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A young girl with a glue bottle doing arts and crafts.

School will look quite different for many families this year. No matter if it’s similar to the distance-learning experience your child or children had this past spring or not, there’s no denying that online or hybrid schooling presents challenges — whether that’s the school work itself, missing socialization or extracurriculars, or lacking help with care while you juggle your own work and schedule as a parent.

To help support the families in our communities, Life Time is rolling out new offerings for virtual learning assistance and enrichment opportunities, all in a safe environment and on a schedule that fits your needs. We spoke to Samantha Stark, director of operations for Life Time Kids, about these new options and what parents can expect when they sign their kids up for them.

Life Time (LT) | What new programming is Life Time offering to support families given the changes in schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Samantha Stark (SS) | We’ve added a Distance Learning Support Camp that will help keep kids connected and on track during the school year, as well as provide full or partial days of care for parents. Kids will be able to continue to meet the expectations required by their school while also having the benefit of engaging in many activities that may be omitted right now, such as language, gym, and arts and crafts.

We are also adding more one-hour kids classes to our schedules. One class per child per day is included in Life Time memberships. (While reservations for kids classes aren’t required, we do recommend them as class sizes are limited.)

LT | What ages can attend Distance Learning Support Camp?

SS | Pre-K through sixth grade. However, if your child is not in one of those grades and you’re interested in the offering, please fill out this request form and we’d be happy to see if we can accommodate you.

LT | Is Distance Learning Support Camp open to Life Time members and nonmembers?

SS | Like our Summer Camp, you do not have to be a Life Time member to enroll your child in Distance Learning Support Camp. However, members do receive an exclusive lower price and are able to reserve spots before nonmembers, as capacities are limited to ensure proper social distancing.

LT | What days is camp offered?

SS | You have the option to sign up for either full or half days, and for one day or one week at a time. Camps are offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Days and times may vary slightly based on your local school district.) For an additional fee, you are able to drop your kids off at 7 a.m. for earlier care.

LT | What does a typical day at Distance Learning Support Camp look like?

SS | Time is provided throughout the day for campers to complete any required classwork, meetings, or projects. They can bring technology from home to do their work on, and have the advantage of having our team members available to help as needed. Our distance learning room will operate at a ratio of 1:5 — one team member per five students — which is half of what our typical ratio is. If a child needs more one-on-one support, individual and group tutoring is also available for an additional fee.

Outside of schoolwork, kids will also participate in small group activities of their choice, such as creating and building, reading, board games and challenges, and movement opportunities. Enrichment activities are also available, such as art, gym, sports, S.T.E.A.M., and music.

There are four different schedule and programming options for you to choose from based on your preferences and virtual learning time required by your school district. Each offers an active lesson plan that helps to maintain a routine for your kids.

Full-Day Virtual Learning (8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

This option is designed for children who are required to be engaged in learning for the majority of their day. Campers will work independently on virtual meetings or class assignments. Once they complete their schoolwork, they’ll join other campers for enrichment activities. The day’s schedule will include small-group activities, creative play, and distance-learning support based on your child’s school schedule.

Half-Day Virtual Learning (8 a.m.–noon or 1–5 p.m.)

This is a half-day alternative to a full day of virtual learning. You can choose to enroll in either the morning or afternoon sessions. This is a great option for families who are looking for partial care to support their child’s distance learning needs. The day’s schedule will include small-group activities and distance-learning support based on your child’s school schedule.

Full-Day Combo (8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Some virtual learning schedules only require children to be engaged online for part of their day — this option is perfect for those kids. Campers will work on virtual learning independently throughout the day based on their school’s schedule. In between classroom commitments they’ll participate in enrichment activities, such as gym games, sports, arts and crafts, and S.T.E.A.M., as well as creative play and small-group activities.

Half-Day Enrichment (8 a.m.–noon or 1–5 p.m.)

This fun-filled option fills in gaps in extracurricular offerings during your child’s school day, such as art, gym, sports, music, and more. You can choose to enroll in either the morning or afternoon sessions.

LT | Are you working with the local school districts in any way?

SS | Our camps will be offered at Life Time clubs that are located in school districts that have moved to an online or hybrid learning model. We have the ability to modify our times and schedules based on what each district determines as their needs. For example, if a district has their virtual classroom beginning at 8:20 a.m., we can modify our lesson plans to accommodate that.

While our times may be customized based on the needs of the school district in which the club is located, even if your child does not attend that district, they are welcome to still join Distance Learning Support Camp at that club. With so many scheduling options available, everyone should be able to find one that meets the needs of their child regardless of district.

LT | What safety measures and precautions are you taking to help keep kids safe while at camp?

SS | We are taking a number of safety and cleanliness measures that include the following:

  • Increasing our cleaning and disinfecting protocols to include hourly disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and nightly cleans using an EPA-registered virus-killing disinfectant.
  • Screening temperatures upon arrival to camp and during lunchtime. Campers with a temperature of 100.4 degrees F or above will not be permitted to attend or will need to be picked up by parent or guardian.
  • Excluding campers from attending based on symptoms of illness at check-in. If a camper exhibits signs of illness during the day, they will be removed from proximity to other campers, and the parents or identified guardians will be contacted for pickup.
  • Having our team members wear masks throughout the day. Campers will be required to wear masks in compliance with any state or local guidelines.
  • Using stickers, tape, and other visual cues to help campers identify safe social-distancing practices. We are limiting the instances of intermingling between team members and decreasing the cross transfer of spaces for our campers.
  • Creating lesson plans that support the need for social distancing and safety while still allowing kids to be active and have fun.

If offered at your club, we ask that all pre-registered families use curbside drop-off and pick-up to take their campers to and from camp. You can learn more about your club’s specific safety measures here.

LT | How can I find out more or register for Distance Learning Support Camp at Life Time?

SS | More information and registration details can be found by contacting the Kids Manager at your local club, or you can fill out a request form here.

Molly Schelper
Molly Schelper

Molly Schelper is the director of content strategy at Life Time.

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