Why Learning Pods Are Good Options for Students with IEPs and 504 Plans

While the switch to online and hybrid-learning programs has been tough for students everywhere, it’s been especially hard on students with individualized education programs (IEPs) and 504 plans.

Students with learning differences typically need more structure and supervision at school. However, in online and hybrid-learning formats, teachers can’t meet these needs for students. As a result, parents may need to take over these responsibilities, which may not be feasible depending on what jobs and other duties they also have during their child’s school day. 

Online and hybrid-learning, then, may not be the best distance learning options for students with IEPs and 504s. Luckily, there’s another choice that provides support, supervision, and additional help for students: learning pods.

A student takes notes while sitting at a computer. Distance learning may work for some students, but it can often pose problems for students who may need additional support in the classroom.


What Learning Pods Can Do For Students with IEPs

Learning pods are small groups of students led through in-person lessons with a pod facilitator during the school day. Facilitators, usually a parent, sitter, or tutor, lend additional structure and support to students that online and hybrid-learning programs lack. 

The setup of learning pods, as well as the presence of facilitators, are what make them ideal for students with learning differences. Facilitators can provide the supervision and specialized help that they need, and can make their school year better and more manageable.

Why Learning Pod Facilitators Are So Helpful

Facilitators can perform a wide range of tasks to benefit students with learning differences. One thing worth noting is that several of the learning differences that qualify for IEPs and 504s go hand-in-hand with executive functioning deficits. Executive functioning deficits cause children to have difficulty with managing time, planning and organizing, paying attention, and switching focus.

Students with executive functioning deficits will definitely benefit from learning pods and having a learning pod facilitator paired with distance learning instruction. Learning pod facilitators will be able to help these students manage their time, stay focused in class, and complete all their assignments by the deadline. In this way, facilitators are great resources for academic success, especially for students with learning differences. 


Distance learning is not an ideal situation for anyone, but for students with IEPs, it can create issues for schoolwork and keeping focus. Luckily, with options like learning pods, this year can still be one that works for these students and allows them to thrive.

If you’d like to learn more about learning pods, you can check them out here. If there are any additional questions, also please feel free to contact us to get more information. No matter what works best for students, the most important thing is that they get the help they need, especially during this time.