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Is a learning pod a better alternative for my child’s schooling?

Some families are concerned their children may not be able to learn well via remote learning. Learning pods may be an attractive option.

What is a learning pod?

A private teacher or tutor leads a group of children similar in age. Pods often hold sessions at the home of one student or rotate among families as class hosts. Neighborhood families may join to form pods of students who otherwise would attend class together.

Learning pods support the needs of some students.

Some children struggle with remote learning. Others may need the social interaction of a group. Some households may not have reliable internet connectivity or work schedules may not align for childcare or assisting learning. Learning pods can help overcome some of these challenges.

Joining families in similar situations for learning pods could offer focus, stability, and camaraderie if conducted safely.

How to conduct learning pods safely:

  • Keep pod sizes small. Limit to 5 or fewer students. Larger pods carry more risk if someone gets sick.
  • Keep pods consistent – the same students should participate. Mixing pod groups increases the risk of spreading illness.
  • Complete health screenings prior to attending a learning session.
  • Wear face coverings.
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing among group members.
  • Hold class outside if possible. This will increase ventilation and provide maximum fresh air. A garage with the door open may provide a large covered space with good ventilation. If class cannot be outdoors, ensure the class area has proper ventilation. Open windows when possible.
  • Assign students their own learning materials to reduce shared items.
  • Encourage students to wash their hands at the start and end of meetings, before eating, after coughing and sneezing, and after touching their faces.
  • Ask students to bring meals. Do not share food or drinks.

What happens if someone gets sick?

Contact the Health Department to assist with case investigation, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine recommendations. A confirmed COVID-19 case in a pod likely means the entire pod will need to quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

With your help, we will make good progress to safely reopen schools for in-person learning. Until then, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will continue to work closely with parents and school district leaders to provide safe options for our children. Learn more at tpchd.org/covidinfoschools.

Children carrying backpacks and holding school supplies.