Olathe Parks, Recreation provides safe place for remote learning

Olathe Parks, Recreation provides safe place for remote learning

OLATHE, KS (KCTV) – Parents who can’t work from home need a place where their kids can have some structure and a good WIFI signal. That means some are getting creative with finding places to work and a few cities are working to fill new needs.

At first glance, it looks just like any other classroom, a place to keep kids’ mind and bodies working.

“Week two I think we’re getting the hang of it,” Adrienne Lund with Olathe Parks and Recreation said.

The Olathe Parks and Recreation Department saw a need in its community this fall.

“We wanted to come up with a solution for parents who have to work or other obligations,” Lund said.

They converted a childcare room previously used by parents using the fitness center. They already had staff on hand who could help with the kids.

Olathe schools lent desks and the WIFI works great. The service costs around $100 a week and the 30 spots they offered families has filled up.

“Children seem to be thriving and the staff seems to be getting used to it,” Lund said.

It’s part of a larger trend among families getting creative with remote learning.

“We’re adjusting really well. Better than I could have thought,” parent Rebecca Parker said.

Parker and her husband work from home, so does their daughter Kalli. So Tuesday they mixed up class a little bit with a trip to the public market next to Lenexa City Hall.

“This is our first outing since school started so we wanted to change it up. We have a meeting, so we wanted to have lunch together,” Parker said.

The city of Lenexa is also offering a paid service exclusively to its employees.

“In a lot of cases our employees didn’t have good options,” Lenexa City Manager Beccy Yocham said.

Yocham says its program even includes kids from several different districts.

“It seems like every child in the learning lab has a different schedule, but it’s worked out really well,” Yocham said.

In these environments, kids can access their class at a safe distance from other students embarking on a semester like no other.

“To be able to provide this for families in Olathe is a big win for a lot of people,” Lund said.

Kansas City Parks and Recreation is also offering something like this to around 150 Kansas City Public School students. Johnson County Parks and Recreation is also offering learning hubs at five different sites this fall.