Baird: Free online learning tools available to Hoosier students, parents

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Tuesday, April 14, 2020

STATEHOUSE (April 14, 2020) – With Indiana school buildings closed for the academic year, State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) said there are several online resources available to help students continue learning at home.

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 Baird, 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.

"This public health crisis has upended our lives in so many ways," Baird said. "As we work to slow the spread of this virus, it's essential students continue their education, even as school buildings remain closed."

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. Baird 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.

Baird 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.

"Our educators have been working tirelessly to ensure students have access to resources to continue learning at home," Baird said. "Many parents have stepped into a new or expanded role to help their children finish the remainder of this school year strong."

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

-30-

State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) represents House District 44, which includes
all of Putnam County and portions of Clay, Morgan, Owen and Parke counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.