Parents take advantage of alternative learning as CPS starts online
COLUMBIA - Tuesday, Sept. 8 is the first day of online classes for Columbia Public Schools.
The Board of Education voted on Aug. 31 to begin the school year fully online.
Working parents had to figure out how to balance their jobs and teach their children.
Authority Gymnastics is offering an e-learning program that some parents are taking advantage of to relieve some stress with online schooling.
Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Authority Gymnastics will convert its gym into learning pods for children in kindergarten through sixth grade.
One Columbia mom called the program a blessing.
"I'm working 50 hours a week and I have three children to take care of," Ivy Roberts said. "I can't work from home and I'm a single parent."
A CPS survey conducted in June 2020 showed that of the 70% of parents who filled out the survey, 85% wanted in-person classes and 15% wanted classes online.
Last month, several rallies were hosted by CPS parents for those who supported and those who were against in-person learning.
Some parents said they don't want their child to miss out on seeing their friends and being able to play at school. Authority's program offers that opportunity and assures it's safe.
Authority Gymnastics owner Shari Mann said students will come back to the same learning pod every day.
"We'll be sanitizing the area before and after classes and each child will have an assigned pod."
Mann worked with CPS teachers to determine what equipment she needed to be able to provide and adequate hosting space.
Per CPS teacher recommendations, the gym installed its own wifi system.
Authority Gymnastics is offering the program for a maximum of 30 students to stay at 25% operating capacity. The gym is used to seeing 300 to 350 kids per week.
Mann said as a mother and former teacher, she knew other parents would be struggling with the demands of online learning and wanted to open her gym to help out.
Rates for Authority Gymnastics e-learning are available on its website and vary by the amount of children and how many days they attend.