learning throughout the summer and experience the rich culture of New York's City's museums and institutions," said Council Member Brad Lander. "Summer in the City will provide students with a rigorous and hands-on curriculum that will teach them important skills for the next grade and beyond.”

“I applaud the increased focus on STEM, literacy and cultural institutions in the new summer school curriculum,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “Our cultural institutions open the doors of the world to all who enter. Bringing summer school students to our cultural institutions is a great step forward and will bring a well rounded education for our City’s youth.”

Information on Summer in the City will be shared with principals and schools in this week’s Principals’ Weekly. Additional information related to applications for non-mandated programs – Summer STEM and Renewal high school enrichment programs – will be communicated to families in the coming weeks.

All families should continue to check the SITC website for updates: http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/SpecialPrograms/SummerSchool/default.htm.