MCKINNEY, Texas - The chaos and confusion over when school starts and for which school district has forced groups of parents in Collin County to group together.
The group is using their personal talents and training to help make the COVID-19 crisis easier. They've come together and found their own solutions within their own communities.
Brandi Tayler is not the only mom wanting to make online learning easier for parents and more enriching for students.
“Getting the job done is going to require a team,” she said. “And I just want to help where I can. And I know I’m not the only one.”
Tayler is one of nearly 600 parents, mostly moms, on the QuaranTEACH McKinney Facebook page that connects teachers, tutors, nannies and more to one another to find solutions to the endless problems in a pandemic.
Lara Austin is a former kindergarten teacher, now homeschool parent, who started the group.
Many moms are forming pods with, say, half a dozen children who are close in age with similar needs, taking turns to lead lessons.
“I have a kindergartener. You have a kindergartener. Let’s meet up and, you know, Monday, I’ll drop my kids off here. Tuesday, we’ll go here,” Austin explained.
Julie Dickens is taking it a step further.
“What if we went ahead and created like a fine arts program where the kiddos could come in. They could do a combination of movement and dance,” she said.
Dickens is both a mom and owner of JDM School of Dance in McKinney. She’s turning the dance school into a virtual school, opening the studio during the day to 14 students for under $250 a week, guiding them through classes and choreography.
“Just another option that I feel like I was able to create for our community,” she said.
Tayler, herself, is a former kindergarten teacher and now tutor. She’s not offering her services to other students until she knows her own 5-year-old can handle a full day of school online. She warns parents it’ll be like a job.
“The moms are going to be busy. The dads are going to be busy. The caregivers are going to be busy,” she said.
Tayler hopes it’s made easier by community and camaraderie.
“We don’t have so much control, but we can do something about it,” Austin said.