WALLINGFORD — Since both middle schools are switching to virtual learning until Jan. 19, the Wallingford Family YMCA on South Elm Street is offering distance learning co-ops. The program will start this Monday, offering services from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It’s a need that parents have for their kids to be able to go some place, do their distance learning while being safe and watched and helped, but then also they have the ability to come and use the facilities and stuff like that,” said Eric Skinner, YMCA director of youth development.
Each student will be put in a cohort, with each group having a state-mandated maximum of 16 children.
“They won’t interact in person with another group,” said Rob Newton, YMCA youth and camp coordinator. “Say if we have two groups, each group will handwash, they’ll have their own bag of equipment, their own sanitizing sprays and cleaners and we just make sure that everybody has their masks on at all times when we’re together. That goes as well for our staff.”
Students should bring their school-issued Chromebook or other school device and a pair of headphones for distance learning. They should also bring a lunch, a water bottle and a book to read. The YMCA is also working with the schools to provide school-issued free lunches.
“The schools are giving out lunches to all students,” said Sean Doherty, executive director. “That was part of the conversation today with the superintendent...to incorporate that...”
When the school days is over, students will be allowed to use the YMCA facility. All children should bring a bathing suit and towel because groups may be able to swim.
“By 2 p.m., they’re pretty much done with their day, we would go to the Y, go outside if we can, use the gymnasium, they can go swimming, they can use our fitness center,” Skinner said.
Doherty said that the co-op will helps families with distance learning at an affordable price.
“We provide it as affordable as we can and also offer financial assistance…,” Doherty said. “We can also utilize the YMCA facilities to provide that distance learning option for the kids in a fun environment.”
Completed registration forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Education voted last week to halt in-person classes at the town’s middle and high schools until Jan. 19 because of the COVID-19 surge.