Private homeschooling groups — aka "pandemic pods" — gain popularity, but who gets left behind? | Salon.com

Private homeschooling groups — aka "pandemic pods" — gain popularity, but who gets left behind? | Salon.com

Private homeschooling groups — aka "pandemic pods" — gain popularity, but who gets left behind?
"We have all these rules in place so we can make sure that this 'bubble' basically doesn't pop," says one parent




Madeline Gregg knew back in March, after the novel coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, that her 6-year-old daughter Evi probably wouldn't be physically attending first grade this upcoming school year. 


When Evi was 14 months old, she was diagnosed with fanconi anemia, a rare genetic disorder resulting in impaired bone marrow function, which leads to a decrease in the production of all blood cells. For that reason, Gregg said, exposure to the flu is enough to result in Evi's hospitalization. 
"So when school was initially canceled," she said, "it was a no-brainer that she wouldn't be going back to school until the majority of people are vaccinated [for the novel coronavirus]." 
While vaccines can take years to research and develop, according to the New York Times, 27 vaccines for the virus are already in human trials and scientists are "racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine by next year." 
But that leaves many school district leaders, educators and parents, including Gregg, in a position where they have to determine whether in-person education is the right choice for their students — and what the alternatives actually look like. 
In Gregg's case, she contacted the parent of another immunocompromised child from Evi's kindergarten class in Louisville, Ky., to see if they would want to "pod together." 
"And my mom, who is a retired teacher, will be homeschooling the girls three days a week for three hours a day on those days," Gregg said. "So not only will they be able to get out of the house, and have a safe environment, which is my mom's house, where we have all these rules in place so we can make sure that this 'bubble' basically doesn't pop, but they'll be able to see each other and play." 
The concept of "pandemic pods" has garnered a lot of interest over the last several weeks, the idea CONTINUE READING: Private homeschooling groups — aka "pandemic pods" — gain popularity, but who gets left behind? | Salon.com

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