ORLANDO, Fla. – Some local parents who are too apprehensive to send their children back to brick-and-mortar schools as the state continues to report thousands of new COVID-19 cases per day have opted to use learning pods instead.
The idea behind the learning pod concept is to gather a group of a few students together and their parents pay for a tutor who will teach the children in the pod exclusively through the semester.
To provide parents with more options, the city of Orlando has announced that it will also be creating learning pods for the upcoming semester.
There will be two nine-student pods at six of the city’s community centers starting Monday, the same day Orange County Public Schools begins its semester virtually.
The pods will provide students with a place to access electronics and Wi-Fi as they complete their LaunchEd assignments.
Children will not interact with other groups and they will be kept with the same students throughout the duration of the program. City staff will be available to supervise them and provide additional academic support.
“As with the City of Orlando Small Group Summer Camp program, City of Orlando staff received training on guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Children and Families to operate safely during the current COVID-19 pandemic,” a news release read.
COVID-19 safety protocols include: increasing cleaning and disinfecting efforts, conducting drop off and pick up procedures outside the center and requiring health screenings and temperature checks before students and staff are allowed inside.
The cost to participate is $5 per day. Students who are eligible for the community support program can participate for free.
The learning pod program will be available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m., when drop off begins, to 3 p.m. Parents have the option to enroll one day at a time or enroll for multiple days on a first come, first-served basis.
Parents can enroll by contacting their nearest participating community center:
- Engelwood Neighborhood Center, 6123 La Costa Dr.
- Northwest Neighborhood Center, 3955 WD Judge Dr.
- John H. Jackson Neighborhood Center, 1002 West Carter St.
- Downtown Recreation Complex, 363 North Parramore Ave.
- Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center, 1723 Bruton Boulevard
- Rosemont Neighborhood Center, 4872 Rose Bay Dr.