IS POD CONNECTION A SCHOOL?

NO! We are not a school nor do we strive to be one. We do not offer classes or or develop curriculums. Students that enroll with Pod Connection must ALSO be enrolled in a virtual educational program with a school (district or private).

IS POD CONNECTION A DAYCARE OR BABYSITTING SERVICE?

NO! Pod Connection is not a licensed daycare facility. Our teachers are partners for parents and schools to augment virtual education. The majority of location partners are also not licensed daycare facilities. Host locations that are licensed for certain activities (i.e. dance, karate, gymnastics) have created programs for an extra cost that younger children may enroll in to expand learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

My child is in a pod already.  Can we use Pod Connection to coordinate?

We are happy to work with like minded parents to help coordinate pods. We want you to do what is in the best interest of your child and the other children in your pod. We don't recommend jumping ship and leaving the other parents down a pod member unless you talk with them first. We would encourage all of the pod parents to work together to decide if enrollment with Pod Connection is the right collective choice. If it is - great! Just have everyone fill out a registration form and we'll get started. If some feel it's not right for them then you will need to make the decision based on your situation and the well being of your child and those in your pod.

I have more than one student.  Do I need to pay the registration fee twice?

Nope! The registration fee is only due one time per family. On the registration form there is a green button to register additional students making it easy to do multiple student registrations at the same time with only one registration fee.

My child is in a pod already, but we need a space.  Does Pod Connection offer location only services?

If the whole pod enrolls with Pod Connection then we will coordinate with one of our host locations to place your pod together.

I know a teacher or tutor that I'd like to have teach my pod.  Can we use that person?

We love referrals! If your teacher is licensed in the state where they are teaching please refer them to our Apply page. On your registration form make sure to note them as a preference. We are not currently working with teachers that are not licensed in the state they are pod teaching, but there may be future opportunities for tutors as we expand the service offerings.

Do we need to have a business location for the pod?  Can we use the home of a pod member?

This is a great question, and a fine line for both parents and Pod Connection. We will take these requests on a case-by-case basis under the circumstances:

  • All pod parents agree to the arrangement.
  • The state would not consider the pod a "daycare."
  • There will only be one host location and students will not be rotating.
  • Host locations must provide proof of liability.
  • Host parent location agrees to and pays for background checks for anyone in the household.
  • Host parent location must sign a waiver that no one will be allowed in the house with the students during learning times.

The idea sounds easy and helpful on the surface, but gets more complex when viewed from the student safety perspective.

I know of a great location for our pod.  Should I reach out to them and see if they would host?

Sure! It never hurts to ask a question. If they are interested please send them our CONTACT INFORMATION.

My student is in a hybrid program through our local school district.  Can they still enroll?

Absolutely! You are not alone in navigating the hybrid model. A few hours a day, a few days a week, cannot give our children the full educational scope that they deserve. Pods can be set up to meet for half days and/or every other day to accommodate.

What happens if a pod member or family member has suspected exposure or suspected infection of COVID-19.

If a student tests positive for COVID then the pod will be shut down until the rest of the students and teacher have had negative COVID tests. If a family member tests positive for COVID then that student must stay home until they have had a negative COVID test. With that in mind many of us have experienced challenging pauses in daily activity due to standard illnesses that present some of the same symptoms as COVID - colds, flu, strep, even allergies. One of the benefits of Pod Connection is that the groups are intentionally small and consistent to limit exposure. Parents decide and agree, upon enrollment (in writing) on their pod preference in the case of purely suspected exposure or infection.

What is the cost of registration?  What is the cost of enrollment?

Registration fees are $150 per family. The weekly enrollment cost depends on the needs of each pod. We have developed a handy COST ESTIMATOR for parents to use that will provide more information.

Does my child have to be enrolled in a school program to be enrolled with Pod Connection?

Yes! All students enrolled with Pod Connection must also be verified as enrolled virtual or hybrid school program. It can be a public school, private school, online school, or home school. However, the school must design the curriculum and provide teachers on their end to present material.

Why doesn't the program just use tutors?  Why licensed teachers?

Tutors are a great resource for helping students outside of the classroom. Pod teachers become part of the classroom. The pod is set up in a "class-like" setting that teachers manage just like a school classroom. Tutors may work with students on one or two specific subjects, but pod teachers will focus on holistic education of the child.

What do you mean by "holistic education?"   

The primary objective of pod teachers is augmentation of educational development, but the program has secondary objectives of fostering mental and social development. Licensed teachers are uniquely trained to educate children by exploring methods of learning and communication that may relate to one child, but not another. This cannot be achieved in a virtual setting, and has long been ignored in large class settings. Pod teachers have an expectation that with small enough class sizes teachers will have bandwidth to employ those skills.

How much interaction will I have with my child's pod teacher?

Short answer: It is up to the parent and pod teacher. It will also depend on how the student is doing from a well-rounded perspective.

Longer answer: Pod Connection views pod learning as a partnership between the pod teacher, district teacher, and parent. Parents will have access to an online platform where they can communicate with teachers and will receive a weekly update on their student(s). Teachers are encouraged to communicate early and often with parents regarding student performance, and parents are encourage to respectfully work with pod teachers to make sure students receive a cohesive message regarding educational priority.

How much interaction will my pod teacher have with the district teacher?

Hopefully, a lot. Pod teachers are required to provide status reports weekly to the parents on educational development. The program is designed to be a partnership between students, parents, districts, and pod teachers that encourages open, transparent, and respectful communication.

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