As the pandemic stretched into the fall of 2020, Pivot Charter Schools realized the need to close its Resource Centers and start the school year completely virtual. Pivot expanded its schoolwide online workshop schedule with fun and educational workshops to give students the opportunity to get assistance or learn something new from teachers at any of the four Pivot schools. 

While Pivot’s online curriculum was able to continue uninterrupted, the Resource Center closures required Pivot to come up with new ways for students to engage one-on-one with their Educational Coordinators and with their peers. Educational Coordinators taught a number of interesting and helpful workshops to each age group.

Some of the workshops that were a big hit for elementary students were Meditation, Outstanding Origami, Everything Coins, Poetry, Wiggle Time and Amazing Animals. Middle and high school students were able to seek specific help with assignments, drop into teachers’ office hours for individual learning.

Tim Mehew, North Bay Educational Coordinator, taught a writing workshop and a beginner’s guitar class to interested students last semester. “My goal was to just make it fun and not overwhelm students, as people often feel when they’re learning guitar,” Tim said. 

Because of Pivot’s long history of virtual teaching, Tim was able to strategically plan his workshops and set up his cameras and microphones so students could focus on learning and not any logistical or technical issues. 

“Pivot is uniquely designed for virtual learning. We’ve been able to accommodate students in a way that other schools haven’t been able to this year,” Tim said. “Hearing directly from a teacher has a huge impact on students, so these virtual workshops and office hours are filling gaps where students need extra support.”

While Pivot has offered virtual workshops before, last semester was the first big rollout of a completely virtual workshop schedule of this caliber. This semester, Pivot hopes to get even more students involved in choosing topics and participating in workshops.

“With Pivot’s resources and amazing educational coordinators, there’s really no cap on what we can do,” Tim said.