Parents are considering different options when it comes to school as they manage the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One option is called micro-schooling, which is basically a small school. It could have regular classroom space or operate out of someone's home, using remote curriculums.
“Usually there's a theme attached to it, or a certain population they're serving, or they're trying to accomplish something that perhaps isn't getting accomplished in larger schools,” said Dr. Maureen O'Shaughnessy, Executive Director of the Micro-School Coalition.
O'Shaughnessy started the Micro-School Coalition. She hopes micro-schools can help ease drop-out rates, making sure no kid falls through the cracks.
She says they also allow teachers to build relationships with each student and focus on their passions.
“We all thrive when we're seen and heard and valued, and that can't always happen if a teacher has 149 other kids to teach that day,” said O'Shaughnessy.
She says parents in the Seattle area have turned to social media with questions about logistics or inclusion. That's also true for a mom in Boston who has created a Facebook group for parents and educators interested in micro-schooling.
"We want to utilize curriculum that our school system is working very hard to create,” said Jennifer Quadrozzi, who started the Massachusetts "Micro-Schooling" Resource Group. “We by no means are saying that's not good enough for us. We wish, in the perfect world, we could send them back to school and learn what teachers have to learn, but, for various reasons, we are uncomfortable doing that."
The Micro-School Coalition offers free information sessions and podcasts if you want to learn more.
O'Shaughnessy hopes the conversation on micro-schooling will increase scrutiny of our current system, which she calls outdated.