Salisbury Daily Times
SALISBURY, MD. — Christy Rose was at a loss as she and her husband, Andrew, prepared for the upcoming school year.
Their two daughters — one in Kindergarten and the other in third grade — were set to attend Northwestern Elementary School in Mardela Springs. That was until COVID-19 forced the prevention of in-person learning for several schools across the state.
Students and teachers have moved quickly to adjust to a virtual format, while parents balance their responsibilities at work with the attention required for their child’s education.
It’s an issue members of the DiCarlo Digital Copy Center noticed. The family-owned business has several employees — including Andrew Rose — with young children.
The company holds training sessions every month in which businesses come on site and learn to operate certain equipment and devices. Since the pandemic, those sessions have been halted, leaving DiCarlo Digital Copy Center with an open space.
Company officials started to brainstorm ideas for the vacant spot, and given the struggles some parents were preparing to face with a virtual academic year, a classroom for children of DiCarlo employees became the new solution.
“For an employer to invest in their employees, it shows a lot about the employer themselves,” Christy Rose said. “(DiCarlo) has always put their employees first.”
‘We’re a very close company’
The DiCarlo School of Virtual Learning kicked off Tuesday, the start of the 2020-21 academic year, with just under 10 students taking part in the experience, according to marketing director Susan Martin.
Students are seated at desks and spread out at least 6 feet apart. Plexiglass sheets surround each student and a moderator is in the room at all times to assist, if needed. Students range from Kindergarten to freshmen in high school.
“It was a huge weight lifted off our shoulders,” Rose said. “They have plenty of supplies, are wearing masks, and (DiCarlo) is definitely taking the right approach while allowing us to get back to normal.”
Martin said the idea easily came to fruition due to the family-type atmosphere at DiCarlo.