Area lawmakers highlight free online learning tools available to Hoosier students, parents

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Monday, April 20, 2020 10:00 am

STATEHOUSE (April 20, 2020) – With Indiana school buildings closed for the academic year, there are several online resources available to help students continue learning at home, according to State Reps. Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville) and Sharon Negele (R-Attica).

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 Gutwein, 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.

"While it is a shame our students and teachers cannot be together in the classrooms, Indiana has great resources to help them during this time," Gutwein said. "We are in a position to get kids through the school year successfully while learning remotely and staying healthy."

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. 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.

Negele 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 a diploma.

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, Negele 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.

"It's been heartening to see so many Hoosiers and organizations step up to help during this time of great need," Negele said. "This has been difficult for so many, but working together and supporting one another will help us come out of this stronger."

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 IDOECOVID-19@doe.in.gov with questions.

 

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State Rep. Douglas Gutwein (R-Francesville) represents House District 16, which
includes all of Pulaski County and portions of Fulton, Jasper, Newton and Starke counties.
Click 
here for a high-resolution photo of Gutwein.

 

State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) represents House District 13,
which includes all of Benton County, and portions of Fountain, Jasper,
Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties. 
Click 
here for a high-resolution photo.