Hostettler: Online learning tools available to Hoosier students, parents

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Monday, April 13, 2020 4:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (April 13, 2020) – With Indiana school buildings closed for the academic year, State Rep. Matt Hostettler (R-Fort Branch) 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 Hostettler, 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.

"Indiana continues to adapt to the new challenges coronavirus brings, such as learning from home," Hostettler said. "Teachers, schools and local organizations are coming together to provide resources and alternative ways learning can be done so students can remain engaged in their studies while completing the school year remotely."

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. Hostettler 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. This includes WNIN out of Evansville. Parents can find their local TV program schedule through the DOE's COVID-19 website or by visiting wnin.org. Students and parents can also visit PBSLearningMedia.org to find grab-and-go activities, lesson plans, interactive lessons and other materials.

Hostettler 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.

“Even with school buildings being temporarily closed, the priorities are that our children stay safe while learning," Hostettler said. "Local schools and educators are doing a tremendous job communicating with families and students to share resources and let those in need know what services are available."

Most schools are providing food to students in need, with many offering meals at pick up 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, Hostettler 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. 

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State Rep. Matt Hostettler (R-Fort Branch) represents House District 64,
which includes Gibson County and portions of Knox, Pike, Vanderburgh and Posey counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.