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Marshalltown parents consider at-home schooling options

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO — Anna Wolvers has collected supplies for students to use at Wolvers University in the fall. She plans to supervise learning and offer supplemental teaching to students who are not attending in-person schooling.

Many parents are considering at-home schooling options as the pandemic continues to hit Marshalltown.

With the district offering the option to learn in-person or virtually, parents are weighing the options.

In-person schooling offers important socialization but risks the spread of COVID-19. School district staff have worked hard to offer options, but there are no perfect solutions to schooling during the pandemic

Marshalltown resident and father Devon Plante said he will keep his daughter home this fall.

“I just know my daughter will not be attending the school district this year for the fact of being around all the students that could be carrying the virus,” he said.

Anna Wolvers plans to offer a small group atmosphere for virtual schooling. She is a former Marshalltown Community School District teacher.

Plante said students could be exposed to COVID-19 at school and bring it home to their family members.

He compared the virus to lice in how it can spread between children.

“They’re bringing thousands of kids into the school district back to school,” Plante said. “They’re all going to be around each other. You don’t know if those kids have been out of state. They could be carrying the COVID-19 virus,” he said.

Anna Wolvers used to work at MCSD and plans to offer a small group option in which she will supervise online learning and offer supplemental lessons in what she calls Wolvers University.

She has been a teacher for 14 years. Wolvers was ready for a change and felt this was the right time.

“I might as well do what I know and love,” she said.

Many families have two working parents who cannot stay home to supervise their children’s learning.

Wolvers said there has definitely been interest from families.

“There’s a big need to help families,” she said.

Kids will register with the school for the online classes and Wolvers will supervise. She will also provide tutoring sessions.

Wolvers is offering what she calls a “blend of both worlds” — virtual learning and in-person learning.

She is looking for buildings to rent, furniture and hopes to have businesses sponsor the program for families who may not be able to afford it.

Wolvers has faced many difficulties during the process. The internet service she would need to support the digital learning is expensive and requires two weeks to install. She would also need a food license to be able to serve meals from the school district, which takes 30 days to apply for.

For the time being, kids will bring their own lunches and snacks. Wolvers is still figuring out pricing.

With difficulty procuring insurance for her tutoring model, she is considering making it a daycare or homeschool co-op instead.

Wolvers has 15 spaces for children in grades kindergarten through sixth. She will not require masks for students.

Parents who are interested can contact Wolvers at anna_wolvers@hotmail.com or go to www.wolversuniversity.com.

“I have the skills and supplies ready to roll and am looking for business partners to help with the building and utilities to keep the services more affordable for families,” she said.

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Contact Anna Shearer at 641-753-6611 or ashearer@timesrepublican.com

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