Transformative, Evidence-Based Ideas

Pods in Action: Joanna Rosa-Saenz

Case Study: How a bootstrapping parent-run pod served at-risk students

When the pandemic closed schools in Denver, an enterprising parent with community connections stepped in to meet immediate needs—and paved a new path to supporting students and families in the future.

Key Lessons
  • Families across the socioeconomic spectrum self-organized to support their children and one another during the pandemic. This community power presents a strong opportunity for school districts to work in partnership with families and serve students in new ways and outside school buildings beyond the pandemic.
  • Preexisting community ties strengthened families’ ability to self-organize and support learning in pods during the pandemic.
  • Access to financial and educational resources were critical to elevating the instructional rigor of family-run pods.
  • Disconnection from district resources made it more difficult for self-organized pods to fully serve all students—including those who required special education services.

Related Publications


Sign up to receive our latest research

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Skip to content