Pandemic pods, copods, microschools, homeschool pods: 3 things to know about the alternative to in-person classes

Have you heard of pandemic pods? As schools prepare to reopen for a different academic year, many parents are looking for an alternative to in-person classes for fear of their children being infected with COVID-19.
Below are three things to know about pandemic pods:
1. It's not the same as homeschooling
Parents gather groups of similar-age students to be taught together at a home by private teachers (sometimes retired teachers), allowing the parents to get back to work. This will also allow kids to sociacialize, rather than being isolated at home during virtual learning.
2. Bubble rules
Many families will only interact with the other families in the group, minimizing the spread of the virus. Some pods will require masks and have rules for social distancing.
3. Cost
A Hastings, New York-based preschool pod with a maximum of six children costs almost $17,000 a year. An elementary school pod with a maximum of nine students will cost parents about the same. With fewer students in a pod, it will cost more. Cate Han, the founder of Hudson Lab School, acknowledges learning pods are deepening the education gap.