Guiding a microschool at Prenda is an incredible opportunity to do meaningful work and impact the lives of young learners in your community. The best part is that Prenda provides the educational model, comprehensive onboarding, and support for Guides.

Yes, facilitating learning during microschool hours for 5-10 students and creating a safe environment are the top priorities for a Guide, but there are some additional duties that they carry out to ensure that their students are thriving.

Here’s a breakdown of some of those things to help you better understand what your role as a Guide would look like if you decide that guiding is for you.

The Prenda Learning Experience

Guides dive into the Components of Empowerment during their onboarding process to discover how to unlock a student’s potential. These concepts can be summarized by the acronym, CAMP—Connection, Autonomy, Mindset, and Purpose. Guides also develop a deep understanding of the core values that they model and explicitly discuss with their students.

Prenda Core Values:

  • Start with heart
  • Learning over comfort
  • Foundation of trust
  • Figure it out
  • Dare greatly

In addition to CAMP and the core values, learning in a Prenda Microschool is structured around the learning modes: Connect, Conquer, Collaborate, and Create. Guides set the stage for students to excel by implementing this structure to the day and helping students develop routines that give them autonomy in their learning.

Guides are responsible for overseeing student progress and establishing long-term goals in semi-annual GPS (Guide-Parent-Student) meetings throughout the year. Each quarter, Guides fill out a Student Strengths Survey to document growth. On a daily basis, Guides monitor student work in the learning dashboards to ensure that they are progressing, will need to identify any concerns, and create a plan to set students up for success.

In cases where a student is struggling and needs extra support, Guides reach out to Prenda Learning Advocates to work together to find the best solutions and navigate challenges. Along the way, Guides will need to communicate with parents and students regarding progress, behavior, challenges, and achievements.

Exceptional Student Services

Some students will need various accommodations and modifications, whether they are gifted or have learning difficulties that require a slightly different education plan.

The Child Find Process helps Guides identify, document, and create a plan for students with learning difficulties or special needs. Guides complete an Early Evaluative Screening Form for each student and discuss this with parents. This is a legally required document.

Prenda Learning Advocates and Guides will create intervention plans to help these students. Guides are responsible for carrying out these plans, reaching out to Learning Advocates, recording observations, and closely monitoring the effectiveness of a student’s individual plan (IEP or 504).

At the end of the day, the goal for Guides is to provide students with equitable access to the Prenda Learning Experience. If a student has an IEP or 504, Guides will need to attend meetings when necessary and maintain consistent communication with the Exceptional Student Services Team.

All of this may sound daunting for some considering becoming a Guide, however, during the onboarding process you’ll be connected to helpful resources and an incredible Prenda Team for continued support.

Testing and Diagnostics

At Prenda, testing results are not the be-all-end-all, but they are important indicators of a student’s academic success. Guides facilitate iReady diagnostic tests four times a year. These assessments are online and easy to administer. In addition, Guides administer state testing annually and are responsible for completing necessary proctor training. In Arizona, students take the NWEA test three times a year.

After administering iReady tests, it’s up to Guides to review results, place them in the online learning tools, and work with students to set new learning goals. There are a variety of helpful articles to support Guides with testing as well as Learning Advocates to connect with when needed.

Attendance and Calendar

This one is simple and will quickly become routine. Guides set the schedule for their microschool (as long as the required hours are met), submit attendance records weekly, and maintain a school calendar. It’s also important to share the calendar with families right off the bat when opening a microschool and provide notice of any changes in advance.

Safety and Regulations

Safety is a top priority at Prenda. During the onboarding process, new Guides will be made aware of all the safety requirements and sign an acknowledgement as a commitment to uphold them.

Guides must follow FERPA student confidentiality laws by keeping student records and information private. Likewise, they will need to report any suspicions of abuse to child protective authorities. This will be covered in greater detail during the onboarding process.

Fingerprint cards will be obtained by Guides before they open their microschool, as well as CRP and first aid certifications. There are also location requirements for microschool spaces. To read about different microschool location ideas to consider, click here.

In addition to the above-mentioned, Guides are tasked with creating a safe and supportive learning environment in which students can come as they are and enjoy an incredible educational experience.

Guides co-create microschool community agreements with their students to set the foundation for a healthy culture. They report violations of Prenda non-negotiables (no bullying, no inappropriate use of technology, no unreported adults in the home when students are present, etc). If a student is injured, Guides will also fill out an incident report and quickly communicate with parents.

Finally, although the goal is for microschools to run smoothly and serve as hubs for empowerment and learning, sometimes challenges arise. When they do, Guides will need to follow the conflict resolution process that Prenda will outline during the onboarding process. Difficult circumstances come about from time to time, but responding with compassion, clear communication, and a growth mindset go a long way. Prenda is here to support Guides at every step of the way.

Opening Your Microschool

When Guides are ready to open their microschool, they will create and maintain a school profile hosted by Prenda with information about them and their new microschool. As for finding and registering students, Prenda will add new microschools to a map that helps parents connect with Guides. However, Guides are responsible for filling the spaces in their microschools. Reaching out to one’s personal network, posting on social media, and sharing the exciting news about a Guide’s new microschool are all helpful ways to find students.

If you have any questions, we want to hear from you! Feel free to schedule a 20-minute Q&A with Prenda to ask specific questions and learn more about becoming a Guide. You can visit our website, www.prenda.com/become-a-guide to find more information about this opportunity. Prenda also hosts virtual and in-person info sessions regularly. Find an upcoming event near you by going to www.prenda.com/events.