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Year Published: 2020
This quasi-experimental study examines students who attended Aim High, a voluntary summer learning program that provided academic and social and emotional learning (SEL) supports, during 2013-2014 and/or 2014-2015 to middle school students in the San Francisco Unified School District. The study analyzes how students’ participation in the program impacts both behavioral engagement and academic achievement. Evaluators found that program participants were significantly less likely to be chronically absent and suspended, as well as have slight improvements in English/language arts state assessments and school-day attendance than their peers who did not participate in Aim High. Additionally, this study found that these effects are greatest for Aim High participants who are boys and Latinx students.
Program Name: Aim High
Aim High is a voluntary summer learning program offered to middle school students (from grades 6-8) in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and surrounding communities for seven hours a day for five weeks. The program was created specifically for students from low-income neighborhoods. The curriculum consists of core subjects like math, science, and English as well as a social and emotional learning (SEL) component called “Issues and Choices”. The SEL class includes a variety of topics like mindfulness, community building, creating a growth mindset, stopping bullying, and more.
Scope of the Evaluation: Local
Program Type: Summer
Location: San Francisco Unified School District
Community Type: Urban
Grade level: Middle School
Findings in the evaluation are based on Aim High program participants who were 92 percent children of color, 22 percent English language learners, 9 percent designated as special education students, and 49 percent girls. Among Aim High participants overall, 71 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Program Website: https://aimhigh.org/