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Local moms start business to help parents with at-home learning

Former teacher and neighbor find opportunity to help with at-home learning

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio — A couple of local moms are finding a new opportunity during this trying time of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Teacher Jenny Dodson quit her day job to launch her dream job.

"I am back to just teaching and the kids are really what is most important," said Dodson as she parted ways with the public school meetings, paperwork and testing to get her new company off the ground. Her business provides small, learning pods for at-home curriculum. They are held on public grounds outside of the home. Class sizes are capped and education is at the center of every minute of the condensed community learning.

Co-owner Emili Riscili wanted a solution for her own children and their at-home hours from Olentangy Local Schools. She said she shared frantic texts with neighborhood parents and realized there was an opportunity to make something bigger.

"We needed to find help for our children. We started to group and fit kids with teachers and we turned it to something we could help others with. And we're both very passionate about it," said Riscili.

The two moms turned their own questions about childcare and concerns about at-home learning into a business plan. From their first conversation to the business launch, only mere days passed. They named their mini school "Web Student Services."

"I resigned on a Tuesday. Emily asked me to help her on Thursday and by Friday we had all of our kids at the park and the two of us were pushing swings and talking through the business model," said Dodson of how quickly Web Student Services came to fruition.

Within the first week, they say Web Student Services saw more than 70 families interested. Most families pay around $90 per week. The classes are led by many former teachers from Central Ohio Schools. As Dodson explained, they hired teachers who had contracts with public schools not extended last spring due to shrinking budgets and COVID-19 concerns. They have also hired former teachers who stepped away for a couple of years to raise their young children.