Parents pool resources, form education pods

Concerned about sending her daughter back to school this fall during the pandemic and about the isolation her daughter would have to endure while studying online at home, Natalie Baber decided to explore other schooling options.

“When it became clear that going back to school was not going to be an option for us, that is when I hit the drawing board,” Baber said.

Her fifth-grade daughter is enrolled in the Little Rock School District and opted for virtual-only instruction this semester.

Baber said she came up with the idea of getting a few of her daughter’s friends together to study their virtual curriculum under the supervision of a parent or grandparent during the school week. They would meet in one of their homes, or, some days, in space rented from a nearby church.

This would enable the children to have much needed social interaction as well as support for

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Newark Charter School Offers Free Learning Pods Amid Pandemic

NEWARK, NJ — No parent should have to choose between going to work or making sure their kids have child care. But that’s the crushing dilemma many essential employees in Newark are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Brick Education Network (BEN).

As parents in Newark grapple with the switch to all-remote learning, many are finding themselves struggling to find someone to look after their kids while they attend class online. In an effort to take some of the pressure off, BEN – which operates four charter schools in Newark – has launched a solution it says is unique in the Brick City: free learning pods.

Located at Marion P. Thomas Charter School HS of Culinary and Performing Arts, the pods provide a vital service for parents with kids enrolled at BEN schools. Each pod can accommodate up to 12 socially distanced students, giving them a safe place

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Teachers Find Higher Pay and Growing Options in Covid Pods

Krissy Rand has more than a decade of experience teaching special education to elementary school students, most recently in the Salem, Mass., public school district. She calls last spring’s remote teaching a nightmare, and was disheartened to learn about her school’s Covid-19 fall guidelines. With no library or gym time, “you’re basically a prisoner in your classroom,” she says.

The 39-year-old Ms. Rand put out her résumé. Eight groups of families contacted her within three days. She now makes more money teaching six first-graders from six families in Wellesley, Mass. They are following their public school’s curriculum, and she’s added cooking, yoga and earth sciences, with lots of hands-on experiments. She loves that there are no rules and administrative red tape, and no sitting through long meetings.

“It’s a teacher’s dream,” she says. “The day flies by.”

Long underpaid and underappreciated, teachers are finding more career options as demand for

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New Surge in Interest by Parents to Form Learning Pods

When four, first-grade girls got together this week to learn away from school, it was pure joy. Their parents had joined forces to form a learning pod, with some considering “podding” for some time, while others were frustrated with repeated delays in in-person learning at the city’s public schools. 

“I felt they were really happy to be together,” said Naomi Lev, one of the pod’s parents. 

What You Need To Know

  • Renewed interest in learning pods where parents bring children into a home to simulate in-person learning led by a caregiver or tutor
  • Learning pods have no official guidelines, tutors call it the “unchartered waters” of education
  • Some school are offering “podding” tips to help reduce COVID-19 infection pathways and promote equity in the school system
  • The second delay in in-person learning pushed some to finally consider forming a pod

“I think a sense of community is super, super important

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