Our Charter

 

Pivot Charter School North Valley is a public school that is free for students to attend. As a public charter school, the school receives funds for educating students based upon their enrollment in our school, just like funding for traditional public schools.

BACKGROUND:

Charter schools must be authorized by a government authority with educational responsibilities. In California, that could be a school district, a county board of education or the state board of education. The chartering process involves the school submitting a charter petition to an agency who can authorize the charter. The charter outlines the governance, mission, financials and operational plan of the charter school so as to provide the authorizing agency an understanding of how the school will be successful in educating students. When the authorization is being sought with a school district or county board of education, the elected representatives of that entity (such as a school board) will vote on the authorization for the charter school. The charter authorization must then be renewed every few years.

CHANGES TO THE LAW:

Since 1999, the California Department of Education (CDE) has provided statewide guidance and input on the Education Code section that addresses where an independent study or non-classroom based charter school’s resource center(s) / campuses can be located (if you would like copies of memos from CDE regarding this, please feel free to contact the school). Pivot Charter Schools and over 150 other charter schools have been closely following that advice for many years. Recently, some school districts decided to sue charter schools and other school districts whose independent study charter schools had resource centers outside of their own geographic boundaries. While the CDE’s interpretation held at the lower court level; on appeal, the court ruled that a charter school can only operate a resource center within its authorizing district’s boundaries. For more information on the Shasta v Anderson court ruling that is forcing these changes, see http://www.ccsa.org/2017/05/anderson-usd-v-shasta-secondary-home-school-case-overview.html.

Pivot Charter School North Valley is authorized by Golden Feather Union School District. However, the resource center is located within the boundaries of the Chico Unified School District (CUSD). We will be submitting a new charter school petition to CUSD in the coming months in order to be compliant with the new ruling. To learn more about the District, visit their website at http://www.chicousd.org

THE CHARTERING PROCESS:

For the 2017-2018 school year, we are still operating under our Golden Feather Union Charter. Pivot will soon submit our charter petition and related documents to CUSD. District staff, and usually legal counsel, review the charter petition. Within about thirty days from submission, the CUSD School Board will hold a public hearing in order to determine the local level of interest in the community for the charter school. After that Board meeting, again, within 30 days or so, the Board will vote to support or oppose a charter for Pivot in the Chico Unified School District. If a majority of the School Board votes against the charter, then Pivot can appeal the decision to the Butte County Office of Education (BCOE). To learn more about Butte County Office of Education visit http://www.bcoe.org.

Finally, if the Butte County Office of Education denies the charter application, then the school can appeal to the State Board of Education (http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/).

In a worst case scenario, if the charter is denied at all levels then the school will have to stop operating. We are clearly working very hard to ensure that the Chico resource center has its own charter.

The chartering process can raise lots of questions, and we have assembled this page of information to help answer those questions.

What can I do as a parent or guardian of a student at Pivot Charter school if I have feedback on whether the school should continue operating?

Voices in the community, particularly those of parents and students, are critical to the public hearing process of a charter application process. Even if you or your child is from outside CUSD, it is important that elected leaders and District staff are aware of your sentiments and perspective. The hearing process will allow for parents and students to speak at a public meeting of the CUSD as mentioned above. Speakers will be allowed 3 minutes each to offer comments to the CUSD School Board. You can also submit letters of support to the School Board prior to the hearing. Or, as elected officials, School Board members even take phone calls and emails from constituents. You can also do all of the above. Let your voices be heard!

Why would CUSD approve our charter?

Because we fill a niche in the community that is not currently filled by the traditional schools. Pivot provides educational choice for the students who need it, and we have a good track record with those students. We also have a responsible board of directors who ensures that we operate in a fiscally sound and responsible manner. We have been part of the Chico community since 2010, and we would like to continue to serve the students in that community.

Why would CUSD deny our charter?

Because charter schools are still controversial. There has been some bad press about charter schools lately, and people are scared of what they don’t understand. We are hopeful that CUSD will see the incredible value of our small, supportive learning environment and don’t see us as a threat. If CUSD does not approve our charter, we will appeal to Butte County Office of Education, who has a strong reputation of being open minded, student-centered as well as highly accountable.

Why would BCOE approve our charter?

Because Pivot is a fiscally responsible, well-established, responsibly run charter school. We have been in operation since 2010 and have four resource centers located throughout the state. Our board of directors has widely-varied experience that is pertinent to running an organization in a financially responsible manner (city managers, school superintendents, financial services executives), and our Executive Director has 30+ years of education experience. We serve students who are not served by traditional public schools with great success.

Why would BCOE deny our charter?

If BCOE felt that Pivot was not responsibly run, fiscally sound, or providing a quality education to the students we serve, they could choose to deny our charter.

What exactly is a charter school and how is it different from traditional public schools?

Charter schools are public schools just like your traditional neighborhood school, so they are tuition-free and available to all students. Charter schools offer a choice in education when traditional public school isn’t working. For many kids, the structure of a full classroom with a single teacher is not the best way to learn. Charter schools offer alternatives, whether it be an online curriculum, smaller class size, one-on-one attention and/or an accelerated learning path.

Pivot offers all of those alternatives. Our curriculum is online, which is ideal for students who need to work at their own pace or access classes from different locations. Online lessons enable students who want to accelerate their education or help other students who have fallen behind and need to catch up. In addition, we offer a safe environment at our resource centers, where students can get one-on-one or small group help from our enthusiastic teachers. The onsite flexibility is a great option for kids who don’t feel safe in a traditional public school, either due to bullying or because they just don’t fit in.

Because Pivot is a charter school we are open to all, are tuition-free, and we receive funding for every student who enrolls. As a result, we are committed to providing the best quality education for our students. We hire top-notch, credentialed teachers who care, ensure that our curriculum is thorough and cutting-edge, and provide numerous opportunities for our students. We work hard to educate your children because we are competing for their enrollment. Every child who walks through our door means additional funding for our school, and thus, a better education for every student.

What are our next steps?

We are submitting our charter to CUSD in late August or early September. There will be a 30-day review period following our submittal. After that, the board will meet to discuss the charter. There will then be a public hearing where board members will listen to public comment about Pivot and we have the opportunity to answer any questions about our school.

How can you help? 

Obtaining a charter is a public process and as such, public input is important. We welcome attendance at the public hearings so that you can share your opinions about Pivot Charter School. We will regularly post updates to this page and to our Facebook page to let you know when the public hearing is being held. And you can ask questions about the process at any time. You can contact our Executive Director, Jayna Gaskell at jgaskell@pivotcharter.org with any questions you have.

Updates:

12/8:

A Message from our Executive Director

Dear Pivot North Valley Families,

Victory for our charter petition with the Chico Unified School District has arrived. Wednesday night, the Chico Unified School District (CUSD) voted 3-1 to grant a charter to Pivot. The approval is a major milestone in the advancement of our resource center in Chico.

The large number of parents and students that showed up for the two meetings made a major impact on the Board. It clearly communicated to them that Pivot has passionate parents and students who love their school and the impact it is having on their lives. Our efforts were also benefited by working with a school district who was clearly willing to listen, understand who we are as a school and community and seek a way to be a partner. Not all charter schools are so fortunate, and I am deeply appreciative of the CUSD Staff and Board Members for their interest and involvement in the charter review process.

The process of getting a charter is crazy, confusing, frustrating and exciting. It creates a rollercoaster ride for students, parents, teachers and our board. I am sure you have been through various emotions throughout this process, as I certainly have. Yet, I am so immensely proud of each of you. Your passion to show up in a civic process and express yourself is admirable. Those acts of civic engagement and courage are just awesome to witness and great lessons for our students. Seeing our students engaged and passionate about Pivot feeds the souls of our teachers and staff to help our students to succeed. It is why we do what we do.

If you have any questions about the outcome of our charter efforts for Pivot North Valley, please use the contact information below to reach myself or Susan Raven.

The entire team at Pivot is looking forward to our new partnership with the Chico Unified School District. We have every reason to think this is the start of something even better for our school and the long-term role we can play in the community helping students and families who need something a little different.

Thank you for your involvement, passion and trust.

Jayna Gaskell
Executive Director
Pivot Charter Schools
jgaskell@pivotcharter.org
530.550.7616

 

 

Susan Raven
Site Administrator
Pivot Charter School North Valley
sraven@pivotcharter.org
(530) 321-2301

11/1:

The meeting where the CUSD board will vote on our charter has been moved to Wednesday, December 6th at 6:00 pm. It will be held in the multi-purpose room of Marsh Jr. High School, located at 2253 Humboldt Road in Chico. It is very, very important that we have families in attendance to show continued support for Pivot! We expect the board to ask some follow-up questions about our program, and it leaves a positive impression for the board to see our families in attendance. Please come out and help support our school!

10/24:

The meeting where the CUSD board will vote on our charter is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15th at 6:00 pm. It will be held in the multi-purpose room of Marsh Jr. High School, located at 2253 Humboldt Road in Chico. It is very, very important that we have families in attendance to show continued support for Pivot! We expect the board to ask some follow-up questions about our program, and it leaves a positive impression for the board to see our families in attendance. Please come out and help support our school!

10/20:

A Message from our Executive Director:

Dear Pivot Charter School North Valley Families,
What a fantastic night last Wednesday! Thank you so much to all the students, parents, sisters, brothers, guardians, grandparents, cousins, neighbors and friends who came to support the future of Pivot Charter School North Valley at the Chico Unified School District public hearing. The Board members were clearly impressed with how many people came and the sincerity and professionalism with which everyone spoke. The cabinet members shared with me that the students in the audience were very patient and well-behaved. We represented Pivot very well. Special thanks to ECs Susan Raven and Tom Lando, parents Melanie Nolan, Robin Rowe and LaVon Hernandez, and students Thomas Draper, Kiana Mason, Faith Fodor, Reid Bachman, Aspen Guy and Zev Parsons for sharing your warmth and passion with Board members, and to everyone who wanted to speak but wasn’t able to due to the District’s time constraints. Thank you also to board members OJ Sutherland and Ralph Holmes for your attendance and support – your presence there spoke volumes to CUSD.
The meeting where they will vote on our charter will be in the same location at 2253 Humboldt Road in Chico at 6:00 pm November 15th. There may or may not be time to speak at that meeting but it is VERY important that the Board see the number of people who support our school and who will be affected by their decision to approve or not approve the charter. I hope to see you all there. In the meantime, keep learning, keep smiling, and take care of one another. Thank you for your commitment and caring. See you on November 15th.

9/27:

Pivot Charter School North Valley  has asked the Chico Unified School District (CUSD) to authorize our charter. The CUSD board members will be reviewing the charter and opening the floor for public comment at their next board meeting on October 18th at 6 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for a civics lesson – the students can learn about the public hearing process and see a local governing board in action!

It is VERY VERY important to the future of our school that we have as many parents/guardians, grandparents, sisters, brothers, students and friends of Pivot North Valley attend this public hearing and show their support.

Upon arrival at the meeting, there will be blue cards available to anyone who wishes to speak on behalf of Pivot. If you fill out a blue card, you will be allowed three minutes during public comment to voice your support for our school. Even if public speaking isn’t your thing, please consider saying something positive about Pivot. This is a great chance to tell CUSD how awesome our school is and the amazing things we are doing for our families!

The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm in the multi-purpose room of Marsh Jr. High School, located at 2253 Humboldt Road in Chico.

  • Meeting Time:  If you would prefer to travel as a group, we will meet at 5:00 PM at Pivot North Valley Resource Center located at 1350 E. 9th Street, Suite 150 in Chico.  We will have vans/personal cars to take anyone who needs a ride to the meeting. Field trip permission forms will be distributed and will need to be returned for students traveling without their parents. Alternatively, you may meet us at the Board meeting at 5:45 pm. Please be prompt. We will leave the school site at 5:30 pm to head to the meeting. If you plan to meet at the resource center, please RSVP to Amy Fox, our Site Coordinator at: AFox@pivotcharter.org or call 1-530-636-4479.
  • T-Shirts:  To show our support, we will hand out Pivot T-shirts to wear to the meeting so the Board sees who we are. If you already have a Pivot T-shirt, please wear it. If you need one and are planning to meet us at CUSD, please come to the resource center to get your T-shirt in advance. If you are meeting at the resource center before the meeting, we will be handing out T-shirts there.
  • Pizza:  We will also serve pizza at the school at 4:30. Please RSVP so that we have an accurate count for ordering food.
  • Community Service:  Since this is so important to our Pivot community, we will also offer students 4 hours toward their community service requirements if they are in high school.

Please bring any and everyone you know that supports Pivot! Thank you!!!

 

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