After nearly two years of virtual learning or attending school during a pandemic, it is clear that schools and students are struggling to maintain the same level of learning compared to before the pandemic. While many institutions are grappling with the overall significance of the pandemic on student achievement, Pivot Charter Schools continues to teach and graduate a high percentage of students from underserved and underprivileged backgrounds.

An analysis by McKinsey & Company found that K-12 students left the 2020-21 school year five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading, on average. However, students from historically disadvantaged groups fared worse during lockdowns and were six to seven months behind in those same subjects. 

Pivot — across all four of its sites throughout California — serves a higher number of students facing barriers to learning in comparison to local school districts and counties. Our Santa Rosa and San Diego campuses teach students who are homeless, in foster care, or experiencing economic hardship at a higher rate than local schools. In addition to having higher rates of these same student groups, the Chico and Riverside campuses also serve higher numbers of students in special education than local schools.

“Because of Pivot’s decade of experience teaching any and all students who come to us, we realize that every student needs distinguished support,” said Pivot Executive Director Jayna Gaskell. “Our incredible staff and Educational Coordinators really care for our students and apply their knowledge and skills to help each student meet their goals, regardless of their home life or personal struggles.”

Not only is Pivot uniquely positioned to serve students from any background because of its individual-focused teaching style, but Pivot’s empathetic environment has supported more students to graduate early. For the 2021-2022 school year, Pivot has already congratulated 41 mid-year graduates, six more than the previous school year.

On top of Pivot’s personalized attention, Pivot has also taken the necessary initiatives to increase access to resources and ensure all of our students’ needs are met, so they can truly focus on their education. The schools have increased student access to laptops and WiFi hotspots to ensure all families have access to a computer and the Internet to complete their schoolwork each day. While Pivot’s hybrid curriculum has always accommodated completely virtual students, Pivot also increased its virtual support through workshops and online office hours with credentialed teachers. 

The school has dedicated teachers that support students who face increased barriers to learning, such as youth in the foster system or who are experiencing homelessness, who can connect students and their families with local resources. 

“Pivot knows that some students and their families may need extra support accessing resources,” Gaskell said. “Regardless of the students’ home life or where they come from, we are focused and committed to ensuring they can still achieve their educational and career goals, no matter what it takes.”

Finally, Pivot’s counseling team has grown substantially this year and is offering a significant number of workshops, group counseling opportunities and one-on-one support. Our new Academic Counselor also provides families and students with resources related to concurrent enrollment in local community colleges and junior colleges as well as helps students with avenues for after high school. 

Learn more about Pivot’s efforts to help students who may face disadvantages find success both in their education and after they leave school here.