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Carbondale offers new resource for employees with school-aged children

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City Hall Students

CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Remote learning has presented challenges for students, teachers and for working parents. Carbondale city leaders are helping address that problem for their employees.

Tara Brown, HR manager with the city, says leaders knew they had to find a solution to keep city employees returning to work each day.

"Well, the city manager had made reference to us finding an opportunity to help the employees who had raised concerns in reference to having a safe place for their children to do their online learning."

Eric Stead is the Cedar Lake Supervisor for the city of Carbondale. He's been dropping his son Wyatt off at City Hall.

"So we drop him off between 8 and 8:30 in the morning and pick him up between 4 and 4:30 in the afternoon."

"Much of my work, I can't do in an office, or from home, so we really did found ourselves in a bind when it came to looking for a place to put Wyatt," said Stead.

Brown says teachers from the Carbondale School District are on hand to assist the students with their online classes.

"We have a certified teacher, and a degreed teacher, substitute teachers, to help us with the online learning systems for each of the children. We have children from four different school districts right now," explained Brown.

"And the teachers here help him through all of his assignments, and it seems like he gets a very comparable experience here that he would at a regular school," added Stead.

Brown says their goal is to keep the community functioning, and that means providing employees peace of mind.

"Because we wanted to make sure that they were able to continue working, to be able to stay, we didn't have a break in service while they're working, and to provide a safe opportunity for their children to learn."

"Yeah, he's learning, and that's the most important thing," said Stead.

Students are also provided P.E., music and art opportunities, as well as special presentations from different career fields, such as firefighters and foresters.

John Ross

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