Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Keren Meister-Emerich


The math achievement of students is low in a small rural district in Colorado. The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of a summer third through fifth grade math program in improving math scores. Piaget's theory of cognitive development was used as the theoretical foundation for the math instructional resource delivered to the struggling students in the program. A quasi-experimental design was used to address whether the math scores improved for the participating students (n = 145) and whether the participating students experienced a smaller summer loss in academic achievement than the students who did not participate (n = 457). Ex post facto data included pre- and post- math assessments. The math instruction and assessments were administered to third through fifth grade students as part of the school district's academic program during the 2012, 2013, and 2014 summer schools. A dependent samples t test was used to analyze the data to determine if the students' achievement scores improved for those attending summer school. The results did not indicate any significant improvement. An ANOVA was then used to determine if the summer math program decreased summer loss of learning in participating students. Participating students experienced significantly less summer loss than did non-participating students. Therefore, recommendations for the summer math program include more instructional time and moving the program closer to the beginning of the school year to avoid any summer loss. This study will have a positive social impact as it influences decisions made by the school district to improve the summer math program and produce students who are better prepared for postsecondary school options.