MANSFIELD (1080 KRLD) - With the start of this school year as abnormal as it can possibly get for most students, one Mansfield woman is working to bring some sense of normalcy to kids' lives.
Most students are starting the school year at home, online; and that can present a problem not just for the kids, but also for their parents.
"A lot of there parents are like, 'I can't even help them. I'm not a teacher. I'm not tech-savvy,' and things like that," says Theresa Ellington, who saw a unique need and has the ability to do something about it.
"I'm a former technology director for a small private school, and I was an instructional technology specialist for a charter school district," says Ellington. "So I have the background."
Ellington is using that background in setting up a remote learning support service in downtown Mansfield.
"We are using some space in a karate studio that's open at night," Ellington says, "and their studio is empty during the day."
Each day, Ellington transforms that karate studio into an off-site one-room school.
"I found some free desks from a school getting rid of them," says Ellington. "Every student has their own desk six feet apart, and we do school together."
Not only is Ellington a former school technology director, but she's also a certified teacher, so she can help the kids with whatever they may need help with.
"I help them with their lessons," Ellington says. "I make sure they're on their team sessions when they're supposed to be. And when they get their assignments done, I re-teach whatever they need re-taught."
On top of that, Ellington uses the small karate studio next door for physical education.
The service is available for kids in grades two through 12, and Ellington offers rates for full, half, and quarter days.
Space is limited to 12 students per day.
The main goal -- to bring some sense of normalcy to a most unusual school year.
"As normal as possible when you have six kids staring at each other, all with headphones on," says Ellington.