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Local Parents Turn to ‘Learning Pods’ This Fall Instead of Distance Learning Alone

Keeping her three children engaged in distance learning this spring was overwhelming for Alfalfa resident Christie Otley.

And in late July, when Bend-La Pine Schools announced that students would again be taught remotely when the school year began due to COVID-19, Otley was upset. Her youngest son — an incoming first-grader at Buckingham Elementary with a developmental disability — needed to socialize, she said.

But then, Otley discovered learning pods: small groups of students who meet multiple days a week inside family homes to be taught by parents or tutors, sometimes using the local school district’s curriculum.

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