Businesses Offer Students Remote Learning Alternatives

Some businesses are using their space to offer a hybrid alternative for students opting for remote learning

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KidZania in Frisco is an interactive make-believe city in Frisco where kids rule. It opened in November and then closed shortly after that due to the pandemic. With no one using the 100,000 square foot space during the weekdays, it started offering 'Zchool DayZ' last month as an alternative remote learning space.

"It's just this built-in educational infrastructure that KidZania is already," Zchool DayZ Program Director Rebecca Shmukler said. "It's taking what we have to offer and figuring out how to still bring it to the world and to our community, even in a time when we cannot do that in the traditional way."

KidZopia students have to wear face masks, as do staff. They are divided into learning pods, where students from kindergarten through 6th grade take remote classes from their respective teachers, while pod leaders are on hand to help answer questions and supervise their work.

"Our main role is to guide them and support their actual teachers. We're not here to take anyone's place," Shmukler said. "Our goal is to give parents their days back. Give them their time to focus on their own work, on their own life, with the peace of mind that can only come if you know your kids are well taken care of, safe, and learning."

During breaks from Zoom classes and getting assigned work done, students can take recess in KidZania, and learn something while doing it. The 'city' allows kids to see what it's like to do different jobs -- from pilot to musician and more.

"Helping them learn about their world and become part of making the world what they want it to be," Shmukler said.

Zchool DayZ started on Aug. 17. The number of students varies each week. Fees start at $200 per week and are based on grade level. For more information click here.

The Sci-Tech Discovery Center in Frisco is also offering socially distanced learning pods for kindergarten through 5th grade starting Wednesday, Sept. 9.

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