Anchorage parents looking to pods, tutors and other options for virtual learning help

Katelynn Petersen teaches a student from her home in Anchorage.
Katelynn Petersen teaches a student from her home in Anchorage.(ktuu)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 4:58 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - With the Anchorage School District starting up on Aug. 20, parents are looking for options in assistance with virtual learning.

Katelynn Petersen owns and operates Problem Solved Tutoring in Anchorage, and she has had plenty of parents reaching out for help.

“Parents are looking for support in finding that their kids are going to be okay,” she said.

She has also seen parents begin to form neighborhood pods, small groups of children and parents working through online school.

“People are reaching out to their network, people in the neighborhood,” she said. “ Facebook is a good resource for that. And the neighborhood apps are another good resource for just reaching out to see if people are available to teach these new things.”

Erin Kirkland is running a pod of six students. She’s an Alaska travel specialist and often works with youth. Kirkland is creating a pod where students will be able to log on to class as well as learn about the outdoors.

“I’m just trying to contribute in a positive way to my community,” she said. “And to the community’s kids because, honestly, these kids are gonna grow up to be the future leaders of Alaska. I’m just trying to do my own small part to help them do this confidently.”

Petersen knows that not all families can afford a professional tutor, but she said that there are other resources out there to help families.

She recommends taking children to the library often for reading material. For parents concerned about understanding complicated material, like higher-level math, she said not to worry.

“I get dozens of emails a week saying my kid has just reached fifth grade and I don’t know this common core,” Petersen said. “You don’t need to. Just reassure your child to go back to their teacher and get that information and that help.

Petersen said one of the most important things parents can do is to develop a relationship with instructors and reach out whenever a question arises.

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