As virtual learning begins, some Richmond families opt for ‘learning pods’


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – As students and teachers prepare for the first day of school, one Richmond Public Schools mom is getting creative to tackle virtual learning this semester. She’s coordinating virtual learning pods.

“Parents get together to take turns monitoring their kids while they do virtual lessons online,” PTA president of Barack Obama Elementary School, Sabrina Gross, told 8News Monday.

Through the pods, parents are able to balance working from home and virtual learning while also keeping students engaged.

“When they said we were going virtual, I was really concerned,” Gross said. “If you work at home – you feel like you’re working constantly because you have to take time out to help your kid and then work.”

Gross says the pods offer another form of childcare but with fewer risks of exposure.

“This is another option for parents who may not want to expose their kids to actual full daycare setting and they have control over who they’re exposing their child to,” Gross commented.

The pods also allow parents to work together financially to hire outside help.

“Parents can get together and they can kind of put their money together and do a tutor versus doing it on their own which is another way we can make it more equitable.”

Parents interested fill out a survey created by the Barack Obama Elementary School PTA with other potential pod matches. From there, parents can coordinate pods of their own. Participation is free.

“If there was a time to work together, it’s now,” Gross said.


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