COVID-19 has disrupted many facets of our lives. Chief among them have been our education services. Arizona schools have reopened weeks later this year as a result of the pandemic. Even with the delay this reopening will place the school system under significant constraints as social distancing measures will be levied against an already crowded infrastructure. Adding to this, many parents are worried about the possibilities of their children catching the Coronavirus. The net effect of these concerns and the disruptions to the school calendar has meant that many parents are looking for alternatives to the traditional school offering.

A popular alternative for many parents has come in the form of “learning pods”, also known as “pandemic pods”. The idea is fairly simple: a group of parents come together to design and provide a small, homeschooled experience for their children. Group sizes vary, but they tend to stay under about 10 children. The pods typically designate one of the families as the host, with duties and responsibilities shared among the group on a case-by-case basis. The pod will then find and contract with a teacher to come and teach the children at the host’s house.

This sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, forming, joining, and offering a pod raises a number of important legal questions for all parties involved. Questions such as: – Will the host be liable for any injuries or damages that occur on their property?

  • How will the pod aggregate and use their collective resources?

  • How will the pod be governed?

  • How should the pod hire the teacher?

  • What happens if one child or parent contracts COVID-19?

  • What happens if parents wish to leave the pod, or if the pod decides to dissolve?

If not properly addressed, these concerns can expose pod hosts and members, and teachers to significant personal liability.

After some deliberation and collaboration with affected parents, we feel that in most cases the pod should form its own LLC. This will allow it to shield the members (especially the host) from liability, pool resources, assign responsibilities, and hire the necessary third-parties (such as teachers). But, the formation of an LLC is not enough. The pod must also have in place the requisite liability waivers and employment agreements to ensure that the host and the other LLC members are best protected. This structure and the related documents also benefit teachers as their expectations and responsibilities can be clearly stipulated in an employment agreement.

We have tailored a set of documents for this specific situation. We are offering them under various fixed-fee packages. In addition, we are on-hand to draft any custom document that might be needed for individual situations. Please contact Michele Leonelli at to find out more.