A school slump is a term used to describe declining participation and membership levels in the late summer and early fall, as well as its effects.
As the school year resumes, simmers who are in school face constraints on their time. Their interests may also shift. Simmers who are teachers or who have school age children may also face their own set of pressures. This can cause such simmers to decrease or end their involvement with simming.
A school slump does not effect every sim. If a sim does experience a school slump, its impact can range from mild to severe. It's prevalence depends on the number of individuals among the crew or club whose real life will be impacted by the resumption of school, as well as the constraints its places on their time and focus.
Education takes precedent over simming. Simmers, hosts, and club leaders must focus to ensure simming does not district from an individual's education, and if possible also find a balance that allows the person to remain as an active simmer.
Prior to the resumption of the school year, hosts and club leaders should gauge who may face time constraints as the school year begins and plan accordingly. Work or writing loads can be shifted in advance. Missions can be designed to shift into a lower gear as the school year begins. Likewise, missions can be designed to not have to be contingent on individuals who may face time constraints.
Individuals who find their time constrained due to school should be encouraged to reduce their simming duties or given less demanding roles within the story. Allowing individuals to transfer to a sim that meets at a time more convenient to them (for a chat sim) or with less demanding posting requirements (for a message board or e-mail sim) can help the individual; it also helps the club by keeping the simmer. Granting leaves of absences is another solution.
Undertaking recruiting efforts to replace individuals busy with school (or to boost up numbers prior to the start of school) is another approach. Sims and clubs may also response to a school slump by taking stock of who remains active and engage in some 'fall cleaning' by removing inactive players from their rolls, or merging or closing under-performing sims.