Gainesville company finds creative way to help employee's children with remote learning

Parents have had to make tough decisions this school year about teaching children at home while still working full-time. A company in Gainesville said its employees were faced with the same decision, so their boss got creative.

Leesa Stoner knows about being a full-time parent while working a full-time job. Stoner is the CEO of FX Logistics in Gainesville.

"It's very difficult for the dual-income families, and I can imagine for anybody who's a single parent," said Stoner.

When coronavirus hit this spring, so many families had to make an abrupt switch to digital learning including employees at FX Logistics. Many of Stoner's employees said they were hopeful school would start in-person this year.

"We were all just devastated," said Sarah Eischen, work works at FX Logistics, "We had all chosen in-person learning, and then all of a sudden not only are we going 100% digital, but we have a week to figure things out."

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Eischen found out last week her two boys would be going to school digitally instead of in-person a week before school was supposed to start. When she went to her boss about it, her boss decided to create a classroom in their office.

"We said if this ever happens again, we're going to have to do something different," said Stoner, "That's when we thought, well, we're going to have to hire a teacher."

The office is set up like a normal school with desks, computers, and even hall passes. Each station is equipped for digital learning which will look different for each student. FX Logistics has employees from several area counties including Hall, Barrow, and Lumpkin counties.

"As opposed to doing it individually at home and hiring multiple people, this way, the kids can be together, so they can have that space and time with each other," explained Stoner.

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The company has hired one teacher so far with plans to hire at least one other teacher. They said roughly 15 students are taking advantage of the academy. About 10 kids will be there every day as young as kindergartners while their parents work across the hall.

"There is definitely going to be some trial and error trying to figure things out, they will have their own curriculum to follow, but we're going to do our best to help them," said Eischen.