After starting The Cloverleaf School in January of 2012, we launched Camp Cloverleaf the following summer and had an absolute BLAST. Part of why we were so excited to have a camp program for the school was to extend our unique blend of academics, facilitated social interactions, and learning adventures into the summer.
Our kids often have difficulty transitioning from school to summer and then back again, and it’s been fairly uniformly observed that students lose academic ground over longer breaks. Consequently, our hope was that by keeping kids in the swing of things and continuing to stoke those fires of academic curiosity and accomplishment, that we could maintain our gains and perhaps even keep gaining!
And guess what? WE DID! It worked!
Along those same lines, we had planned since the inception of The Cloverleaf School to have the school run on a Balanced Calendar, with the same principles and research in mind. Due to the fact that many of our students have difficulty retrieving and synthesizing information, a balanced calendar gives them more opportunity to have extended and impactful learning experiences that solidify connections. This, in turn, increases retention. In addition, a balanced calendar reduces the review time needed each fall due to the short summer break.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to have it all. In the process of transitioning to the Balanced Calendar this year, we have found ourselves with an extremely short summer break. We have also found ourselves in the exciting position of adding a class (and the requisite classroom) for next fall, which when combined with the planning time our teachers need over the summer, made Camp Cloverleaf logistically impossible this year.
What a bummer!
However, we are hopeful that as we adopt the balanced calendar year to year, we will be able to again have Camp Cloverleaf! So, watch this space (or, at least, this website!) for further developments!!
References: J. Aronson, J. Zimmerman & L. Carlos. (1998). Improving Student Achievement by Extending School: Is It Just a Matter of Time? San Francisco, CA: WestEd