On May 26, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) released the Summer Learning Resource Guide to support summer educational programing.

The pandemic has led to protracted disruptions to in-person instruction. To mitigate these disruptions, the NJDOE encouraged school districts to use summer learning experiences to support the social, emotional, and academic needs of students prior to the return of full in-person instruction in the 2021-2022 school year. The Summer Learning Resource Guide includes extensive resources on the NJDOE’s website to provide districts with additional support in building and bridging existing programs.

Districts should ensure that summer learning opportunities aim to address academic and social emotional gaps between the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years and reacclimate students to more robust in-person learning, according to the NJDOE’s May 26 broadcast memo.

Districts are encouraged to use Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to expand summer programming beyond mandated programs and remedial courses to offer learning acceleration courses to all students. Exposing students to introductory one, two, or three-week pre-course options can catapult student learning, the NJDOE memo said.

On May 17, 2021 Gov. Murphy announced that schools will be required to provide full-day, in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year, as they were prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, this requirement will not apply to summer educational programming. Districts will have the discretion to offer summer educational programming in the instructional method that best suits their school communities, the NJDOE memo said.