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Give a Summer for School C_20160127


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Analysis of summer participation, interests, and barriers at a Boston area public middle school.

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Give a Summer for School C_20160127

  1. 1. GIVE A SUMMER FOR SCHOOL C Analysis of the summer participation, future summer plans, and barriers to summer programs for a Boston area middle school’s students (grades 6 – 8) and areas for action. Prepared by Give a Summer Survey and analysis from fall 2015
  2. 2. Background on report • This is the public version of a report prepared by Give a Summer for a Boston area middle school analyzing the summer participation, future plans, and barriers facing their middle school students. The school is referred to throughout the report as “school C.” This is the same “school C” that Give a Summer worked with last year. A public report of Give a Summer’s work last year with school C is also available on Give a Summer’s website. • Give a Summer worked with two other peer schools, and when relevant, noted differences between the schools. The other two schools are noted as “school A” and “school B.” • With all three schools’ approval, Give a Summer is releasing public versions of the three school reports as further examples of how communities can better understand and support youth participation in summer opportunities. • Give a Summer believes that getting communities to collect and analyze data about where and why kids miss out on summer programs will: • improve youth access to summer programs by broadly identifying high-need areas and barriers to summer program participation • empower youth-serving organizations, such as schools and mentoring organizations, to more effectively target and support individual students to make great summer plans • strengthen advocacy efforts by clarifying the need for opportunities • increase public accountability for improvement 2
  3. 3. Outline of presentation • Executive Summary • Findings: Previous summer program participation • Findings: Previous summer program enjoyment • Findings: Upcoming summer plans • Findings: Interest by type of program • Findings: Barriers to summer participation • Areas for action • Appendix 3 Slide # 4 7 8 10 12 16 29 31
  4. 4. Executive summary: key facts Past attendance: 65% of students attended a program last year, with an incredible 78% of 8th graders attending one. Satisfaction: Students really enjoy their programs: 70% rated their program a 5 (out of 5), and this was true across grades. Future plans: Students and parents have strong interest in attending a program, with 60% interested and another 25% not sure. Types of summer programs: Students are well matched with programs, though more students who want to go to programs are interested in overnight camps than got to participate in one over the summer. Barriers: 6th and 7th graders had similar and higher barriers than 8th graders. Crucial swing barriers for those grades were family vacation conflicts and being needed at home. Being needed at home was surprising as parents don’t think it is a big deal. Parents rate expense as a large challenge, but surprisingly ratings of expense don’t differ between parents whose students do or don’t attend programs. 4
  5. 5. Executive summary: new facts Year over year attendance: students who attended a program in summer ’14 were 100% more likely to attend a program in summer ’15. Interest strong predictor of attendance: Students who were interested last spring in attending a summer program were 60% more likely to attend a summer program compared to students who were not interested. Student predictions of family vacation conflicts. Students who rated family vacation conflicts as a big deal in spring ’15 were more likely to end up going on family vacations than students who said family vacation conflicts were not a big deal. However, only 25% of students went on a multi-week vacation and that was true regardless of student ratings of family vacation conflicts. Parent perspective: Across school C and its two peer schools, parents and student responses were very similar on factual questions and reasonably similar on questions of program interest and barriers to participation, suggesting surveying students is an effective way to get at parent views as well. At school C, parents rated expense as a bigger deal than their children did and were less concerned about their children being needed at home. 5
  6. 6. Executive summary: key actions Highlight great programs to students: Share information about the many programs students are already attending and really enjoy Distinguish program recommendations by grades: for 6th graders highlight programs with flexible schedules. For 7th graders, inform them about specific programs, especially ones that offer convenient transportation. With 8th grade, focus on individual students, as there weren’t significant grade-wide barriers. Personalize support to students i) interested in attending but who didn’t last year, ii) who attended in summer ‘14 but didn’t in summer ‘15, and iii) who are unsure about attending but only have one or two ‘big deal’ barriers. Personal outreach to those 44 students could be especially effective to help them access summer opportunities. Use student-level data on barriers to effectively connect students with programs that match their interests and needs. The accompanying Excel file has student-level data on past and upcoming attendance, interest in different types of programs, as well as student ratings of summer program barriers to help effectively and efficiently connect students with summer programs that match their needs. It also includes the name and student reviews of all 88 programs that students at school C and its two peer schools attended this past summer. 6 Note: Excel file not included with this public report
  7. 7. 65% of students participate in programs, with almost 80% of 8th graders participating 7 • Participation is up from 57% last year, (and current 8th graders only had 63% participation the previous summer) • Participation is modestly above school B participation (60%) and well above school A (40%) Did you attend a summer program?
  8. 8. Attendance in summer 2014 is a strong predictor of attendance in summer 2015. 8 • Students who attended a summer program in summer ‘14 were 100% more likely to attend a program over the summer compared to students who did not attend a program in summer ‘14. • Previous attendance was an exceptionally strong predictor for current 7th graders (180% more likely) while a slightly weaker one for current 8th graders • Of the students who attended both summers, only 50% went to the same program both summers, suggesting that even students who attended a program last year will actively explore other programs. Attendance at summer programs in summer ‘15 based on attendance in summer ‘14
  9. 9. Students really enjoy their programs (more than last year and at two peer schools). 9 • Students tremendously their programs, with 73% rating it a 5 (out of 5) • Last spring, only 60% rated their program in summer 2014 a 5 • 8th grade satisfaction at school C is in line with other grades and notably higher than 8th grade satisfaction at school B (only 35% rated program a 5) Did you enjoy the program? (5 is yes, 1 is no)
  10. 10. • Interest is well above two peer schools: school B and school A both had 50% interest • Interest at school C is slightly below last year’s exceptionally strong interest (68% were interested last year) • 8th grade interest – though still very high – fell off a bit from last spring when 80% of these current 8th graders were interested . All grades are strongly interested in summer programs, with 63% interested and another 25% unsure 10 Do you want to attend a summer program this coming summer?
  11. 11. Student interest outpaces program (even high) attendance, suggesting further opportunities to help students interested or not sure of attending find great programs 11 • 88% of students want to go to a summer program or are unsure about attending one, while 65% went to a program over the summer, leaving 23% of students interested or not sure of attending but who did not attend a program over the summer. • This suggests opportunities to support those students find and attend great programs • In good news, the gap of students to support is about 10% lower than it was last year
  12. 12. Previous student interest is moderately related to subsequent program participation 12 • Students who wanted to go to a program last spring were 60% more likely to attend than students not interested in attending a program. • Surprisingly, students not interested in attending were more likely to eventually attend than students unsure about attending, with only 18% of 7th graders who were unsure of attending a program making it to a program last year. This suggests that for those on the fence, other factors – such as student barriers or parent interest – are decisive in eventual attendance. • Action: Focus assistance on students not sure of attending programs, especially on 6th and 7th graders unsure of attending a program, and focus on problem-solving barriers they may face, not foremost on increasing student interest in attendance. Attendance at summer programs based on previous interest in attending a program
  13. 13. Consistent with high student satisfaction, students who went to a program last summer are very interested in going to a programthis summer 13 • One possible explanation for higher subsequent attendance by students not interested in attending a program than those not sure is that previous participation is very divisive – with students who attend less likely to be unsure of wanting to attend in the future than students who did not attend a program – but that even for students who went and now don’t want to go again, the pull of participation (perhaps from parents) leads them to more often attend programs than students who were unsure but didn’t have the pull of previous attendance to lead them to a program this year. • This hypothesis is not born out by this year’s data, which finds that students who attend programs are far more likely than students who did not attend programs to want to attend again in the future. Interest in attending a summer program based on previous attendance
  14. 14. Students are well matched with the type of programs they want to attend, though more students want to go to overnight camps than went last year 14 • Action: Highlight overnight camps to students • Action: Hook students not interested in attending programs with sports programs. This was the only type of program these students were interested in. • Most programs students attend have sports and day camp activities, while about 25% of programs of performing arts, reading or math, or science or technology as part of their program. What do students do over the summer and what do they want to do? (students grouped by interest in attending a program this summer)
  15. 15. Program-related barriers (expense, transportation, vacation conflicts) are not strongly associated with certain types of programs 15 • Students with large program-related barriers are not disproportionally interested in certain types of programs, which might have suggested that students were confronting those barriers at those programs. • The one modest exception is that students with transportation challenges are less interested in attending day camps, slightly suggesting that students may be encountering transportation challenges at day camps. Action: look out for day camps with convenient transportation Do students with program-related barriers have different activity preferences than other students?
  16. 16. Students and parents rated the impact of the following barriers to attending great summer programs. 16 • Students and parents were asked to rate how important various potential barriers were to participating in summer programs. • Below, the text of those barriers is presented and barriers are grouped into categories. • Students and parents rated barriers as a “Big deal”, “Small deal”, or “Does not apply” • Those descriptions were converted to scores: “Big deal” is a 2, “Small deal” is 1, “Does not apply” is 0
  17. 17. Overall, students face many moderate barriers, with no particular barriers standing out when looking at all students 17 • Barriers are similar to school C last year, though expense and vacation conflicts are less prominent, and below barrier ratings at school B and school A. • While overall barriers provide a useful backdrop, the key insights are in the following slides that unpack which barriers may be driving program participation.
  18. 18. Program expense is a substantially greater concern for parents than students, though on the whole parents and students rated barriers very similarly. 18 • Parents also are more concerned about transportation, while students rate vacation conflicts higher. • While only 44% of parents responded, the students whose parents responded were very similar to all students (in the % who attended a program, wanted to attend, barriers, etc.), suggesting that the parents who responded are fairly representative of all parents. Only parents asked Q Only students asked Q
  19. 19. Being needed at home, lack of interest in programoptions, and family vacation conflicts were swing barriers that affected students who did not attend programs more 19 • Different ratings for these barriers depending on students’ previous participation suggest these may be swing barriers affecting eventual student participation. • We do not know why students feel they may be needed at home: to take care of a older relative or a younger sibling, because they want to be at home, or because their parents want them around the house. As the next slide shows, parents do not rate this highly. • Lack of interest in program options and vacation conflicts were greater swing barrier at school C than at school B
  20. 20. What’s key is what doesn’t show up: expense is not that large a swing barrier as all parents rate it highly; being needed at home is not nearly the swing barrier it is for students 20 • Action: prioritize informing parents about specific program options as lack of knowledge about attractive programs is the most decisive swing barrier affecting student attendance • While expense is a major factor for all parents, look out for other barriers as well that may be key swing barriers that parents are less able to overcome. • Parents, more than students, seem like they would have the best perspective on expenses • At school A, program expense likewise wasn’t a swing barrier even though it was a major barrier overall. School A had more swing barriers around family vacation conflicts, convenient program hours, and signing up.
  21. 21. Being needed at home is a huge swing barrier for 6th graders, with family vacation conflicts also notable. 21 • Action: In conversation with 6th graders, look to understand more why they feel needed at home, especially when their parents don’t feel the same. • At school B, 6th graders also had being needed at home as a swing barrier, though not to the same extent (the bigger swing barrier there was transportation challenges). • Unfortunately, there are not enough 6th grade parent responses to compare to students
  22. 22. 7th graders have several swing barriers, identifying several opportunities for school support 22 • Action: Highlight programs with flexible schedules or convenient transportation to 7th graders. • 7th grade parents also rated transportation challenges as a major swing barrier • Action: Build excitement among students for programs by sharing with them some of the great programs students attended and enjoyed. Follow parent as opposed to student lead on expense
  23. 23. 8th graders have low barriers and few swing barriers -> fewer grade-wide actions, but focus efforts on individualized student support 23 • 8th graders have notably lower barriers and non-existent swing barriers compared to younger grades. • In contrast, school B has 8th graders with still high barriers and strong swing barriers relating to student interest; school A had swing barriers for 8th graders around family vacation conflicts and transportation challenges • Why might these 8th graders have very different scores than younger grades and other peer schools?
  24. 24. Many students take short vacations, students accurately predict family vacations, but students are less accurate rating the relative length of vacations 24 • Students are good at predicting family vacation conflicts: those who rated it a larger barrier last spring were twice as likely to take a vacation as those who didn’t. • However, students do not accurately predict multi-week family vacations • Action: students accurately predict family vacations though often only go away for a week, so explore whether even regular program schedules may still work around family plans
  25. 25. Students rate barriers very similarly regardless of interest in summer programs, suggestingthat other factors are affecting student interest. 25 • The exception to this is that students unsure about attending a program rate lack of interest in programs a much bigger deal than their peers • Action: for students unsure about attending a program, focus on sharing specific, exciting programs with them (as opposed to trying to interest them generally in summer opportunities or focusing on particular barriers they face)
  26. 26. Students who were interested but didn’t go last year didn’t have any distinctive barriers, suggesting there is no particular barrier holding them back. 26 • There are 15 students who want to attend a program but who didn’t last year. • Action: These students face similar barriers to other students, suggesting that personal support and encouragement – as opposed to problem solving any particular barrier – is the key to helping them.
  27. 27. Parents interested in their children attending a programrate expense as a much greater barrier than parents not interested in attending a program 27 • On one hand, parents interested in programs rated expense as a major challenge. On the other hand, as seen in previous slides, ratings of expense did not differ that much between parents whose children did and did not attend a program. • One story to partially reconcile these facts: once parents are interested or on the fence about their child attending a program, expense isn’t a key swing factor. However, helping parents becoming interested in summer programs for their children may prove difficult as they confront program costs that they have not previously explored.
  28. 28. Parents strongly prefer help by sending home list of programs.Aminority of parents would like presentations of programs at schools. 28 • Action: Send parents home lists of programs. Refer to accompanying Excel for ideas about programs students particularly enjoy. [Note – Excel file not included with this public report] • Sending home a list of programs may be a first step that subsequently sparks parent interest in other types of school support. • These findings are very consistent across grades and in line with other peer schools.
  29. 29. There are several school and grade-wide steps to increase student access and participation in summer programs. 29 Distinguish support to students by grade: • Action: for 6th grade, highlight programs with flexible schedules to accommodate vacation plans and understand more why students feel they’re needed at home (when parents don’t think they are) • Action: for 7th grade, inform students about specific programs, especially ones that do not conflict with family vacations and offer convenient transportation. Understand more why students feel they’re needed at home (when parents don’t think they are). • Action: for 8th grade, focus efforts on providing individualized support to students as there are not many large, common barriers across the grade (see next slide for groups of students to target for individualized support) Increase student excitement – and therefore, likely participation – by highlighting great programs to students and parents • Action: Share some of the great programs students attended with students who did not attend a program last year. Incorporate students who attended a program to spread the word. • Action: for students unsure about attending a program, provide specific program recommendations to them (this is their biggest barrier). • Action: for students uninterested in programs, recommend sports programs, the one type of program these students are strongly interested in. • Action: research overnight programs which students are interested in but rarely get to attend. • Action: send home lists of programs to parents.
  30. 30. School C can also provide potentially high-impact personalized support to certain groups of students 30 Three groups of students seem like promising ones to focus personalized support on: • 1) Want to attend but didn’t this summer (15 students) • 2) Attended summer ‘14 but didn’t attend summer ’15 (6 students) • 2) Not sure of attending but only have one or two big deal obstacles (27 students) • In total, 44 students across school C fall into one of these categories. To narrow down that list, you can overlay judgment about individual student needs or eliminate one of the above categories. Use student-level data on barriers to effectively connect students (and families) with programs that match their needs. The attached Excel file has student-level data on attendance and summer program barriers to help effectively and efficiently connect students with summer programs that match their needs. • Action: Use data to best match students with programs. • Action: Look at data on all the programs students from the three peer schools attended for ideas about other programs that may be great suggestions for your students • Action: Share “top students to focus on” with each homeroom teacher. Note: Excel file not included with this public report
  31. 31. Appendix 31 • Response rates • Length of program attendance • Year over year program attendance • Barriers by grade • 7th grade student and parent barriers • 8th grade student and parent barriers • Distribution of barrier ratings • Year over year barrier ratings, all students • Program attendance, enjoyment, and type Slide # 33 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
  32. 32. Avery high proportion of students responded, and a significant number of parents responded as well (particularly in 7th grade) 32 • Survey was given to all middle school students and parents at school C • The survey received a very high student response rate that was consistent across grades. The parent response rate varied significantly across grades, with a very high response rate from 7th grade parents.
  33. 33. When students did attend programs, they overwhelmingly did so for at least a few weeks, significant given the short summer break for school C students. 33 • This was true across grades and peer schools.
  34. 34. Summer participation was moderately high last summer than in summer 2014 34 • This was true both for current 7th and current 8th grades. • The story was similar, though less dramatic, at other peer schools.
  35. 35. 6th and 7th graders had very similar barriers, while 8th graders had lower barriers across the board. 35 • Last year at school C, 7th and 8th graders both had low barriers, while 6th graders (the current 7th graders) had higher barriers, as they do now too.
  36. 36. 7th grade parents rate programexpense as a much bigger deal than their children. Otherwisebarriers are fairly similar betweenchildren and parents. 36
  37. 37. 8th grade students and parents rated barriers similarly, though again expense was a bigger deal for parents (though not as big a deal as for 7th gradeparents). 37
  38. 38. The distribution of barriers – as opposed to the average barriers on other slides – does not tell a different story. 38
  39. 39. Barrier ratings were similar though slightly lower than last year, with expense, transportation challenges, and vacation conflicts modestly decreasing. 39 • The picture is very similar when looking just at 7th or 8th grade
  40. 40. Students at school C attend a great variety of programs 40 • See accompanying Excel for data on all the 88 programs that students attended across the three peer schools • At school C, 85 students attended 52 different programs. 9 programs had 3 or more students attend them. • The most common programs students at school C attend are specialized programs that they really enjoy: [program names not included in public report] Note: Excel file not included with this public report