Pivot Charter School Achieves Increase in Student Learning Despite COVID-19 Challenges

As schools across the country continue to grapple with COVID-19-related concerns over potential loss of learning, Pivot Charter School, a non-classroom based charter school, is proud to announce that its 2020-2021 data shows an overall increase in learning among Pivot students. This is an amazing feat given that many students enroll at Pivot to turn around (or “pivot”) their current educational environment, attitudes, and success. 

Pivot’s flexible learning opportunities and individualized curriculum allows many students to enroll at Pivot with credit deficiencies and discover a different learning environment. As many Pivot students did not find success in a traditional classroom setting, their academic feats and accomplishments through a particularly difficult year are significant and showcase Pivot’s dedication to growth.

In fall 2020, Pivot Charter Schools’ students were supported to transition completely  online while receiving social and emotional support so they could focus on their learning. They worked in online courses independently and attended online workshops and office hours, where they received support from credentialed teachers. In addition, students were assessed and participated in a completely individualized plan of remediation to fill in any gaps in their foundational skills. Comparing the fall semester of 2019 (prior to the pandemic) to the fall semester of 2020 (during the pandemic), Pivot high school students earned 1.2 credits more on average, while middle school students completed 0.86 more classes on average. While the year is not over yet, Pivot expects an even larger increase for the spring semester. 

“It is truly amazing that our students are accomplishing such success during this school year, which has been challenging in so many ways. I’m incredibly proud of the students and the entire Pivot family for stepping up and being more committed than ever to high student performance without lowering our expectations or requirements.,” said Jayna Gaskell, Pivot Charter School Executive Director. “I knew at the outset of this pandemic that our school was uniquely positioned to succeed in a distance-learning environment, and now we have the academic achievement data to show it.” 

Pivot is an independent study program, which is classified by the California Department of Education as a non-classroom based charter school. This language is misleading – as it sounds as though students do not spend instructional time at a school site. Like many “non-classroom based” charter schools, Pivot provides significant onsite time to support students in their independent study. Typically, this support is provided in-person on a daily basis. During the pandemic, Pivot was ready and able to provide that same level of support virtually. The school knew that much can be accomplished virtually, if done properly, in an environment of accountability, support, daily and weekly meetings, and a focus on individual students.

“At Pivot Charter School, we are experts in online and hybrid learning. Our teachers know how to make the best use of technology while providing individualized support to each student and making sure no one slips through the cracks. We did this before the pandemic, continued during the pandemic, and will continue to do so after the pandemic,” Gaskell said.

Pivot Charter School, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), offers education to students in grades TK-12. Through Pivot’s unique educational and enrichment program, students have the opportunity to participate in AP and college courses, Career and Technical Education, remediation, interest-focused electives as well as opportunities for social interaction through clubs, events and field trips. Pivot individualizes education so students can struggle less and learn more.

Pivot Charter School has been providing a highly successful blended learning program for 11 years. With resource center sites serving San Diego, Riverside, Butte and Sonoma counties, as well as their contiguous counties, Pivot provides an online curriculum coupled with customized support from credentialed teachers and campus-based resources. 

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