ST PAUL, Minn. — Some parents don’t have the opportunity to work from home when the new school year starts. So what are their options if their kids are supposed to distance learn, either full-time or using the hybrid model? If you find yourself wondering how you’re going to pull this off, here are some ideas.
The YMCA of the North said it can be helpful in any and all of the models school districts will use during the upcoming school year.
"They should ask questions and feel like they’re not alone," Stephanie Chauss, the Senior Vice President Operations for YMCA of the North said. "We haven’t talked to anyone who has it figured out yet," Chauss said.
Chauss said they plan for full-day care, with class time included, in at least 18 locations. It's a fee-based program, but the Y said with funding and partnerships, it won’t turn anyone away for inability to pay.
The Y said it is flexible, and can adapt to operate in ways that best meet the needs of families and schools.
"Some kids are going to choose one day a week, and that may change based on a parents work schedule," Chauss said. "We understand that and we also know going into the fall people may need more or less care, so we’re not locking families in for the whole school year," she said.
Chauss said the Y already has relationships with school districts so it'll continue to partner with them to help them better meet the needs of students. The YMCA also plans to work with them to provide or deliver breakfast and lunch on days students do not attend school.
The Y said families can sign up whenever, but space is limited, so the sooner the better.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities said it will be offering a K-5 program model for youth at specific schools that go to communities within listed clubs.
In a statement to KARE11, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities President and CEO Terryl Brumm sent us this statement:
"Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities is offering an in-person collaborative opportunity for Club Members in K-5 grade. The Club will partner with neighborhood schools and parents & guardians, creating a safe, in-person experience for kids to complete distance learning. The Club's comprehensive approach embeds positive youth development with literacy, S.T.E.A.M., social-emotional learning, and healthy recreation and movement activities."
Brumm said it will also be offering teens in-person and virtual programming at each of the Club locations.
Brumm said they are trying to work on fundraising models and would like to expand and build capacity in the future.
Life Time is adapting it’s business model, offering more than just gym time. For a fee, and a discount if you’re a member, the gym has activities like summer camps for kids.
”We'll take the role of the parent, we'll get kids through it then we'll also supplement the rest of their day with different activities and things that they might be missing from their normal school day." said Alicia Kockler, Vice President of Life Time Kids.
There’s also growing interest in pandemic pods. According to a TODAY article, that means it’s a small group of kids who are the same age, where “… parents are planning to share supervision of students …” or in other situations, they’re pooling money to hire a full-time teacher.
Another idea: check your local churches or daycares to see if they’re offering help.
Whatever you end up doing, it's important to remember listening to all sides will be key.
"If we stay true to who we’ve always been and making sure that our parents our educators help us and we listen to them on what is most important that we can all wade through this together," Chauss said.