What Parents Need to Know about “Pods” 2.0: Microschooling and Mix-and-Match Learning in Action

A growing number of families participate in microschooling, either by discovering existing ones or establishing their own 

MIAMI – Education is undergoing a transformation in the country, with new learning environments and styles emerging that offer families more flexibility, customization, and community. To help parents navigate this evolving educational landscape, the National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF) is releasing a new resource for parents that provides national and state-specific information on microschooling and mix-and-match learning.

The guide offers a detailed exploration of microschooling and other “unbundled” learning choices available in each state. This type of school has exploded in popularity since the advent of pandemic pods, but the schools and support structures are vastly different from those invented in 2020 and 2021. NSCAF released a state-by-state guide to pods in August of 2020, but the guide released today offers a complete overhaul to reflect how the sector has changed.

Many families are also adopting a mix-and-match approach that integrates different types of education, such as combining homeschooling with part-time public school enrollment. The guide provides detailed information on both microschooling and mix-and-match learning strategies for families to explore.

The guide answers questions about microschooling and provides valuable information, including:

  • What are microschools?
  • When and why did microschools start?
  • What do microschools look like? Are they a completely new type of school?
  • What do microschools cost?
  • State by state: examples of microschooling and mix-and-match options

“Small group-learning environments and hybrid in-person schedules remain of great interest to many parents, even as schooling has gone ‘back to normal’ in most states,” said Shelby Doyle, vice president of public awareness at NSCAF. “Microschooling and mix-and-match learning have real momentum and continue to gain steam as more parents and school leaders get creative and think outside the box about school size, the typical schedule of a school day or week, and what instructional environments can look like. We’re excited to present parents with what they need to know if they’re ready to explore this type of school choice.”

More information and resources for journalists can be found at schoolchoiceweek.com/multimedia. To access the full guide, visit schoolchoiceweek.com/micro-schools

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The National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF) raises broad and positive awareness of school choice through two charitable programs: organizing National School Choice Week each January and the research, development, and promotion of comprehensive and unbiased school navigation resources for parents via SCW Navigate and Conoce tus Opciones Escolares. NSCAF does not advocate for or oppose legislation at any level of government and is steadfastly nonpartisan and nonpolitical.

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Alissa Jacques

Manager, Digital Communications

Alissa Jacques serves as manager of digital communications at the National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF). In this role, Alissa oversees the organization’s English-language social media presence and develops high-impact advertising campaigns to inform, inspire, and empower parents about their K–12 education options.

Previously, Alissa owned her own digital marketing agency, served as an adjunct writing professor at Bloomfield College, and spent two years as an elementary school teacher at Democracy Preparatory Charter School in New York.

Alissa attended both public and private schools as a child, where she developed a love for creative writing. She holds a bachelor of arts in education policy and entrepreneurship from New York University, and a master of arts in sociology of education from Teachers College at Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, scrolling through TikTok, and exploring NYC with her husband and cavapoo, Russ.