Fort Wayne area legislators: free online learning tools available to Hoosier students, parents

Posted by: Jake Thompson  | Thursday, April 9, 2020

STATEHOUSE (April 9, 2020) – With Indiana school buildings closed for the academic year, Fort Wayne area legislators 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 State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne), 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.

“Closing school buildings for the remainder of the year was not a decision made lightly, and should signal to everyone the seriousness of this pandemic,” Carbaugh said. “Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our local educators, our children will be able to continue their schooling and finish out the school year. We ask everyone to be patient, and work hand-in-hand with their student's teachers to make the best of a difficult situation.”

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. Carbaugh 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. State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne) said 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.

"I urge families to take advantage of these educational resources, and I want to thank everyone stepping up to help our students and their parents through this difficult time," Heine said. "Having an abundance of tools for parents to choose from is invaluable as they work with teachers to help their children finish out the school year. As long as we continue to come together, we will get through this crisis."

State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) said Indiana 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.

"Sometimes, life's most important moments come upon us during our greatest of disappointments," Morris said. "Unfortunately, this year's seniors are being forced to learn that lesson as they will not be able to finish the year in classrooms with their friends, classmates and teachers. I hope they grow from this situation, and become stronger people because of it."

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, Morris said the DOE's COVID-19 website also offers information on how to get low-cost or even free broadband service. Hoosiers can also reach out to 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.

 

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State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 81, which includes a portion of Allen County.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

 

State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 85, which includes a portion of Allen County.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

 

State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 84, which includes a portion of Allen County.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.