Rethinking Summer Learning: Why–and How–Two Districts Transformed Their Programs

As we approach the end of the school year, we’re excited to release the fifth episode of A Hot Time for Summer Learning, a Wallace podcast series that features leading experts, researchers and practitioners who are involved in summer learning and enrichment at the national, state, and local levels.


In this episodeNancy Gannon, Senior Advisor of Teaching and Learning at FHI 360, speaks to Matt Brewster of Newark Public Schools and Andrew Maxey of Tuscaloosa City Schools about how they have completely reimagined their summer learning programs. Both districts have shifted from traditional summer school models to evidence-based summer learning programs that engage students and foster their well-being while helping them learn and build new interests and skills.

Tune in to learn how each community made this summer learning transformation and how their unique approaches have translated to increased staffing, growth in interest and enrollment among students and their families, and impressive outcomes at the student and school levels.  

Both districts are part of The District Summer Learning Network (DSLN), which is helping more than 90 school districts (and six states) reshape their summer programs through coaching, professional development, and peer learning opportunities. FHI 360 designed DSLN and provides districts and states with coaching, professional development and peer learning opportunities, and New York University manages the research. 

Have a listen, and if you like what you hear, consider rating the podcast on Apple or Spotify  to help others find us. To learn more about Wallace and find transcripts of each episode, visit us at and follow us on X (formerlyTwitter) at @WallaceFdn.