Learning Pods & Microschools
Old-School New School Movement
Our Passion for educational freedom
WeAreAllAces@gmail.com | kyace.org | (859) 600-1272
The Academic Collaborative for Excellence (ACE / KYACE.org) is an educational initiative dedicated to creating instructional choices for families and educators. We are beginning in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with plans to serve families nationwide.
While parents have raised concerns in recent years regarding standards, expectations, and curricula within public schools, public education is also seeing a drastic reduction in qualified and interested educators willing to apply for increasing vacancies. As such, there are needs on both sides of the educational equation that are not being fulfilled. There is, however, a compromise that can be fully realized, benefiting both educators and families, all of whom are searching for change and flexibility.
Why The Need? In some areas, private educational institutions are an option, although this may be cost-prohibitive. Furthermore, many rural areas do not have an educational alternative to the local school district. Homeschooling is yet another option, but some parents feel uncertain about the prospect of personally guiding a child’s education, and those who are confident in homeschooling may find their children to be less productive in the familiar comforts of home.
What Is The Proposed Solution? KYACE works toward creating learning pods – first, throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky – that offer instruction on a regular basis outside the home while being financially accessible to all families. This opportunity also embraces experiences outside of the regular instructional session to be considered as part of individualized instruction creating educational experiences tailored to the interests, talents, or scholastic necessities of a student or family.
How Will This Work? KYACE is committed to forging a path to bring teachers searching for flexibility together with families searching for more meaningful instruction. As a quick description, one could call this initiative a hybrid of homeschooling with the traditional one-room schoolhouse. This combination allows for greater input by families and classroom educators as opposed to one-way administrative communications, in which neither side feels heard. In some pods, there would be split-level or multi-age group environments, which allow younger students to passively engage with higher-level content. This atmosphere allows the younger students to gain basic content knowledge while increasing their working vocabulary exponentially for more critical thinking regarding the content in years to come.
Curricula The families will work with the teacher/facilitator of the local learning pod – with input from the KYACE director – in order to discern the needs of the students and select a curriculum (or segments of multiple curricula) that best suit these needs of the students and families. These resources may be teacher-created or purchased as part of a program. Under the guidance of the director, teachers, and families will ensure that all necessary core educational and instructional components will be addressed. Along with the basic tenets of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history, and social studies, as outlined in the Kentucky Educational Core Standards, parents have input in the additional topics, subjects, and materials covered (from agriculture, arts, languages to computer coding) instead of relying on the decisions of others. This is an opportunity to tailor instruction for the specific needs of families and communities while allowing individuality for personal student progress and success.
Financial Needs In hopes of keeping this opportunity accessible for families, the suggested minimum price is $450-500 per month per child; however, every pod is different and may choose to incorporate more options or may have greater overhead, which may increase the initial cost. Some locations may need to pay leasing fees, utilities, liability insurance, or other necessary costs. In contrast, others may benefit from community members who feel led to assist in defraying costs by offering space or services in kind. Again, the minimum is a suggestion but can be altered due to the surplus or need for the learning pod.
Get in touch
Our teachers and parents are happy to speak to anyone with questions and will gladly consider opening pods in any community.