Kids in Preschool

FAQ

Learning pods, microschools, pandemic pods!
Lots of new terms, lots of new ideas, and plenty of questions to go along with them.

This FAQ page can help.

 

Please note these answers are specific to how Scoot at Home is helping families form learning pods.


There are lots of valid and awesome perspectives but these are ours. We'll update this page as we learn more from navigating this brave new world with our families and educators!

Frequently asked questions

Introduction to Learning Pods

What's a learning pod? How is it different to a pandemic pod or microschool?


Here are some helpful definitions:

  • Home Learning Pod
    The focus is on creating a physical setting to complement virtual instruction from schools, including supervision, technical support, and socialization for grade-school aged children and youth while parents attend virtual meetings and complete work.
    Children could be all in the same class or school, or a mix.
  • Nanny Share
    Particularly for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, with a setup similar to pre-pandemic nanny shares, operating out of one or more family homes.
    Caregiver could be a nanny, a preschool teacher, or a stay-at-home parent caring for their own child plus one or more others.
  • Microschool
    A more formal and often somewhat larger group, with curriculum being delivered by an in-person teacher(s). For younger children, these may look similar to pre-pandemic preschools or daycares located in a home or meeting outdoors in nature.
    These programs may require a license, depending on what state you live in, the children’s ages, and the number of children.
  • Playdate Pod
    Pod families get together at each other’s homes or in parks for playdates, which are typically limited to a few hours each day or week.
  • Hybrid Pod
    A pod could include aspects of multiple pod types, for example, by having time for remote learning during the day, with playdate time together with parents later in the afternoon; or by having elements of a Microschool with a part-time teacher providing enrichment activities or specialized tutoring.




Does a learning pod replace or supplement my child's regular schooling?


The intention of a Scoot at Home learning pod is to complement the instruction and academics offered by the school. Home learning pods work together with virtual participation in a regular grade school. We call this academic enrichment and is designed to bring the academics to life for maximum engagement from the student(s). This could mean having the learning pod educator supervise students while they're participating in virtual school instruction and offering in-person support for questions, experiments, etc. and/or the educator can provide additional lesson activities that complement the virtual instruction outside of school hours.




How do pods get organized, is there a leader?


Normally Scoot at Home learning pods are organized by participating families who already know and trust one another. This is helpful as the participating families need to form an isolation bubble to keep the pod safe.




How many students can be in a pod?


A K-6 pod can have up to six students and grade 7 to 12 pods can have a maximum of eight students.




How many families can be in a pod?


For safety, a maximum of three families is recommended for each pod.




Do learning pods have to be five days a week?


Nope! Provided the pod schedule matches the educator's schedule, you can have as many or as few days per week as you choose. Pods can even be held on Saturdays or Sundays.




How long do learning pods have to last for each day?


The default Scoot at Home learning pod day is five hours with the educator(s).




Who creates the curriculum for a learning pod?


Learning pod curriculum is based on the regular school grade curriculum. This helps students be prepared to recommence in-person academics on pace when schools reopen. Each pod day includes prep time for the educator so they can be prepare lesson plans, activities and read-up on the upcoming curriculum.




What kind of setting is recommended for pods to create an environment conducive to learning?


A pod can be created in whatever space is available! However, for safety reasons, we suggest being outside is best, followed by an indoor space with plenty of ventilation. The more room to allow for social distancing, the better. In regards to a conducive learning environment: We suggest taking the time to transform a space in your home to be tailored and dedicated to teaching and learning. You'll be using it frequently so if you allocate a space solely for learning that's best!
In terms of design, minimal clutter and functionality is important but also taking advantage of the innovation a home can provide. Flexible-seating classrooms like these can give inspiration!

Things to think about including in your home classroom:

  • White board
  • Supplies (pen, paper, markers, etc)
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Timer
  • Organization/storage items
  • Folders (for communicating with parents)
  • Extra masks (in case someone forget or loses one)





Pricing & Enrollment

How much do Scoot at Home educators cost for my learning pod?


Scoot charges based on: - The grade levels included in each pod - Per day each pod is hosted See our Plans & Pricing page for more information. Each pod day includes: - Four hours of academic enrichment - One hour of supervision and/or 1:1 tutoring - A ten minute rest break for the educator, per California law - 50 minutes for the educator to prep for future pod days (think of it as a prep period) In special circumstances we can tailor the pod schedule. Contact a consultation to discuss.




Do I have to make a minimum commitment to schedule a Scoot at Home educator?


A minimum of five pod days must be purchased to start. There is no minimum commitment beyond that but there is a 10% discount for committing to 60 pod days!




How and when do I pay for a Scoot at Home educator?


When your pod schedule is first confirmed, you'll be charged for the first week. After that, Scoot at Home charges your credit card at the start of each week that has pods scheduled during the next 7 days.




Can the cost of an educator be shared across multiple families in my pod?


Yes! Provided the split doesn't change week to week, we can split each charge across upto three credit cards.




What's your cancellation and refund policy?


Families must give Scoot at Home 24 hours advance notice to cancel or reschedule a shift. Shifts cancelled less than 24 hours beforehand will be billed at 50% of the normal rate. Shifts cancelled with less than one hours’ notice will be charged at 100% of the normal rate.

Any prepaid shifts that are cancelled at least 24 hours in advance and will not be rescheduled will be refunded to the credit card on file.




Do you offer customized/tailored pricing?


We want to make sure as many families as want to can engage in a learning pod so in unique circumstances we can tailor our offerings to suit your family.





Who is Scoot at Home?

Who is Scoot at Home and Scoot Education?


Scoot at Home is an offering from Scoot Education. Scoot Education is an education staffing company with offices in California, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand. Globally Scoot and its affiliates fill more than 450,000 teacher vacancies annually. Our company mission is: To help create exceptional experience in education. And that's why Scoot has expanded into Scoot at Home to try to help families navigate the challenges of virtual learning and try to help students not fall behind academically or socially. See more: www.scoot.education




How do I contact Scoot at Home?


During the summer our office hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday: 9am to 4pm
  • Fridays: 9am to 12.30pm
Our phone number is 310 477 7707 (option 2 for Scoot at Home). Go to www.at-home.education/contact-us for full contact information.




How does the Scoot at Home process work?


Great question - our process for matching a Scoot at Home educator with a learning pod is highly tailored to each family. No two pods are the same and that's why we assign an education consultant to each pod before and after confirming an educator. For more information on our process, visit our How It Works page




Where does Scoot at Home offer educators for learning pods?


We employ educators in the following areas of California:

  • Los Angeles
  • Modesto
  • Orange County
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Stockton




Who does Scoot Education normally work with?


Scoot Education works with hundreds of private, charter, and public schools up and down California. We help them fill temporary classroom vacancies with substitute teachers as well as help school recruit full-time educators and administrators to join their faculty permanently.




Are Scoot at Home teachers employees of Scoot?


Yes! Scoot at Home teachers are W2 employees of Scoot so we take care of the payroll, benefits, state/federal filings, and insurance.




Is Scoot at Home insured?


Yes; we carry all the various types of insurance to keep your pod families safe from risk exposure and our teachers are employees of ours so are covered by Scoot's insurance as well.





Pod Safety

Are there written guidelines on the commitments that pod families and the educator need to make to make everyone as safe as possible?


The learning pod educator and all family members should commit to forming an ‘isolation bubble agreement’ around their learning pod. Scoot will help broker this agreement between all parties to mutual agree on restrictions and precautions that will keep the bubble safe.




How do I know the educator is safe and trustworhy?


Scoot at Home goes through a thorough vetting process before hiring an educator. Hundreds of schools and families rely on us to provide teachers and we must meet the highest standards of vetting. Our hiring process includes:

  • Pre-screening
  • In-depth interviews
  • Professional references
  • Sexual harassment, mandated reporter, and health and safety training
  • TB clearance
  • The most thorough possible criminal background checks that include current and expunged results from California Department of Justice and the FBI.
  • Scoot's criminal background checks include ongoing arrest notifications so we can be aware of incidents as they occur




What precauations does Scoot at Home enforce to avoid the transmission of Covid?


To reduce the risk of virus transmission between educator and family members, all parties are required to take multiple precautions. To learn more about our safety polices, please review our Safety First page.




Do families and educators follow the same precautions?


Yes. The requirements agreed to in the shared isolation bubble agreement will apply to families and the educator.





Pod Teachers & Students

Are Scoot at Home educators credentialed?


Yes, for the Scoot At Home pods, we're prioritizing educators with CA credentials. Scoot employs teachers with a variety of educational backgrounds and credentials, but all educators have experience in school and/or with learning environments working with children. During the SAH process, parents are presented with each teacher candidate's profile including their education, experience, previous positions and at-home teaching pedagogy before the family select their SAH teacher.




Are Scoot at Home eduators just tutors disguised as teachers?


Scoot at Home only employs teachers. We do not offer tutoring services. Therefore all of our educators have classroom teaching experience that goes beyond just academics and are instead able to bring lesson plans to life, understand behaviour management techniques for engagement, and teach across a range of grade levels/subjects.




How many grade levels can a pod span?


While there is some flexibiltiy in unique circumstances, Scoot at Home recommends that pods include students from kindergarten to grade 6 in one pod and grade 7 to grade 12 students in an other pod. This is a similar split to traditional elementary and high schools.




How do K-6 pods differ from grade 7-12 pods?


Just like in elementary schools and high schools, students in different grade levels have different academic and social needs. Scoot at Home recommends these two grade spans to maintain social and academic growth. Lower grade level pods are often more general in nature with one educator assigned for the entire pod day. Higher grade level pods can have up to two educators who each specialize in different subject areas (e.g., STEM versus social studes).




Can I have more than one pod in my home?


Yes, provided the pods are in different parts of the home and the other safety rules are complied with.




Do Scoot at Home educators really need an hour of prep time?


Being a Scoot at Home learning pod educator can be challenging work as it can involve teaching multiple grade levels, very different student ability levels, and subjects all at the same time. For best results, we recommend an hour of prep time each day so the educator is compensated appropriately for doing their 'home-work', just as a classroom school teacher receives prep periods during the week.




What happens if I don't like the pod educator I chose?


Contact your Scoot consultant and they'll try to solve any issues that have come up but will find new educator(s) for consideration when that's neccessary.




Can my students take AP classes?


Yes, they can. However, this may require more than one educator. We'd suggest an educator take on more of a tutoring role in a priority subject and then help out elsewhere as possible.




Can Scoot at Home employ a pod teacher who I've found?


Yes! If you've found the perfect teacher but are worried about the financial and legal risks of employing them (or paying them in cash) then Scoot at Home can hire your teacher and take care of this burden for you. The benefits of this arrangement include:

  • Best possibel criminal background checks on the educator
  • Acess to Scoot at Home's tempates and services
  • Be covered under Scoot at Home's insurances
  • Scoot at Home handles all the federal and state filings for you
  • Teacher has access to workers' compensation and state benefits
You set the pay for the teacher, Scoot adds some statutory costs and a small margin to make up for us taking on this additional insurance exposure. To learn more, schedule a consultation and let them know you would us to us employ your teacher.





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Contact us

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Locations

Los Angeles

Modesto

Orange County

Sacramento

San Diego

San Francisco Bay Area

Stockton

Contact details

+1 310 477 7707

reply@scoot.education


M-Th: 9am to 4pm

F: 9am to 12.30pm

 

3839 Main St

Culver City, CA 90232

www.scoot.education

Teach with Scoot at Home! Apply now.