On this episode, Tuthill catches up with the founder and CEO of Arizona-based Prenda, an organization on the front lines of the micro-school tsunami that has soared during the global pandemic.
Smith describes how these home-learning environments, catering to fewer than a dozen similarly aged students, are gaining traction among families looking for creative education options. Amidst rampant uncertainty and accelerated changes to public education, micro-schools and other smaller “pod” education formations are sweeping the country – and blending mastery-based education with peer collaboration.
Smith discusses Prenda’s expansion into Colorado and his team’s experiences in working with partners to bring micro-schools to as many communities as possible, noting he’s inspired by those in district schools who see the importance of adding micro-schools to their portfolio of options. He believes there are passionate visionaries and leaders working inside traditional systems, stepping up and taking risks against the wishes of institutional pushback.
“The genie is out of the bottle (on micro-schools) … Families are reporting their child is engaged, and the format really works … A safe comfortable environment right in the neighborhood can be empowering and kids can come out of their shell.”
· Prenda’s most recent year and lessons learned during the pandemic
· Assuaging parents’ fears about shifting from factory-model education and toward intrinsic, organic learning
· The regulatory environment in particular states and Prenda’s plan for expansion
· How school districts have stepped up to encourage micro-schools
· The challenges that lie ahead
To listen to Tuthill’s earlier podcast with Smith, click HERE.