Our Charter

 

Pivot Charter School Riverside is a public school that is free for students to attend. As a public charter school, the school receives funds for educating students based upon their enrollment in our school, just like funding for traditional public schools.

BACKGROUND:

Charter schools must be authorized by a government authority with educational responsibilities. In California, that could be a school district, a county board of education or the state board of education. The chartering process involves the school submitting a charter petition to an agency who can authorize the charter. The charter outlines the governance, mission, financials and operational plan of the charter school so as to provide the authorizing agency an understanding of how the school will be successful in educating students. When the authorization is being sought with a school district or county board of education, the elected representatives of that entity (such as a school board) will vote on the authorization for the charter school. The charter authorization must then be renewed every few years.

CHANGES TO THE LAW:

Since 1999, the California Department of Education (CDE) has provided statewide guidance and input on the Education Code section that addresses where an independent study or non-classroom based charter school’s resource center(s) / campuses can be located (if you would like copies of memos from CDE regarding this, please feel free to contact the school). Pivot Charter Schools and over 150 other charter schools have been closely following that advice for many years. Recently, some school districts decided to sue charter schools and other school districts whose independent study charter schools had resource centers outside of their own geographic boundaries. While the CDE’s interpretation held at the lower court level; on appeal, the court ruled that a charter school can only operate a resource center within its authorizing district’s boundaries. For more information on the Shasta v Anderson court ruling that is forcing these changes, see http://www.ccsa.org/2017/05/anderson-usd-v-shasta-secondary-home-school-case-overview.html.

Pivot Charter School Riverside used to be authorized by Nuview Union School District. However, the resource center is located within the boundaries of Corona-Norco Unified School District. We will be submitting a new charter school petition to Corona-Norco Unified in the coming months in order to be compliant with the new ruling. To learn more about the District, visit their website at http://www.cnusd.k12.ca.us/

 

THE CHARTERING PROCESS:

For the 2017-2018 school year, students formerly enrolled in Pivot Riverside are able to enroll in the charter for our San Diego resource center. However, it is our ultimate goal to separately charter the Corona resource center on its own once again. Pivot will soon submit our charter petition and related documents to the CNUSD. District staff, and usually legal counsel, review the charter petition. Within about thirty days from submission, the CNUSD School Board will hold a public hearing in order to determine the local level of interest in the community for the charter school. After that Board meeting, again, within 30 days or so, the Board will vote to support or oppose a charter for Pivot in the Corona Norco School District. If a majority of the School Board votes against the charter, then Pivot can appeal the decision to the Riverside County Board of Education. To learn more about Riverside County Board of Education visit http://www.rcoe.us/riverside-county-board-of-education/.

Finally, if the Riverside County Board of Education denies the charter application, then the school can appeal to the State Board of Education (http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/).

In a worst case scenario, if the charter is denied at all levels then the school will have to stop operating or consider remaining with Pivot San Diego. We are clearly working very hard to ensure that the Corona resource center has its own charter.

 

The chartering process can raise lots of questions, and we have assembled this page of information to help answer those questions.

What can I do as a parent or guardian of a student at Pivot Charter school if I have feedback on whether the school should continue operating?

Voices in the community, particularly those of parents and students, are critical to the public hearing process of a charter application process. Even if you or your child is from outside  CNUSD, it is important that elected leaders and District staff are aware of your sentiments and perspective. The hearing process will allow for parents and students to speak at a public meeting of the CNUSD as mentioned above. Speakers will be allowed 3 minutes each to offer comments to the CNUSD School Board. You can also submit letters of support to the School Board prior to the hearing. Or, as elected officials, school Board members even take phone calls and emails from constituents. You can also do all of the above. Let your voices be heard!

Why would CNUSD approve our charter?

Because we fill a niche in the community that is not currently filled by the traditional schools. Pivot provides educational choice for the students who need it, and we have a good track record with those students. We also have a responsible board of directors who ensures that we operate in a fiscally sound and responsible manner. We have been part of the Corona/Norco community since 2010, and we would like to continue to serve the students in that community.

Why would CNUSD deny our charter?

Because charter schools are still controversial. There has been some bad press about charter schools lately, and people are scared of what they don’t understand. CNUSD has a history of denying charter schools who have petitioned the district but we are hopeful that they see the incredible value of our small, supportive learning environment and don’t see us as a threat. If CNUSD does not approve our charter, we will once again appeal to Riverside County Office of Education who has a strong reputation of being open minded, student-centered as well as highly accountable.

Why would RCOE approve our charter?

Because Pivot is a fiscally responsible, well-established, responsibly run charter school. We have been in operation since 2010 and have four resource centers located throughout the state. Our board of directors has widely-varied experience that is pertinent to running an organization in a financially responsible manner (city managers, school superintendents, financial services executives), and our Executive Director has 30+ years of education experience. We serve students who are not served by traditional public schools with great success.

Why would RCOE deny our charter?

If RCOE felt that Pivot was not responsibly run, fiscally sound, or providing a quality education to the students we serve, they could choose to deny our charter.

What exactly is a charter school and how is it different from traditional public schools?

Charter schools are public schools just like your traditional neighborhood school, so they are tuition-free and available to all students. Charter schools offer a choice in education when traditional public school isn’t working. For many kids, the structure of a full classroom with a single teacher is not the best way to learn. Charter schools offer alternatives, whether it be an online curriculum, smaller class size, one-on-one attention and/or an accelerated learning path.

Pivot offers all of those alternatives. Our curriculum is online, which is ideal for students who need to work at their own pace or access classes from different locations. Online lessons enable students who want to accelerate their education or help other students who have fallen behind and need to catch up. In addition, we offer a safe environment at our resource centers, where students can get one-on-one or small group help from our enthusiastic teachers. The onsite flexibility is a great option for kids who don’t feel safe in a traditional public school, either due to bullying or because they just don’t fit in.

Because Pivot is a charter school we are open to all, are tuition-free, and we receive funding for every student who enrolls. As a result, we are committed to providing the best quality education for our students. We hire top-notch, credentialed teachers who care, ensure that our curriculum is thorough and cutting-edge, and provide numerous opportunities for our students. We work hard to educate your children because we are competing for their enrollment. Every child who walks through our door means additional funding for our school, and thus, a better education for every student.

What are our next steps?

We are submitting our charter to CNUSD in late August or early September. There will be a 30- day review period following our submittal. After that, the board will meet to discuss the charter. There will then be a public hearing where board members will listen to public comment about Pivot and we have the opportunity to answer any questions about our school.

 

 

How can you help? 

Obtaining a charter is a public process and as such, public input is important. We welcome attendance at the public hearings so that you can share your opinions about Pivot Charter School. We will regularly post updates to this page and to our Facebook page to let you know when the public hearing is being held. And you can ask questions about the process at any time. You can contact our Executive Director, Jayna Gaskell at jgaskell@pivotcharter.org with any questions you have.

 

UPDATES:

3/15/18:

Dear Pivot Riverside Families,

Victory for our charter renewal efforts has arrived. Last night the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) voted to grant a charter to Pivot. The approval is a major milestone in the advancement of our resource center in Corona.

The supportive parents and students who showed up for the RCOE meetings made a major impact on the Board. It clearly communicated to them that Pivot has passionate parents and students who love the school and the effect it is having on their lives. Our efforts were also benefited by working with a board who was clearly willing to listen, understand who we are as a school and community and seek a way to partner with us. Not all charter schools are so fortunate, and I am deeply appreciative of the RCOE Staff and Board Members for their interest and involvement in the charter review process.

The process of getting a charter is crazy, confusing, frustrating and exciting. It can feel like a roller coaster ride for all of us. I am sure you have been through various emotions throughout this process, as I certainly have. Yet, I am immensely proud of each of you. Your passion to engage in a civic process and express yourself is admirable. Those acts of civic engagement and courage are just awesome to witness, and serve as a great lesson for our students. Seeing our students engaged and passionate about Pivot feeds the souls of our teachers and staff to continue to help our students to succeed. It is why we do what we do.

If you have any questions about the outcome of our charter efforts for Pivot Riverside, please use the contact information below to reach myself or Craig Hobart.

The entire team at Pivot is looking forward to our new partnership with Riverside County of Education. We have every reason to think this is the start of something even bigger for our school and the long-term role we can play in the community helping students and families who need something a little different.

Thank you for your involvement, passion and trust.

 

Sincerely,

Jayna Gaskell

 

2/16/18:

A Message from the Executive Director:

Dear Pivot Riverside Families,

On Wednesday night, Pivot Charter School, Riverside presented our charter appeal to the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE). A heartfelt thank you to all the families who attended, and to our parents and students who spoke on the school’s behalf. The board seemed genuinely impressed by all of you. One board member went so far as to announce, toward the end of the meeting, “Jayna, your students rock!”. And I couldn’t agree more!

As you may remember, we submitted this charter to Corona-Norco Unified last fall, and were denied approval in November of 2017. This next step with RCOE begins our appeal process. We now have 30 days for the RCOE board to review, discuss, and ask questions about our petition. On March 14, at their next board meeting, RCOE will vote on whether to approve our charter.

I know we have asked a lot of you throughout this process. Your support and meeting attendance has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. We are hoping to ask, yet again, for you to come out and support Pivot at that vote on March 14th. The meeting will be held in the same place as Wednesday’s meeting, at 3939 13th Street in Riverside, at 5 pm. Please consider joining us and showing the board how much Pivot means to you and your families.

If you have any questions about our charter process, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can email me or call me anytime. Thank you again for your support and dedication to Pivot.

Onward we go,

 

Jayna Gaskell

Executive Director

Pivot Charter Schools

jgaskell@pivotcharter.org

530-550-7616

 

1/24/18:

A Message from the Executive Director:

Dear Pivot Riverside Families,

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season with family and friends. As we head into 2018, I wanted to give you an update on our charter efforts.

After the denial of our charter by CNUSD, Pivot Charter School Riverside has appealed to the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) for authorization of our charter. The RCOE board members will be reviewing the charter and opening the floor for public comment at their next board meeting on February 14th at 5pm. We are hoping to celebrate Valentine’s Day there with all of you.

So, for the love of education, let’s all come together to support Pivot! It is VERY, VERY important to the future of our school that we have as many parents/guardians, grandparents, sisters, brothers, students and friends of Pivot Riverside attend this public hearing and show their support. This is an opportunity for your voices to be heard and to show the RCOE board members the support Pivot has in our community.

The meeting will be held at 5:00 pm in the Board Room of the RCOE office at 3939 Thirteenth Street in the City of Riverside

  • Meeting Time:  If you would prefer to travel as a group, we will meet at 3:30 PM at the Pivot Riverside Resource Center located at 4300 Green River Road, Corona for pizza and then carpool over to the RCOE meeting at 4:00. We will have vans/personal cars to take anyone who needs a ride to the meeting. Field trip permission forms will be distributed and will need to be returned for students traveling without their parents. Alternatively, you may meet us at the Board meeting at 5:00 pm. Please be prompt. We will leave the school site at 4:00 pm to head to the meeting. If you plan to meet at the resource center, please RSVP to Bill Calleja, our Site Coordinator at: BCalleja@pivotcharter.org, or call 1-951-280-0229.
  • T-Shirts:  To show our support, we will hand out Pivot T-shirts to wear to the meeting so the Board sees who we are. If you already have a Pivot T-shirt, please wear it. If you need one and are planning to meet us at RCOE, please come to the resource center to get your T-shirt in advance. If you are meeting at the resource center before the meeting, we will be handing out T-shirts there.
  • Pizza:  We will also serve pizza at the school at 3:30. Please RSVP so that we have an accurate count for ordering food.
  • Community Service:  Since this is so important to our Pivot community, we will also offer students 4 hours toward their community service requirements if they are in high school.

So, have a heart, and please bring any and everyone you know that supports Pivot! Thank you!!!

Onward We Go,

 

Jayna Gaskell

Executive Director

Pivot Charter Schools

530.550.7616

jgaskell@pivotcharter.org

 

11/15:

A Message From the Executive Director:

Dear Pivot Riverside Families,

Last night the Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) voted against granting a new charter to Pivot Riverside. While this is not a great outcome, it is important to note that it is not the end of the road for our efforts to get a new charter for next school year. Let me explain.

First, nothing about this vote impacts our current school year. We have a valid charter that we are operating under now that will allow us to continue through this academic year. There are no changes or impact to the current school year for our students and families.

Second, the CNUSD’s vote denied our charter application to the local school district. Their process was flawed and reasons for denial were wrong. The next step in our process is to appeal to the Riverside County Office of Education. Based on my prior professional experience and recent history of charter reviews by the Riverside Board of Education, we have reasons to be more hopeful about the outcome of that effort. CNUSD has never approved a charter, whereas the County has a history of actually approving charters.

Third, while CNUSD was voting against charter schools (they voted to deny both Pivot and Excelsior in the same vote), the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) was voting to grant a charter to our San Marcos location on the same night! This is a great win for our school and a start of a new partnership with SMUSD. However, it also provides a pathway that will allow us to continue operating our Riverside resource center regardless of the outcome of our charter appeal process in Riverside. That said, we would much prefer to be authorized via Riverside for our Riverside resource center.

Our timeline to appeal the CNUSD decision will commence immediately. We will have two meetings to present and speak to make the case for Pivot Charter School Riverside. The dates I would ask that you circle on your calendar now are January 10th and February 14th. Yes, Pivot will be calling upon our families to again fight for your right to an education of your choice. But as my family taught me, the best things in life are worth fighting for.

The process of getting a charter is crazy, confusing, frustrating and exciting. It creates a rollercoaster ride for students, parents, teachers and our board. I am sure you have been through various emotions throughout this process, I certainly have. Yet, I am so immensely proud of each of you. Your passion to show up in a civic process and express yourself is admirable. Those acts of civic engagement and courage are just awesome to witness and great lessons for our students. Seeing our students engaged and passionate about Pivot feeds the souls of our teachers and staff to help our students to succeed. It is why we do what we do.

You can play an active role in this effort. Please make plans to come to the two meetings we have noted above.

Our charter renewal process may have you wondering or wanting to talk about the situation or ask questions. I am personally available to answer any of your questions, as is our Regional Director Craig Hobart and our Chief Business Officer Liz Jones. All of our contact information is below, and we welcome questions.

Finally, know that the Board of Pivot Charter School Riverside is fully dedicated to this fight. They believe in the mission of Pivot and its method of delivering for our students. They are 100% behind our families and fully supportive of our efforts.

 

Onward We Go,

 

Jayna Gaskell

Executive Director

530.550.7616

jgaskell@pivotcharter.org

 

Craig Hobart

Regional Director

760.566.6805

chobart@pivotcharter.org

 

Liz Jones

Chief Business Officer

530-433-9141

ejones@pivotcharter.org

 

 

 

10/24:

The meeting where the CNUSD board will vote on our charter is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00 pm. It will be held in the Board/Council chambers of the Corona-Norco Unified School District main office located at 2820 Clark Ave. in the city of Norco. It is very, very important that we have families in attendance to show continued support for Pivot! We expect the board to ask some follow-up questions about our program, and it leaves a positive impression for the board to see our families in attendance. Please come out and help support our school!

10/3:

A Message from our Executive Director:

Dear Pivot Charter School Riverside Families,

What a fantastic night! Thank you so much to all the students, parents, sisters, brothers, guardians, grandparents, cousins, neighbors and friends who came to support the future of Pivot Charter School Riverside at the Corona Norco School District public hearing. Cabinet members told me they were so impressed with how many people came and the sincerity and professionalism with which everyone spoke. They also said the students in the audience were very patient and well behaved. Special thanks to ECs, Robert Brier, Brandon Gragnano, Board member Steve Siegel, Melissa Corriveau, Chevy Corriveau, Rachel Loyd (and Justin) for sharing your warmth and passion with Board members and to everyone who lined up to speak but were not able to due to the District’s time constraints.
The meeting where they will vote on our charter will be in the same location at 2820 Clark Avenue in Norco at 7 pm November 14th. There may or may not be time to speak at that meeting but it is VERY important that the Board see the number of people who they will be affecting with their decision to approve or not approve the charter. I hope to see you all there. In the meantime, keep learning, keep smiling, and take care of one another. Thank you for your commitment and caring. See you on November 14th.

9/27: Pivot Charter School Riverside has asked the Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) to authorize our charter. The CNUSD board members will be reviewing the charter and opening the floor for public comment at their next board meeting on October 3rd at 7 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for a civics lesson – the students can learn about the public hearing process and see a local governing board in action!

It is VERY, VERY important to the future of our school that we have as many parents/guardians, grandparents, sisters, brothers, students and friends of Pivot Riverside attend this public hearing and show their support.

Upon arrival at the meeting, there will be blue cards available to anyone who wishes to speak on behalf of Pivot. If you fill out a blue card, you will be allowed three minutes during public comment to voice your support for our school. Even if public speaking isn’t your thing, please consider saying something positive about Pivot. This is a great chance to tell CNUSD how awesome our school is and the amazing things we are doing for our families!

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm in the Board/Council chambers of the Corona-Norco Unified School District main office located at 2820 Clark Ave. in the city of Norco.

  • Meeting Time:  If you would prefer to travel as a group, we will meet at 5:30 PM at Pivot Riverside Resource Center located at 4300 Green River Road, Corona.  We will have vans/personal cars to take anyone who needs a ride to the meeting. Field trip permission forms will be distributed and will need to be returned for students traveling without their parents. Alternatively, you may meet us at the Board meeting at 6:45 pm. Please be prompt. We will leave the school site at 6 pm to head to the meeting. If you plan to meet at the resource center, please RSVP to Bill Calleja, our Site Coordinator at: BCalleja@pivotcharter.org or call 1-951-280-0229
  • T-Shirts:  To show our support, we will hand out Pivot T-shirts to wear to the meeting so the Board sees who we are. If you already have a Pivot T-shirt, please wear it. If you need one and are planning to meet us at CNUSD, please come to the resource center to get your T-shirt in advance. If you are meeting at the resource center before the meeting, we will be handing out T-shirts there.
  • Pizza:  We will also serve pizza at the school at 5:30. Please RSVP so that we have an accurate count for ordering food.
  • Community Service:  Since this is so important to our Pivot community, we will also offer students 4 hours toward their community service requirements if they are in high school.

Please bring any and everyone you know that supports Pivot! Thank you!!!


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