Summer Early Focus

2018 Summer Early Focus

Boston is taking the lead on summer learning with Summer Early Focus, a 5 weekprogram designed by the BPS Department of Early Childhood and run in collaboration with various community partners. This summer we will serve approximately 240 BPS students currently enrolled in Grades K1 to 2nd. The program will be held at various sites across Boston from July 9 to August 10 from 8:30-2:30pm. There will be breakfast, lunch and snack time for students, academic and enrichment components as well as field trips. No transportation will be provided.

Sites this summer:

The program, building on children's learning during the school year, is highly engaging, and child-driven. Two BPS teachers support up to 20 students in each classroom with our Summer Early Focus curriculum. Students will continue to engage in high quality instructional practices, take field trips and have structured and unstructured play opportunities.


Interested in attending this fantastic program? Ask your child’s teacher to nominate him/her for a seat! Your school will provide you with an application. You will receive an SEF confirmation letter once accepted. Students accepted on a rolling basis.


Click the links for the project-based, student-driven curricula:

  • Rising third grade students are exploring bicycles, thinking about the different functions of a bike, how a bike works, and bicycle safety. For a final project, students will envision a bicycle-friendly neighborhood. (See our press in the Boston Globe and on Twitter!)
  • Rising second grade students will think critically about food, thorough the exploration of food from various cultures, including where food comes from and making nutritional choices. For a final project, students will consider the complexities of a restaurant.
  • Rising first graders are learning about insects and habitats through a specific selection of the Focus on K2 curriculum designed for summer learning. In learning about bees and butterflies, they will think about the important role each plays in our environment and lives.
  • Incoming kindergarten students are exploring ocean and seashore animals native to Massachusetts. This curriculum will help prepare students for kindergarten in the fall through exposure to the structure of the day, literacy, math, and center-based activities.

Thanks to the BPS literacy, math, and early childhood coaching and teaching team efforts, all curricula are further supplemented with enrichment activities including field trips, storytelling and story acting, and project-based learning.


In 2013, DEC launched the Kindergarten Ventures Early Focus program. Designed for children who have never had a formal pre-school experience and who will be attending BPS K2 (kindergarten) in the fall, this program introduces students to the structure of the K2 day, including curriculum and transitions. Additionally, this program provides workshops to parents so that they are best equipped to understand and navigate BPS resources and to support their child during his/her K2 kindergarten year. See press and publications about Summer Early Focus on our Research & Policymakers page.

Proven Results

An evaluation of the 2009 Summer Early Focus program (then called Summer Reading Academies) showed students who attended exhibited significant gains in three out of the four DIBELS subtests. More, the evaluation showed that ELL, African Americans and boys showed compelling progress after participating in the SRA. Internal analyses have shown these results repeating year after year. Summer Early Focus is also highlighted in an issue brief by MDRC related to the ExCEL P-3 study.

For more information, contact us, or see all BPS summer programs.