A new study from the RAND Corporation identifies two predictors for student success in voluntary summer programs: attendance and retention. Simply stated: students with a high attendance rate, and who participate for multiple summers, benefit the most from programs in mathematics and language arts achievement.
Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, the RAND study sought to find out whether and how voluntary summer programs can help low-income urban students succeed in school. It turns out attendance plays a big role: high attenders in the first summer of the study gained a significant and substantial benefit in mathematics; high attenders in the second summer had better outcomes in both math and language arts.
These findings confirm what we’ve always known at Horizons. Our programs help students from low-income families succeed, and we’ve long stressed the importance of attendance and retention. This summer, our Horizons network-wide attendance rate was 94% – a commitment by our students and families that carries over to the regular school year. As for retention, 87% of our students return year after year.
With students attending at a high rate, and staying with Horizons 6 years on average, the new study confirms just a few of the reasons Horizons is a long-term commitment that works.