The conversation about returning to school this fall is a very challenging one, with no clear solution. While the plan is to start with remote learning, no one quite knows how long that will last. Naturally, parents are concerned their child/ren will not get their social/emotional/academic needs met during these unprecedented times we are living through. People are searching, stressing, and scrambling for ways for their children to interact with peers, read, do math, limit their screen time, and so much more. It’s no wonder the idea of learning pods has expanded these past few months.
What is a Learning Pod?
Pods are small groups of kids, of varying ages, that get together for some socialization and learning with in-person instruction. A learning pod can look like a variety of different things. Some are renaming them micro-schools, hybrid learning groups, homeschool supplement, etc, and all have similar strands of learning woven through them. When reading and exploring online or through new pop-up facebook groups, there are many features to consider.
How it Works
Each pod or program will look different. Some may be held in families backyards or at parks, others may be at learning and tutoring centers.They may be play groups among a small set of the same families or they may be intended to take the place of school.Every group has details with its own plethora of specifics from hours together to outdoor exploration and much more.
What CLC Has to Offer
TheCalifornia Learning Center (CLC)recognizes the importance of having face-to-face interaction with teachers and has been actively planning to help meet the needs of families in the greater Santa Barbara area. While we have been a tutoring, test prep and college counseling center for a number of years, this is a new extension to what we offer to families and will be run by credentialed teachers at our learning center on Upper State Street.
Our elementary aged learning pods will consist of small groups (up to 4 children/max) and offer nurturing and innovative teaching, in person, starting with Kindergarten. CLC will have 2 hour blocks, twice a week, with a possible option for a 3rd day. The groups will be grade level specific and focus on social interaction with a teacher & peers, content based reading, math, problem solving, and much more, in a safe environment. These pods will be customized and offered through 6th grade.As an educational center, our focus is on teaching and engagement in person while minimizing any covid risks.
Flexible and Personalized
While the learning will look different for grades 7 and up, direction will be for personalized instruction, as a 1:1 tutoring setting, or 2:1, up to 4 students with one instructor. There is always the option for 1:1 private tutoring for students in the lower elementary grades too.
Please note: these pods are not intended to take the place of the student’s regular school, but rather to enhance and have the opportunity to engage with other students in a learning setting.
Clean and Safe Facility
Our center will be cleaned daily and between each pod with alcohol-based products, and we will utilize air filters and UV disinfection. We will require masks for everyone and will always have extras on hand. Masks can greatly reduce the threat of COVID-19 and we want a safe space for everyone. Teachers will wear face shields in addition to masks.
In addition to mask wearing, there will be an abundance of anti-bacterial gel in every room and good ventilation. Families will be required to sign waivers and every child that comes into the center will have their temperature checked too.
Resources for Families
This is a challenging time on many levels and we are all responding to it differently. People of all ages are affected on some level and it’s important to take care of yourselves so you can care for your children. We at CLC want to support families in the best way possible. Please reach out to us if you have academic questions, need books, school supplies or other helpful information. We are here for you.
Here are some helpful resources that are worth exploring: