Microschools vs. Pods and how to choose which is best for your students

Ashley BellomyLearning Management, School Management

With the education landscape undeniably changed this year, many parents and families are looking for innovative solutions for their children’s education. This has led to two small-school concepts growing in popularity: microschools and pods. Not sure what the differences are? Here’s the breakdown:

Microschools

These are typically single classroom schools, made up of fewer than 15 students of varying ages and education levels, though some schools of up to 150 students refer to themselves as microschools. Microschools often operate just as very small private schools, with trained teachers who write lesson plans and activities for students to do. Microschools can follow an already established curriculum, such as Montessori or Forest School, while many have their own personalized curriculum.

Pods

These have grown in popularity as a result of the Covid-19 shift toward e-learning because they allow students to still get social interaction with peers, in small, controlled groups. Pods are typically made up of 2-3 families, but can be as large as 15-20 students, who often are supervised by an adult, but not necessarily a teacher. These pod leaders can be parents, tutors, or even university students looking for work. Most pods have students following the lesson plan of the public or private school they are virtually attending and pod leaders are primarily responsible for making sure students are on task and facilitating meals/snacks/break time.

Both microschools and pods allow students to get an education in a small-group setting, though some of the specifics of how they operate vary. Just like any education option, though, both rely on open communication between students, parents, and school leaders. If you’re looking for a way to open up those lines of communication for your school or group, see what Twine can do for you.