We’ve made this handy doc with details.
Everything you need to know about MicroPods… or at least what we know for now.
Because life is a-changin’ so very fast every minute these days!
Click to download more about meeting days, times, costs, calendars and more: CAL MicroPods Info.
Here are a few FAQs to help understand MicroPods.
[Want to get on the list and find out more? Click HERE to go to the pre-registration form. Please feel free to reach if you want by sending an email to: Info@ColoradoAeroLab.org.]
We know these are crazy and strange days for everyone. And we are all hoping for some return to normalcy, but we want to make sure our children and families stay safe and healthy. Here are three things we have learned during this pandemic.
Remote learning is hard!
Just figuring out how to navigate the technology takes a ton of time. Even more, it takes a lot of motivation. We are all feeling the stress of living life through screens and wishing for more personal interaction time. At MicroPods, we will help your kids complete their schoolwork and give them more confidence to grow into independent learners.
Doing-school-at-home and Working-from-home are TWO Jobs!
Helping your child do schoolwork while working full-time is possible, but it isn’t always sustainable. Kids need to learn, and parents need to earn. We want MicroPods to help ease some of that pressure for working parents while still providing a healthy, safe learning environment for kids.
Kids need a new Personal-and-Positive-Normal.
Humans are social creatures. We need to see and interact with each other to stay physically and mentally healthy. The social-emotional impact of these pandemic days has been rough on kids and adults too. We hope MicroPods will introduce renewed motivation and energy for learning while also helping kids gain a sense of consistency and resiliency as we move forward in these changing times.
What is a MicroPod?
A MicroPod is a small group of 5-10 students who choose to co-quarantine and do remote learning together for the coming school year. MicroPods meet weekly in-person with the same group of students throughout the year to complete academic work, socialize with peers, do project-based learning and fulfill the educational requirements for their remote learning situation.
What is Co-Quarantining and why is it important?
Co-quarantining is when a small group of families work together to set up a group guideline of how all families will conduct themselves to protect everyone’s health and safety. By choosing to participate in a MicroPod, families agree to follow the safety guidelines outside the pod to limit exposure to illness. The goal is to enable safer and more casual socialization among MicroPod participants – meaning less masking and less distancing when together. When families deviate from the guidelines, they will be expected to self-quarantine away from the pod until they can re-join activities.
What safety precautions will there be?
Colorado AeroLab follows all health and safety guidelines as directed by the state, county and national organizations.
Please remember: There is always some risk in any gathering, even in a MicroPod. We will do our very best to mitigate the risk by following these guidelines including but not limited to, co-quarantining, sanitizing surfaces at regular intervals, using outdoor spaces, and adding HEPA filter indoor ventilation systems as much as possible.
How much does a MicroPod cost?
Colorado AeroLab will organize and facilitate the MicroPod program. A nominal per-student fee will be charged to help cover basic expenses. Final costs will be determined based on how many students and families want to participate.
How often do MicroPods meet?
MicroPods will meet daily on Mondays through Thursdays. Students may also choose to participate in CAL’s 5th Day programs on Fridays. The times and duration of sessions on MicroPod days will be determined by how many students and families want to participate. More details coming soon.
Who can join a MicroPod?
Students who will be in grades 3-12 in Fall 2020 are eligible to join a MicroPod. We are working with local community and business leaders to find meeting spaces across Grand County and will try to match students with MicroPods located nearest their home. Families will be responsible for transporting their children to/from learning sites.
Students will need to enroll in a distance learning option of their choice, either through their local school district, in another online school or in a homeschool program.
What happens during MicroPod meeting times?
Each MicroPod day will look a little different. Every day will include some time for whatever formal schoolwork kids need to complete. We will also have plenty of time to focus on physical activity and small group fun time through Games-with-Lessons; design challenges and hands-on experiments; and Genius Hour where kids can explore their own passion projects.
We want students and families to make the full commitment to attend all MicroPod days, except of course, on days when students are ill. MicroPods is designed as an alternative learning environment for families who want to continue remote, home-based learning so we will require a formal registration process to participate and cannot accommodate drop-in students.
Who is in charge?
All Colorado AeroLab staff members have more than 20 years of experience as educational leaders and hold Professional Teaching and Administrator licenses in Colorado. MicroPods will be facilitated by a trained Learning Coach under the supervision and direction of the CAL staff. Parent volunteers are welcome and encouraged to help at MicroPods. All persons interacting with students will be required to pass a background check and submit fingerprints.
What is my responsibility as a parent?
We know firsthand how tough it was last spring for parents and families to make the abrupt switch to doing school-at-home. Our goal is to help students thrive in a remote learning environment during these uncertain times.
Like you all, we are still working to figure this all out for own kids, and we don’t have all the answers. Yet. But here are a few things we want you to know as you consider your responsibilities if you choose to join a MicroPod.
Ultimately, you and your child are accountable for the online schoolwork that will be associated with whatever option you choose.
We are here to help students! The CAL staff and the Learning Coach commit to doing all we can to help your child be successful and complete their assigned work. Most likely, your child will need additional time at home outside of MicroPods to finish their daily requirements. We want to help your child become more self-directed, independent and confident to take this on themselves, though they are also going to need your help at home.
We are here to help parents! The online platforms your kids will use this year will likely look different than those from last spring. The CAL staff and the Learning Coach will be available to help parents learn a new system and navigate the changing technology.
Commit to full participation.
Your MicroPod team will expect to see your child for every session, except of course, on days when students are ill. This commitment will help build strong relationships and a sense of community, as well as foster teamwork, collaboration and helping each other to complete work and projects. We ask you to treat this like a regular school-like environment by letting us know if your child will be absent.
Support MicroPods as best you can.
These pandemic days are a great opportunity to try out a new model and see if it fits for your situation. We have heard many comments about how parents and kids loved the flexibility and freedom that remote learning gave them last spring. We think MicroPods will allow for that same adaptability and add even more great learning to the mix. During this pilot year, we have an opportunity to offer MicroPods on a shoestring budget, so will greatly appreciate whatever you can do to support the project with time, energy or resources, including financial support.
What if we don’t like it?
If it turns out remote learning and MicroPods is not a good solution for you or your child, come talk to us and we can figure out a better plan. We will be happy to help you understand what the options are and how to get into a better fit for your family.
Want to get on the list and find out more?
If you want to explore the MicroPods idea further, click HERE to go to the pre-registration form. Please feel free to reach if you want by sending an email to: Info@ColoradoAeroLab.org.