CHICAGO (CBS) — We’re creeping closer to the start of school, and the inevitable question remains: how will parents juggle work and virtual learning?
The Morning Insiders are always on the hunt to find workplaces that pivot to meet a need. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory shows us a business ready to play babysitter.
There’s no escaping it. COVID-19 is causing a racket; not only smacking businesses in their pockets, but serving up a giant a ball of stress for parents.
Peter Goldman is volleying for the chance to lift some of this weight. He’s the managing partner at Lakeshore Fitness, and plans to convert at least two of its tennis courts into remote learning labs when school starts.
“There’s lot of parents who have to work,” he said. “If your kid is supposed to be in Zoom calls from 9 to noon, we’re going to be there supporting those calls from 9 to noon, and then figuring out the programming from noon to 3:30; you know, lunch, and recess, and gym.”
Students will follow COVID protocols, he said, as children already do during day camp. Goldman expects most of the 100 spots available will be filled by first through fourth graders.
“We’re going to pair them up so that it’s safe in the groups of 10,” he said.
Kids will be spaced out using spots in the gym that are sitting empty, like their yoga studio. The pandemic made this new programming possible, which is bittersweet.
“Revenue is way down, utilization is less half of what it was before,” Goldman said. “The cost of operating a business and a building of this size, and the number of people we employ, we’re clearly losing money.”
This pivoting will cost parents $90 to $100 a day. Profit for Lakeshore Fitness, sure, but also a bit of a pain.
“Some people are at this school, and some people are at that school,” he said. “Just the bandwidth that we need from a Wi-Fi perspective for 50 or 100 kids doing Zoom calls at the same time is extraordinary.”
It’s a logistical nightmare for Goldman, but perhaps a dream come true for working families.
“I’m really worried, personally, about the lost generation of kids coming out of COVID, and being sequestered, and not being socialized,” he said.
Netting one solution to the virus’ many problems.
Goldman said he doesn’t mind if other businesses copy his model.
The remote learning program at Lakeshore Fitness is only open to members, but Goldman said he’ll share best practices (and any bumps) with the Illinois Fitness Alliance.