Cowork space for students opens in South Lake Tahoe
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The workforce has undoubtedly changed since the pandemic; coworking spaces are becoming more popular and many employees can work wherever they want. While school districts also shifted to remote learning, most learning institutions returned to the way they used to be, with traditional in-classroom learning.
However, educator Liz Rohrbaugh saw that the old way didn’t work for all students and homeschooling at home, by themselves, leaves out the important social aspect of schooling. This led her and her husband, Jon, to open Tahoe Learning Lab, a cowork space for middle school and high school students.
“We’re trying to accommodate students that have alternative school schedules so they could be homeschooling with local charter schools, enrolled in the LTUSD Elevated Academy or students who are in travel sports or have a job or extracurricular that takes up more time than would allow for a traditional school schedule,” Liz Rohrbaugh said.
Students or families can enroll in a monthly membership that gives students access to the space to use as much, or as little, as they need. Not only does the membership give students access to the space, it also provides access to accredited, academic tutors on-site, as well as a daily two-hour block of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math) activities such as music, animation, or video editing labs and rotating science experiments.
There are also weekly lectures followed by hands-on activities.
“One of the big priorities of this space is a connection to community and socialization to peers,” Rohrbaugh. “It gives a smaller environment than a bigger middle school or high school would provide for students that might just like the school experience but on a smaller-scale level.”
Middle schooler and high school students are separated and there is some built-in structure. Students are required to set daily goals, or intent, along with their plan to meet the goals, as well as an end of day reflection on if they met their goals.
“Beyond that, their school work is self-directed, it’s their choice, they are bringing it in from whatever school program they’re enrolled in,” Rohrbaugh said. “We just provide space, the time and the tutor support.”
Rohrbaugh herself is an accredited K-12 teacher in California and Nevada who has been working in education for over 20 years.
“Personally, I did attend a self-directed learning program in middle and high school myself and I saw the benefit,” Rohrbaugh said.
She said she kept in-contact with many of her peers from those programs and saw that many of them went on to work in the education-field and were life-long learners.
“I did notice some qualities and traits for students that had that enriching, self-directed learning experience and I’m hoping to share that with other students,” Rohrbaugh added.
When she’s not at Tahoe Learning Lab, she is a librarian at both Sierra College and Lake Tahoe Community College. Her goal is to help students enroll in the dual-enrollment program at LTCC.
Tahoe Learning Lab opened its doors on Monday, Aug. 15, and is accepting memberships.
The space is open from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
For more information, visit https://www.tahoelearninglab.com.
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