Families concerned about students falling behind hiring tutors for ‘pandemic pods’

VIDEO: Pros and cons of 'pandemic pods'

Families concerned about kids falling behind this school year are hiring tutors for so-called “pandemic pods”.

In some cases, the classes, which can be done from any laptop, will have a flat fee.

So if a class costs $60 and you split it 10 ways between 10 children in a pod, it’s only $6.

Content Continues Below

One family said that with some public schools shutting down they wanted something more and got it with a company called Varsity Tutors that does online classes -- some of them for free.

Varsity Tutors says it has seen huge increases in sign-ups.

Seattle is a high-tech market and so we find a lot of families are that much more prone to accepting technological solutions.” Said Brian Galvin with Varsit Tutors.

The catch of course is that not everyone can afford these classes. Some are very expensive.

The school board president in Seattle says that sparks major concerns.

“I support parent choice, but what I want to see is helping the ones who are not able to get into a pod and pay for a tutor,” said Manuela Slye, Seattle Council PTSE.

There is also the debate over equity and students that cannot get online easily or afford their own devices.

On Wednesday, Seattle Public Schools took delivery of thousands of iPads and even so, Superintendent Denise Juneau said they would not be enough to bridge a technology gap.

KIRO 7 monitored a pandemic pod Facebook group for several months and it has seen thousands of people sign up, proving that many are trying out the idea, or at least looking at it.