Wealthy New York City parents are spending upwards of $70,000 to hire private educators to oversee their children while learning remotely.
Fox News reported that the parents are already paying five-figure private school tuitions, and will now be paying even more to set up “pods” of four to ten students in the same grade who will be led by a private educator.
Christopher Rim, founder of the education and college consulting firm Command Education, has been inundated with calls from “desperate parents” demanding leaders for pods that they’ve created with other families. He’s already staffed four pods in the Hamptons with tutors and expects to close in on 10 by the time the school year begins, with kids expected to rotate learning at a different home each week. One Water Mill parent already volunteered her 13-bedroom manse as the permanent home base of her kid’s 11th-grade four-person learning pod. He charges $3,500 a week per student, but offers a flat rate of $70,000 per kid if you pay the whole year up front, which covers 30 weeks of school.
“These days, nothing is off the table. It’s about your child not falling behind,” Rim told The [New York] Post of parents’ decision to pod. “There’s nothing too expensive in terms of education for their child.”
Rim, a 25-year-old Yale grad with a BA in psychology who started the company in 2015 out of his dorm room, trains his tutors, who are all Ivy-league educated and under 30 years old. Some have teaching degrees and are certified to teach in public schools but not all. Said Rim, “This is not a replacement for school. This is not an accredited program. This is a supplement to make sure the students are on track.” All his tutors will be tested for COVID weekly, and will follow CDC guidelines for social-distancing whenever possible.
As the New York Post reported, about 1,200 schools in New York City have been approved to reopen by the state’s Department of Education.
“All individual plans for the city’s schools were due to be submitted to the state by Friday, thanks to an extension. The DOE issued a midday press release that only accounted for roughly 1,200 schools but insisted that the remaining plans would be submitted by the deadline,” the outlet reported. “Officials said 1,067 schools have chosen one of the blended learning DOE models, which means students will go to school between one and three days a week depending on the chosen format of the school.”
Half of the schools that opted for the blended model – about 573 schools – will create two groups of students that will “consistently attend school twice a week and alternate between remote learning and in-person learning on an additional day on a weekly basis,” the Post reported.
Another 279 schools will split students into three groups, with kids in each group attending class one day a week and alternating two additional in-class days per week. Middle and high school students attending a separate group of 151 schools will be split into three groups “on an alternating six-day schedule,” the outlet reported.