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

Posted by: Wade Coggeshall  | Friday, April 17, 2020

STATEHOUSE (April 17, 2020) – With Indiana school buildings closed for the academic year, State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) 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 May, 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.

"Remote learning plays a key role in flattening the curve during this public health crisis," May said. "Students completing their assignments at home allows them to safely finish the academic year, and keep them on track to graduate or move on to the next grade in the 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. 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. May 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.

"Remote learning is a new reality for many Hoosier children and parents," May said. "It doesn't replace the valuable classroom experience, but there are many online resources available to help students continue their education."

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, May 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. Chris May (R-Bedford) represents House District 65, which includes all of
Brown County, most of Lawrence County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties.
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here to download a high-resolution photo.