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As School Districts Delay In-Person Learning, Some Families Consider Pods And Microschools. What Are They?

Isabella and Simone are seen as they attend an online school lesson on May 13, 2020 in Rome, Italy.
Isabella and Simone are seen as they attend an online school lesson on May 13, 2020 in Rome, Italy.
Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

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One of the greatest and most complex challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has been weighing best practices for K-12 education.

Young kids convening in classrooms with teachers could create high risks when it comes to exposure and spread, especially as experts continue trying to figure out what role COVID-19 plays in children. 

As school districts work through the challenges and extend delays for in-person learning, some parents are choosing to pod up with other families. School pods typically include a few different families where kids get together for in-person activities and learning, either supplementary to e-learning or as part of a more formal homeschooling situation. Pods can be arranged in numerous ways. Some will use parents as instructors, and others might hire on a tutor or former teacher. The overarching idea is to create a stimulating learning experience where kids can socialize with theoretically safe measures in place. According to the New York Times, school pods have received some push back though. Some argue the method will be more popular among privileged families and could hurt districts if families pull students out of school. Today on AirTalk, we take a look at school pods, how they work and whether they could be part of the solution to the current education crisis. Are you considering a school pod for your kids or are you already making arrangements for a pod? What are your thoughts? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.


Lian Chikako Chang, founder of the Facebook group Pandemic Pods and Microschools, which helps people to start and moderate their own local pod chapters; she tweets @LianChikako