Pandemic Pods: Here's how Bay Area parents are getting creative with their child's education

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In an area known for innovation, Bay Area parents are getting creative when it comes to their kids and school in light of COVID-19.

Many are contemplating alternative learning options for the fall either out of necessity or preference.

Mom Lian Chang recently created a Facebook group called Pandemic Pods and Microschools.

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Pandemic Pods are groups of children who get together with the same kids every day while learning at home, either with a hired teacher or with one parent taking turns with the pod.

The idea being children would still have engagement, socialization and in-person teaching.

Chang's son is three and while his pre-school is planning to be open this fall, Chang isn't sure that's the best option.

"For us, it has to do with concerns the overall public health situation isn't quite there yet," said Chang.

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She's not alone, she says nearly 2,000 people around the country have joined the group.

"There's just this huge need right now for families and teachers to figure out what our options are for the fall," said Chang.

For some like Chang, the pods are a choice. For others like Anjali Cameron, they're a necessity. Her daughter's school will be remote learning this fall but both she and her husband work.

"In our case, it's not an easy engagement where you can leave her in front of the laptop and say I'll be back in an hour," said Cameron.

Cameron is considering hiring a teacher for a pod that would include her daughter and other children.

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"The other option we discussed is maybe each parent takes a certain number of hours off of work each week basically the parent becomes the teacher for that pod for a given day," said Cameron.

She recognizes that not all families will have the means to do so.

"There are a lot of issues about inequity that come up here that are just absolutely terrible," said Cameron.

As parents plan for an unprecedented future, they're communicating online to find potential pod-mates and teachers for their children.

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