Parents look at alternative learning spaces for students this fall

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DENVER (KDVR) — Parents are looking at alternative learning spaces this fall as there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding what their child’s schooling will look like.

Kate Patton says she wanted to find more structure for her middle school daughter the days she’s learning remotely.

“I just thought if I could have a little more structure this year and a place to go so she’s not sitting in bed doing her school work, I thought that would be the best for everybody,” said Patton.

Patton owns and operates “Venture X,” a shared office space with rooms to spare. Now, she’s working to fill one of the spare rooms with a “micro school,” a space where students come together to learn. Patton describes it as a mini classroom setting.

“My idea is to have the students in the office and have a tutor here. They would do their online schooling and use that curriculum and have a tutor augment that, help them with any issues they’re having,” said Patton.

According to the Colorado Department of Education, if a student is enrolled in a public school, there are no education license requirements for a micro school or learning pod. However, there may be daycare license requirements depending how many students are attending at a given time. A spokesperson with the Department of Human Services says that is an “ongoing conversation.”

Under Colorado’s current Child Care Licensing Act, certain child care arrangements are exempt from licensing requirements. Less than 24-hour care provided in a home is allowed if it is for four or fewer children under the age of 18 and no more than two children are under the age of two years old. The children are not required to be related to each other or the caregiver. That means a person providing care for more than four children would be required to have a child care license. 

“I feel like this is a good solution. They can get out of the house if their parents need to work, they can socialize, have a tutor and still have their great curriculum,” said Patton.

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