Pivot Charter Schools has made significant investments in student learning this summer in preparation for the new school year! As part of that investment, Pivot upgraded to a new online curriculum provider for elective and Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. Starting this year, Pivot students will use eDynamic Learning to access the most up-to-date and engaging online elective and CTE courses.

As the name suggests, eDynamic is an active force in students’ learning online – maintaining a current and frequently updated suite of courses with well-written curricula that perfectly fit the online, independent study and individualized education model we love at Pivot. Thanks to eDynamic, Pivot’s CTE certified teachers will also have access to the latest training.

“We’re really excited about eDynamic Learning because the classes are of such high quality,” said Lindsey Vining, Pivot’s Director of Systems and Accountability. “Because eDynamic is accessible online, students will have the flexibility to access this well-developed and engaging curriculum from anywhere.”

eDynamic Learning will be a highly interactive learning experience for students, according to Pivot CTE Program Coordinator Theresa House, who this summer has been building pathways for students using the platform’s vast catalog of CTE courses.

House also announced the return of the hands-on, career experience pathways in plant and soil science and business management, which were piloted last year at Pivot North Bay and Pivot San Diego respectively. In the new year, students who took the first course in a pathway will have the opportunity to take the second course in that pathway.

Plant and soil science students will dive deeper into the science behind plants and soil, studying soil structures and cell biology. They’ll also explore more careers and hear from new guest speakers in that profession. The second course will be taught in-person at Pivot North Bay’s Resource Center during the second quarter of the fall semester by Anna Toso, who also taught the introductory course last year. The introductory class will be available to a new cohort of students in the spring semester.

Students in Gail Gonzalez Coloyan’s business design and management course will also embark on their second step, which will include achieving proficiency in office automation software, namely Microsoft Office. The course, which is taught synchronously in a virtual format, will give students the opportunity to receive industry certifications in Microsoft Office, an essential suite of tools for any student and professional. To help students earn these certifications, Pivot invested in 10 new computers – five of which will be located at Pivot San Diego and the other five at Pivot Riverside.

Pivot is also committed to continuing Pivot North Valley’s animal husbandry course. House is currently searching for a teacher with the proper CTE credentials to teach this course.

The new year also brings with it significant investments in Pivot’s English Language Development (ELD) program. This summer, Pivot hired Shayna Calkins as its first educational coordinator dedicated to teaching ELD students. With Calkins on board, Pivot will be able for the first time to provide designated ELD instruction, which differs from the integrated ELD instruction provided during standard courses by educational coordinators teaching standard subjects.

Instead, Calkins will deliver English language support separate from standard courses, dedicating instructional time to understanding how to process the English language through structured conversations and activities that address the four core domains of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

“In the past Pivot had very few English learner students, but now we’re noticing that’s increasing,” said House. “We really want to meet their needs and we’re really excited to be able to start this in the fall.”

Aiding Calkins will be a new English language curriculum called iLit, which will be delivered online through synchronous sessions. Pivot acquired the new curriculum to not only provide ELD students with the designated instruction, but to also monitor their progress as they prepare for state exams assessing ELD students’ language acquisition.

The new curriculum harmoniously combines California State English Language Arts standards and ELD programming in an independent study setting to ensure Pivot middle school and high schools students progress toward reclassification, no longer requiring ELD instruction.

With all the new opportunities available to students, families may have questions. If you’d like to learn more about the eDynamic Learning elective and CTE courses that will be available to students in the new school year, contact Theresa House at thouse@pivotcharter.org. Reach Anna Toso at atoso@pivotcharter.org to learn more about Pivot North Bay’s plant and soil science course, and learn more about Pivot San Diego’s business design and management course by contacting Gail Gonzalez Coloyan at gcoloyan@pivotcharter.org. Shayna Calkins is available at scaulkin@pivotcharter.org to answer questions about Pivot’s designated ELD instruction.