Summer enrichment has its benefits Five Students received gift cards for completing assignments

Summer slide is a thing - seriously. When the bell rings on the last day of school, students and teachers alike put on their summer clothing and mindset. They are eager to relax and enjoy the thrills of summer, which often means pausing learning.

While all brains need a break, the 10 weeks of summer can negatively impact learning gains. To combat learning loss, Orange County Public Schools offers a variety of educational opportunities, from reading and math to science and computer enrichment camps - at the elementary and middle school levels.

Armed with the knowledge that it’s harder to get high school aged students to campus during the summer, the Curriculum and Digital Learning team wanted to meet them where they are – online. Plus, as a pilot year for rising sophomores, juniors and seniors to keep their school- issued laptop through the summer, it was the perfect opportunity to provide enrichment lessons.

Summer Success Passport options

The Summer Success Passport in Canvas, offered high school students 20 educational opportunities. Classes included reading fluency, advanced placement, biology, U.S. history, prep for Algebra 1 and geometry, college and career readiness and digital tool training.

“I am so proud that our team was able to work with all of our instructional materials vendors and get some really high quality and engaging lessons for our students, in a really short amount of time,” said Mariel Milano, Director of Digital Curriculum. “I never thought we’d be able to launch so many modules. They really did an amazing job.”

After receiving a $25 Fandango gift card, Luke Phillips poses with Mariel Milano.

In the exploratory year, 371 students submitted 2,405 assignments. For each submission, the student earned the opportunity to win a $25 gift card, made possible by partnerships with UDT, Discovery Education and Brain Pop.

The following students won a $25 gift card to Amazon, American Express or Regal Cinemas: Austin Duval - Winter Park High School; Grace Fresoli - Freedom High School; Yasmin Gomez Sanchez - Freedom High School; Luke Phillips - Boone High School; Brandon Podwys - Cypress Creek High School

“I would definitely do it again, and I’d recommend it to others,” Phillips said. “It helps you review and it keeps you in that school routine, so you don’t hit a brick[wall] when you come back.”


Photos and video by Renée Burke, OCPS Media Relations