What is Summer Boost NYC?

Summer Boost NYC is a $50 million philanthropic initiative supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with Kenneth C. Griffin, Stan Druckenmiller, The Carson Family Charitable Trust, Robin Hood, Gray Foundation, and Walentas Foundation, aimed at supporting charter schools across New York City this summer as they address the social and academic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their students. Schools can apply to receive up to $2000 per student to support high-quality summer learning programs.


Why Summer Boost NYC?

For three school years, in-person learning has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This academic disruption, along with the accompanying social and health-related impact, has resulted in significant lost learning opportunities, particularly for low-income students of color. Research by McKinsey & Company indicates that students were an average of four months behind in ELA instruction and five months behind in Math instruction at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Likely, those gaps have increased during the current school year as students have spent significant time in quarantine and are impacted by protective measures with COVID variant spikes, despite efforts to maintain in-person learning and the incredible work in schools and classrooms to deliver high-quality instruction.

Summer learning opportunities have the potential to address learning gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Done well, summer learning programs that include at least 25 hours of high-quality math and 34 hours of high-quality language arts instruction have shown students outperforming a control group of their peers on both mathematics and language arts in the subsequent fall and spring assessments. Studies have demonstrated that effective summer programs can not only stymie “summer slide”, but achieve gains. Summer Boost NYC is meeting the opportunity with a significant investment in summer learning across the New York City charter school community. 

What is the funding model?

Due to the diversity of the charter school landscape, a one-size-fits-all approach does not effectively meet the moment. Schools can apply for up to $2000 per student. See the budget template and calculator here.

Grant ModelLavinia RISE CurriculumSchool-Selected Curriculum
What is it?Lavinia RISE will provide professional development to teachers, ELA and Math curriculum with pacing guides, and daily lessons for a 5-week program of half-day academics. Schools using Lavinia RISE that wish to add a sixth week of programming of their choice are welcome to do so.Schools can use a curriculum of their choice and/or develop their own curriculum. The application will ask about alignment to New York State Next Generation Learning Standards.
What does it cost?The Lavinia RISE curriculum and professional development will be provided for free to all participating schools.The costs of the curriculum must be covered by the school through the grant.
What grades does it serve?Students finishing Kindergarten through 8th grades in June 2022.
How is success measured?Student growth will be measured on pre- and post-tests in both English and Math, mapped to the priority standards. The assessment will be designed by Lavinia Group and vetted by an independent third party.
When is it?Teacher Training:
June 27 – July 1
Program Dates:
Tuesday, July 5  –  Friday, August 5 OR Tuesday, July 12 – Friday, August 12
School Discretion (Minimum of 20 instructional days)
What is the funding?Up to $2000 per student depending on program length and full or half day structure
When are applications due?

Applications are due no later than 11:59pm on May 4th, 2022. 

When will I know if my application has been approved?

We are reviewing applications and making grants on a rolling basis, so we recommend completing the application as soon as possible. We anticipate notifying the first round of grantees on April 29th. We aim to notify all schools of our decision by May 13th.

I need to start hiring teachers now in order to run a program. Should I still apply?

We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis and hope to begin notifying schools of approval as early as April 29th. We recommend that you begin teacher recruitment with the caveat that you are awaiting approval on funding. You can recruit your own teachers and/or licensed teachers from other schools to participate.

Our school doesn’t have enough students or teachers to make the program work. Can we partner with another school?

We encourage collaboration across schools to mitigate staffing or student recruitment challenges. Only one school/CMO should complete the application, but the lead applicant should provide details about the partnership in the application. Schools can also consider recruiting licensed teachers from other schools or districts who may be interested in teaching in the summer.

Can we run a program with hybrid or virtual instruction?

No. Summer Boost NYC sites must be in-person.

When will my school receive payment?

Once your application is conditionally approved, you will receive information on how to finalize your grant agreement with our fiscal sponsor 50CAN. All grant agreements must be finalized by May 27th in order to receive funding by June 24th. By June 24th, you will receive 50% of your grant based on the number of students you plan to serve – as reported in an enrollment check on June 15 – and your approved per-pupil funding amount. The balance of your grant will be paid out by September 30, contingent  on completion of all reporting requirements. The balance of funds will also take into account the actual number of students you served and be adjusted accordingly, as outlined below:

  •  If your average daily attendance is at least 70% of the projected enrollment, you will receive full funding.
  •  If your average daily attendance is between 50% and 69% of the projected enrollment, you will receive 80% of the total grant funding. The second disbursement amount will be the difference between the 80% funding amount and the first disbursement amount.
  • If your average daily attendance is between 26% and 50% of the projected enrollment, you will receive 50% of the total grant funding. You will not receive a second disbursement.

If your average daily attendance is 25% or less of the projected enrollment, you will need to return 25% of the initial funds.

What if a September 30th final payment is too late for me to cover summer costs?

Due to the short timeline and the large amount of funding being distributed, we are committed to a two-payment schedule for funds. If cash flow is a challenge, one way you may manage is to structure a portion of your staff pay as a “bonus” or stipend that will be deliverable by October 31. This will give you time to collect your second grant payment before you incur your largest costs.

Is Summer Boost NYC providing an enrichment curriculum?

Summer Boost NYC isn’t providing or endorsing any specific enrichment programs. We encourage sites to consider all options for enrichment, including recruiting special area teachers to teach courses and/or partnering with local organizations to help offer students and families full-day programming. Sites hosting full-day programming are eligible for additional funding to help support enrichment partnerships or teachers as necessary.

How much of the program day could be devoted to enrichment activities?

The ELA and Math academic component of the program needs to be at least three hours per day. Beyond that, schools have flexibility to determine the extent and types of enrichment programming provided.

We were already planning to use the Lavinia RISE curriculum and have a contract in place. Can we still participate?

Yes! We are working with Lavinia Group to identify the charter schools in NYC with whom they are already working and absorb those costs into the grant structure so you will no longer incur those costs.

We have academic summer programming that we are really proud to offer. Can we still join?

Yes! The application process will ask you to share more about your curriculum and the standards it targets. We want to support high-quality work in all forms. Summer Boost NYC will provide the Lavinia RISE curriculum and professional development for FREE to any sites that choose to use it. We’re doing this because the curriculum has successfully led to student growth in several cities across the country. All participating schools will be required to take the Summer Boost NYC pre- and post-tests to help us understand student growth this summer. All programs must be a minimum of 20 days of instruction.

What is the Summer Boost NYC pre- and post-test and how do I know what standards will be assessed?

The Summer Boost NYC pre- and post-tests are New York Next Generation Learning Standard-aligned assessments following this curriculum map for both English and Math. The assessments are a combination of multiple choice and open-response questions. All students will take these assessments on the Edulastic platform at the beginning and end of the summer program. The Edulastic platform will be provided to all schools and Lavinia will host optional trainings on administering and scoring the assessment. This data will help the funders of Summer Boost NYC understand what impact the program had on students. Because the assessments will be mapped to state standards, the data will also help schools understand how their students are doing and where they might focus with interventions after the summer program. During the application, you will share the standards you plan to cover during your program. While your students will take the complete assessments, your results will only be mapped back to the standards you planned to cover.

How long will the assessments take, and when will they be administered?

The assessments are untimed, but we estimate about 40-60 minutes for ELA and 40-60 minutes for Math – a total of up to two hours for the pre-tests and up to two hours for the post-tests. We encourage schools to offer the Math and ELA pre-tests on day one of the program and the Math and ELA post-tests on the second to last day of the program. However, there is flexibility around the logistics of this, and the tests could be administered over the course of two days if the site prefers (one day for ELA and one day for Math). We do not recommend administering assessments on the final day in order to allow time for teachers to score and enter the data for the assessments.

Can we use our own assessments instead of the Summer Boost NYC assessments?

The Summer Boost NYC pre- and post-assessments, developed by the Lavinia Group, are required for all participants, regardless of whether you use the Lavinia RISE curriculum or select your own curriculum. If you would like to provide additional assessments, that is at your discretion.

When will training on assessment implementation and scoring be provided?

Training materials – including videos and one-pagers – on assessment implementation and scoring will be made available online for participating sites to access at any time. All sites will also be able to attend optional office hours with representatives from Edulastic, the assessment platform. Additionally, assessment implementation and scoring guidance will be covered on June 27, from 12-1pm, during the pre-program professional development week for all sites using Lavinia RISE. Sites using a school-selected curriculum can send up to two program leaders to participate in this training on June 27 if they would like to do so.

What kind of data will be collected for Summer Boost NYC and how will it be used?

Participation in this initiative can help schools and the field learn about what is working in summer learning programs at a pivotal time when so many students across the country are struggling to recover from learning loss. In order to maximize the potential benefit for educators everywhere who are working on this challenge we are asking that participating schools allow an independent researcher to access 2022 data from organizations managing assessments the school has already chosen to administer (i.e., i-Ready, NWEA and Lavinia assessments). No students, school staff, or schools will be identified in any reports, and all information from the independent evaluation will be shared with the participating schools.

We only want to offer the program to a few grade levels. Can we?

Yes! We want you to serve the students who need the program the most based on your own knowledge of your student body. We will provide funding for up to one-third (⅓) of your students and we will ask you in the application to explain why you’re targeting the group of students you’ve selected.

We would like to serve more than one-third (1/3) of our students. Will additional funding be available?

If additional funding is available at the conclusion of the award period, we will work to disburse that funding to sites that are interested in serving additional students. We anticipate that decision will be made by the end of May. You can use other funding sources to expand your program beyond the one-third (⅓ )of students that will be funded by Summer Boost NYC. The Lavinia RISE curriculum will be provided on a school-site basis, so you can use the curriculum for all summer students, whether they are funded by Summer Boost NYC or not. We encourage combining funding sources to ensure a robust program model.

Will a budget need to be submitted with the application?

Yes! We have provided a budget template and calculator where you can determine how much funding you’ll be eligible for. You’ll then provide a budget and a narrative to support that budget.

Can I view the application before completing it?

Yes! You can view the Lavinia RISE application here and the School-Selected Curriculum application here. You will be prompted to make a copy so that you can draft your answers before entering them in the Google form.

My summer program includes funding outside of the Summer Boost NYC grant. How do I complete the budget?

The budget you submit should only include the funding provided by Summer Boost NYC. If you are using additional funds to support your program, you will be able to note that on the application, but we are not asking for an additional budget related to those funds.

Are there limits to what the grant funding can cover? How can we use the grant funds?

Funds can be used to support many aspect of your summer program. This may include staffing salaries and teacher bonuses, curriculum, supplies and materials, enrichment activities, facilities costs, transportation, meals, technology and any other expenses you incur related specifically to summer learning as laid out in the budget template of your application. If you have questions about specific expenses, we would encourage you to reach out or join an info session.

Is this just for Summer 2022 or will it continue in future years?

At this point, there should be no assumption that Summer Boost NYC will continue beyond 2022.

When does the summer program need to be offered? Is there flexibility? 

For schools using the Lavinia RISE curriculum, all teacher training will take place the week of June 27th. Lavinia is offering two student sessions — July 5th – August 5th or July 12th – August 12th. Schools using Lavinia RISE can do half-day programming or full-day programming. Full-day programming will require that schools identify a plan for enrichment programming. For schools using a different curriculum and programming, dates can be set by your school. The program must be between 20 and 30 instructional days (full-day or half-day).

What time do we need to start and stop the program?

Your daily schedule is up to you. The Lavinia RISE curriculum requires approximately 3 hours per day to complete and you may want to add additional breaks or meal time. It is up to you if you add enrichment or other activities. Programs that are under five (5) hours per day are considered “half day” programs. Programs that are five (5) or more hours per day are considered “full day” programs. You can start and end your day at the time that works best for your staff and the families you serve. We’ve included a sample schedule below and indicated which activities are provided by the Lavinia RISE curriculum.

8:00 – 8:30Arrival + Breakfast
8:30 – 9:00Community Circles
9:00-9:45Insight Humanities Novel Studies (Lavinia RISE provided)
9:45-10:30Story Problems (Lavinia RISE provided)
10:30-10:45Break / Snack
10:45-11:30Alternating Days of Math/ELA Small Groups
11:30-12:15Close Reading for Meaning (Lavinia RISE provided)
12:15-1:00Recess / Lunch
1:00 – 4:00Enrichment
4:00-4:30Dismissal / Pick-Up
Are we able to see the Lavinia RISE curriculum beforehand?

Yes! Lavinia Group will be joining our info sessions to share more about their curriculum, and you can review more information here. If you want to ask Lavinia questions directly, email them at [email protected].

What’s included in the Lavinia RISE pre-program training for teachers?

The Lavinia RISE pre-program training provides teachers with a program overview and training on each of the core components: Phonics (Rising 1st-2nd), Close Reading for Meaning, Insight Humanities Novel Study, and Story Problems. Lavinia Group will also offer optional sessions on small group instruction. For more specific information, visit the Lavinia RISE page. The schedule for pre-program training is below:

  • Monday, June 27th: 10am – 1pm, Program Orientation (Curriculum Overview, Assessment Administration & Scoring, Program Logistics)
  • Tuesday, June 28th: 10am – 4pm, ELA Training
  • Wednesday, June 29th: 10am – 4pm, ELA Training
  • Thursday, June 30th: 10am – 4pm, Math Training
  • Friday, July 1st: 10am – 2:30pm, Optional Small Group Instruction Trainings, ELA and Math

Lavinia Group will also provide teacher professional development sessions (focused on intellectual preparation and student work analysis) twice weekly throughout the duration of the program, in July and August. These sessions are for sites that are using the Lavinia RISE curriculum and are optional but highly encouraged.

What materials do I need for the Lavinia RISE curriculum? Are they included with the curriculum at no cost?

You can see a required materials list here. The costs of materials should be factored into the budget you submit to Summer Boost NYC. The curriculum and professional development will be covered above and beyond the per-pupil amount you receive as a grant, but the supplies are the responsibility of the grantee.

Can high school students be a part of the program?

Summer Boost NYC is focused on students finishing kindergarten through 8th grade and doesn’t include funding for high school students except for incoming 9th graders. The Lavinia RISE curriculum provides Rising 9th graders with a deep, rigorous program reinforcing standards from 8th grade in preparation for a strong start to high school. High schools may apply to serve incoming 9th graders.

Are students who participate in this program expected to do it five days a week or can schools pick and choose certain days/times? 

The Lavinia RISE curriculum includes five days per week of instruction. Your school could choose to cover the curriculum in fewer days by making those days longer, but we recommend you consider the impact this might have on your students’ focus and interest. All programs must be a minimum of 20 days of instruction.

We like some parts of the Lavinia RISE curriculum. Can we pick and choose which parts we want to add to our program?

No. If choosing to engage in the Lavinia RISE curriculum, it is expected that the whole program will be implemented in accordance with the training and materials provided by Lavinia Group. We believe this adherence is important to retain the quality of the program. You are welcome to supplement the Lavinia RISE curriculum with enrichment and other activities.

Would we be able to supplement outside of Lavinia RISE materials, e.g. Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention? 

Yes! The Lavinia RISE curriculum is meant to provide a high-quality academic component. Any additional support, programming, or resources that a school seeks to add is a decision you are empowered to make. 

What information will need to be reported to Summer Boost NYC to participate in the grant?

At the conclusion of the program, schools will be required to share anonymized student-level demographic information, attendance, and assessment results. Additional details will be provided via the grant agreement to selected schools. You can review the entire application here before filling it out.

If my school is selected, who will be my point of contact?

The funders of this initiative have engaged Building Impact to serve as the program managers and 50CAN, Inc. to serve as the fiscal sponsor of Summer Boost NYC. All grant agreements and reporting will go through 50CAN. In addition to 50CAN, applicants and grantees will be supported by a team of program officers at Building Impact throughout the duration of the grant period.

Are there any attendance requirements for students?

Because attendance is key to success for students, sites will be required to track and report attendance. We ask that sites use their best efforts to engage families and students and encourage consistent attendance. The number of students you serve will influence your total funding amount. We understand that you need to staff and provide materials based on enrollment, and we have factored this into the calculation.

  •  If your average daily attendance is at least 70% of the projected enrollment, you will receive full funding.
  •  If your average daily attendance is between 50% and 69% of the projected enrollment, you will receive 80% of the total grant funding. The second disbursement amount will be the difference between the 80% funding amount and the first disbursement amount.
  • If your average daily attendance is between 26% and 50% of the projected enrollment, you will receive 50% of the total grant funding. You will not receive a second disbursement.

If your average daily attendance is 25% or less of the projected enrollment, you will need to return 25% of the initial funds.

Do program teachers need to be certified?

Teachers providing the ELA and Math academic instruction must be teachers that would be qualified to provide academic instruction at your school during the school year. We know that charter schools have some flexibility related to licensure/certification so do not have a blanket requirement but do require that you use the same bar you would use during the school year to determine whether someone is qualified to teach a specific grade and subject area. The staffing plan for enrichment is up to your discretion and there are no requirements for licensure or certification, as long as you have a strong rationale. We encourage you to consider partnering with other community organizations to provide the enrichment component. Please note that schools are responsible for screening personnel that will be working with students this summer.

More questions? Email us at [email protected]