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Beyond the Bell helps prevent summer learning loss


The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell Branch expanded its programs to serve more than 88,000 students in grades K-12 during the summer semester. These included:  Extended Learning Opportunity Summer Program, District Base and CORE Waiver High School Credit Recovery programs, Comprehensive Summer Enrichment programs and L.A. Summer of Learning. Many of the students served this summer participated in various Beyond the Bell programs.

“Through Beyond the Bell, LAUSD offered various unique opportunities for students to become fully immersed in collaborative, supportive and educational summer programs,” said John Deasy, LAUSD Superintendent. “These programs supplement our regular school day efforts to guarantee that every student who enters our schools is prepared for college and the workforce.”

Preparing for traditional summer school, Beyond the Bell developed academic programs that integrated Common Core professional development, with intervention strategies. This helped students meet four-year college entrancement requirements.

Extended Learning Opportunity Program: About 150 elementary and middle schools participated in the 19-day program which served more than 18,600 K-8th grade students, and focused on reducing academic regression while supporting English language arts and mathematics learning.

High School Credit Recovery programs: Nearly 36,000 high school students attended this five-week program at 77 high schools. Beyond the Bell offered credit recovery courses in health, physical education, and world languages, all classes required for graduation. CORE Waiver credit recovery also was offered in subjects, like science, history, mathematics and English language arts.

Beyond the Bell Branch is committed to connecting students and youth to their home, school and communities through a variety of programs that are provided and operated by the school district and its partner agencies before school, after school and on weekends.

“I wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for after-school programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. “These programs gave me opportunities when I attended Ivanhoe and now I continue to see students participating in Beyond the Bell Programs and showing excitement in their eyes. You walk away knowing they are going to reach their goals because they are being pushed, encouraged, and loved.”

Portable Pool Program: An all-instructional, two-week swimming program rotated in 31 elementary schools throughout the summer. A total of 5,500 students learned to swim during the season.

Comprehensive Summer Enrichment Program: More than 29,000 students participated at 292 elementary, middle, high school programs during the 29-day summer vacation period. Each program, which provided daily activities, included three components: academic, enrichment, and fitness.

Music and Entertainment Education program: For the second consecutive year, music programs were provided during the summer vacation period. Approximately 160 students participated at either middle school sites, or the Fernando Jones Blues Camp at California State University at Los Angeles; the All City Jazz Band; or the All City Honor Marching Band. A total of 10 performances were held at public venues, including the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Central Avenue Jazz Festival, and the Sam Ash Music Center.

“BTB’s summer school programs worked in unison with LA Summer of Learning by leveraging a student’s accomplishments through digital badges that they earned through participation in our programs,” said Alvaro Cortés, executive director of Beyond the Bell.  “The beauty of earning digital badges is this unique ability to validate learning outside of the regular school day and the accessibility to all youth.”

L.A. Summer of Learning: More than 50,000 Beyond the Bell students and 1,918 L.A. city and community-based organization youths earned digital badges for remaining engaged in learning this summer. Participants were connected to interactive learning in schools, parks, libraries, and museums, as well as internships at participating companies, organizations and agencies. These students studied in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Drop-in computer labs remained open to facilitate access to computers and the Internet.

Beyond the Bell programs are transitioning from summer to the regular school year calendar. The L.A. Summer of Learning program will be expanded to a year-round program, offering students a chance to earn badges and to expand their digital portfolio.

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