Childcare agency adjusting program to provide online learning assistance for families
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Inside the walls of Lucas Off Campus, young students have their headphones and laptops in hand while they navigate through everything from math problems to reading prompts.
“Kids bring their laptops here. We are separated by ages or grades and we have our staff roaming around trying to help them as best we can find their classes, get on their zoom time, and helping with homework,” said Director Kenzie Miller.
Normally the before and after school program operates around the hours of school. Instead, they’ve become the classroom, transforming to a full-time program every day from 7 in the morning until 6 at night.
“We’re really transforming for staff off play-based kind of arts and crafts activities to now we’re the classroom we’re the teachers,” Miller said.
They’ve transformed classroom set ups to limit exposure and staff roles are focused on guiding kids through the online platform. However, it has come with challenges.
"It’s a bit of a challenge when we’re faced with math problems or things we are not fluent with what they are being taught, Miller added. “Our kindergarten first graders don’t get to see any of their older friends so that’s a challenge.”
That’s one concern parent Mark Beerends thought about when choosing which direction to go in with online learning for his kindergartener.
“We were just worried about where was she going to do it, and what was better for our daughter to do,” said Beerends. “We were thinking she’s not going to be able to have the skills being able to share and interact with her social skills and all that stuff, but hopefully soon when they go into the hybrid plan she’ll be able to work with her teacher and classmates with that.”
For the time being, Beerends says having an option like Lucus Off campus has been a big benefit, not only with him and his wife’s job schedules, but just having the extra help.
“As a parent, it’s a little challenging because they are not able to get through all the work that the teacher provides through the day so we have to do a little work with our daughter at night but that’s okay because it gives us more family time,” said Beerends.
Miller says right now they about 35 kids and they plan to continue to provide the full time care through their program for however long it’s needed.
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