Scottie and Darrin Wikoff take the coronavirus seriously and did not want to send their children back to school without promising that class sizes would decrease.
“We can’t sit and wait, we can’t have full-time jobs, we have preschoolers at home,” Darrin said. “We have to take care of them.”
They settled into something they were reading: their own classroom, not at the kitchen table, but in a conference room at Darrin’s office. The conference room is not used much these days.
“There are nine families that we work quite closely with and they are rooted around our third graders and that’s us,” Scottie said.
These nine families will send all their children to learn together.
“We’re all going to agree from the start that we take social distancing seriously and we’re going to continue to maintain it because we’re now one group. We’re a community in this area,” Darrin said.
The pupils will all remain enrolled in their usual school, using distance education but without the teacher. Their daughter Charlotte said she couldn’t wait to try it out.
“I think it will be a bit the same but different,” Charlotte said.
Darrin and Scottie sifted through resumes to hire a teacher, hoping that with teachers resigning due to COVID-19, or retiring, they can find someone. If hiring a teacher sounds expensive, Scottie and Darrin said it might be time to do some math.
“It’s about $ 250 per child per month,” Scottie said.
A teacher’s salary of $ 45,000 breaks down 16 ways among all of these families, and it’s not fully available to many middle-class families with two working parents.
Darrin thinks it’s a movement that’s going to catch on.
“It’s one thing, it’s the reinvention of the one-class school where you have many different ages with smaller groups, and I was like, ‘You know, I can make this work. “”