To slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Eric Holcomb recently issued an executive order requiring all K-12 schools to provide instruction through remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. According to Jordan, a member of the House Education Committee, schools are working with the Indiana Department of Education to create continuous learning plans to ensure education is still happening and students keep up with their school work. He said many schools have already implemented remote or e-learning programs.
“Our local schools are doing outstanding work to ensure children can learn more from home, and they’ve done so with a short turnaround time,” Jordan said. “Students will be able to finish the year, and get ready to advance this fall.”
Parents can visit doe.in.gov/covid-19, and click on “Remote Learning Resources” to access educational tools, including free online classes for all grade levels covering multiple subjects. Jordan said there’s also a parent toolkit with information on how to help students finish the school year strong, along with STEM activities, educational games, virtual tours of museums and zoos, and more.
Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations recently teamed up with the DOE to offer television programming and online resources aligned with Indiana’s curriculum standards for K-12 students. Parents can find their local TV program schedule through the DOE’s COVID-19 website or by visiting their local IPBS station website. Students and parents can also visit PBSLearningMedia.org to find grab-and-go activities, lesson plans, interactive lessons and other materials.
Jordan said the state will continue looking for ways to help schools during the public health emergency and continue to be flexible during this unique time. For high school seniors on track to graduate, the DOE is working to ensure the students receive their diplomas.
“Flexibility for schools, as I’ve said many times this year, is key for their success,” Jordan said. “This pandemic has brought this to light even quicker than expected. It’s good to see so many people working to ensure our community’s children do not just get through the rest of the school year, but thrive while doing so.”
Most schools are providing food to students in need, with many offering meals at pickup locations. Each district has a different policy, so parents should check their school district’s website for specific information. For households with limited or no internet connectivity, Jordan said the DOE’s COVID-19 website also offers information on how to get low-cost or even free broadband service. Hoosiers can also contact their provider directly.
Parents and guardians in need of child care during this time can visit childcarefinder.in.gov to find options near their home or on the way to work. However, children displaying any signs of sickness should remain home until they are better.
For more information about remote learning, visit doe.in.gov/covid-19, or email IDOECOVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org with questions.