What is the Workshop approach?
The Workshop approach evolved from Writer’s Workshop, developed by Lucy Calkins. The idea is to make learning as closely related to real life challenges as possible. So young writers write as authors do, composing original drafts, developmental editing, copyediting, and publishing as Featured Authors. The structure of Workshop is mini-lesson, project time, and presentations. Alexa Frisbie, founder, was very impressed with this approach in her student teaching at University of Virginia. Frustrated with her science instruction outcomes, Alexa adapted Writer’s Workshop to science with Experimenter’s Workshop, writing an award winning article about the process in the National Writing Project Journal. Alexa went on to adapt other subject areas to the Workshop approach with Workshop Education, and to incorporate design thinking as taught at Stanford d.school, as well as social and emotional learning objectives.
How are Workshop Education enrichment classes different from other enrichment classes?
Our class curriculum is designed to have a direct and immediate impact on your child's happiness and success in school and life. Our "flex enrichment" classes make it easier to arrange and juggle changing schedules.
I am not sure of my child's schedule for enrichment classes. Is it okay to register?
Yes, at Workshop, we know that for many, the only sure thing about your children's schedule is that it is changing. It is important that we know your start date, and what you think your schedule might be, but after your initial registration, you can request to add or drop a class using the parent portal by 4:59 p.m. the business evening before (Monday through Friday only). You will hear whether your request is approved or denied by 6:30 p.m. the same day. You are billed at the end of the month, only for enrichment classes actually attended. No more guessing and wasting money!
At Hillsborough schools, if you are not sure whether your kindergartener will have 1:15 early dismissal or 2:45 regular dismissal, please register for 1:15 early dismissal, and email your site director if there is a change once the placement has been determined. Please give specific reasons to the school when you request early or late dismissal, including the need for early out Workshop.
How are you able to have parents request classes by 4:59 p.m. the evening before, and keep a 1:10 ratio teacher student ratio?
In addition to our regular site directors and teachers, we have on call teachers who can go to different sites depending on need.
Where do students meet for Workshop?
After you register, we will send you the sign in location via email. If you do not receive this email, first check your spam and then contact our Director of Workshop Education, Susie Cresci at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can my child come to Workshop before or after or in between another class or sport on campus?
Yes, and you will not be charged for time your child is at another class, sport or child care. Since we offer enrichment classes from dismissal until 6 p.m., our teachers are not able to leave Workshop to walk children to other classes, but you can ask the teacher of the other class to pick up and drop off at Workshop.
How do you handle the age range in the classroom?
During Study Skills Workshop, the children are typically with children in their grades in smaller groups. During Innovation Workshop, our curriculum is structured so that all of the students are working on the same project (a book, experiment, survey, art or a skit) but at their own level. During a Writing Workshop, a younger child may be working on a picture book while an older child works on a chapter book. However, they all come together for presentations to give feedback on strengths and suggestions for each other's work.
How do you design the Workshop class curriculum?
We design our enrichment classes by reading the latest education research (sample on right) and asking college admission advisors, principals, and employers: what skills are missing that children need in order to be happy and successful? The answers lead to the curriculum for our 360 unique classes (2 a day for 180 school days) each year. Teachers, site directors, and management begin writing curriculum the January before the next school year. We create new curriculum each year. We think of it as essential enrichment ~ education for life.
What professional development do Workshop teachers get?
Our teachers keep at the forefront of best teaching practices with our Workshop Innovation Teacher Leader program. This includes online modules, professional development and in-class coaching. Teachers engage in 40 hours of professional development each year learning the curriculum and the philosophy behind the curriculum. In addition, the founder and director of programs works for 20-40 hours with teachers in the classroom, doing coaching, to create the best possible learning experiences possible. We feel the combination of goal oriented curriculum development and robust professional development creates a stellar atmosphere for meaningful learning.
How does billing work?
Parents are only billed for the classes their child attends. We charge $20 an hour for our enrichment classes with discounts for siblings, and attending more hours. You sign up for auto-pay when you register, invoices are sent on the 7th, and processed automatically on the 15th.