As schools continue to grapple with reopening, the popularity of homeschool groups, or “pandemic pods” is on the rise. Parents are turning to home-based group education for many reasons. For some, public schools may be viewed as too high risk or too uncertain. Others are opting for a small group setting over their school districts’ online approach. Regardless of motivation or goals, a growing number of parents are proactively problem-solving the school dilemma themselves.
Learning pods vary in size, approach and arrangements. Parents may pool resources to hire an outside teacher(s) or they may rotate or share that responsibility amongst themselves. Groups may create their own curriculum and schedule, or they may opt to provide oversight while following the public school’s virtual curriculum, with the pod providing some in-person socialization for the children.
Each unique pod arrangement presents its own set of legal and liability considerations. Whose home will host the learning experience, or will it rotate? What if someone falls ill or becomes injured? Will the children be transported to outings? What is the responsibility of the host and/or teacher to implement protocols? As parents are scrambling to pull these arrangements together, they may not be thinking about their potential liability if something goes wrong.
Independent insurance agents have a role in educating their community about this aspect of creative school arrangements. Participate in online discussions happening on social media. Reconnect with clients who have school-aged children. Create blog posts for your website or newsletter. Submit an article to your local news outlets. These types of important discussions may help prevent a difficult situation arising from a case of underinsurance or a gap in coverage.