Digital Exclusive: Virtual learning poses new challenges for daycare facilities

Digital Exclusive

PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pittston Area School District announced last week that the beginning of the school year will be remote. Samantha Ashby, owner of The Learning Station in Pittston, says she was concerned for parents when she heard this.

“We have so many families, especially in an area like this, it is a lower income area. These parents have to go to work. They don’t have the option to stay home – you know one parent stay home with the children while the other one goes to work,” Samantha Ashby said.

She says people are enrolling their school aged children, up to 12 years old, in her daycare. While the daycare has most of the supplies needed to support a maximum of 40 kids, Asbhy says they still need desks.

“We don’t use desks we have tables because it’s all learning through play here so you are usually together in groups,” Ashby said.

Ashby says the desks are important to help the kids socially distance themselves from each other, which could be difficult with the tables they have now.

“You have a laptop, a laptop, a laptop, a laptop. And then in between you have to try and fit whatever papers they have and whatever supplies they need. There’s not really the amount room to do it comfortably without getting work mixed up with the next kid,” Ashby said.

That’s not the only concern Ashby has.

“Even if we have our headphones in or earbuds you’re still going to have the child seeing the screen next to them and possibly getting distracted. Especially in childcare with mixed aged groups,” she said.

Ashby says she reached out to Kevin Booth, the superintendent of the Pittston Area School District, to see if they could use some of the desks in the schools.

“We have been told… I’ve been told no by the superintendent at this point. But I did beg and plead my case for desks and he said he would talk to the board and they will give us a decision tomorrow as to whether they’ll let us do that or not,” Ashby said.

Eyewitness News reached out to Booth, who says there will be an executive session Monday evening with the Board of Education to discuss this situation along with others

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