Baton Rouge dad creates unique virtual learning environment for his daughter and her friends

Businessman gets creative to develop safe learning environment for daughter and her friends

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s a different type of classroom that parents may want to look into. A father turns his business’s conference room into a classroom for his daughter and her classmates.

It all started with an accident knock on the door at Cardinal Financial Company, “And Megan went to the door to answer the door and they said ‘we are here to pick up our kids,’ and she said ‘we’re a mortgage company, we don’t have kids’” said Jim Mora. For businessman Mora, this sparked an idea.  

The first floor of Mora’s business, it all still looks normal with small offices and conference tables, but upstairs is one of Baton Rouge’s newest classrooms.

Mora set up this makeshift classroom for a half-dozen seventh-graders from both Woodlawn and Southeast Middle Magnet, including his daughter. This way their kids are still leaving home each day and are able to sit in a place where they can focus on their schoolwork without the many distractions of home. 

However, there is a woman in charge of the classroom, Donna Wells. She’s a former teacher and is there to supervise the children with homework or help them if they have any questions.

“I think it is very important, I tutor kids at their homes and it’s easier to not be distracted in a more generalized environment where we can make this like a schoolroom. They know they are at school, this isn’t there at home, in their bed or their couch, whatever,” says Wells. 

For the students, it’s been an adjustment, but one that the students are getting used to.

“Well, I really like it because a lot of it involves my friends that I’ve known ever since elementary school. So it’s nice to kind of have them around with all of the stress with COVID,” says Caitlyn Grusse who is a 7th grader at Woodlawn Middle Magnet. Imma Walker says, “I mean I like this better because there’s free time, there’s not as much people.”

Students are social distancing by spreading out at their personal desks. Inside their new classroom in an unlikely location...a new sign of the times. 

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.