NE Indiana 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, Northeast Indiana 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. Denny Zent (R-Angola), 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.

"During these next few months with school buildings closed, it will be vital for students to keep up with their coursework," Zent said. "With these new resources available for families, learning does not have to stop at home."

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 subject There is 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. According to State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn), 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.

"Right now, what is best for our kids is to have the school buildings closed, and let them finish the year from the safety of their homes," Smaltz said. "These resources will aid in that remote learning greatly, and parents should take advantage. This is an unprecedented global situation, but it is a chance for parents and students to work together, achieve their educational goals and prepare for the next school year."

State Rep. David Abbott (R-Rome City) 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 a diploma.

“I've watched each of my children graduate high school, and it pains me to think of families that may not get to experience this milestone celebration,” Abbott said. “With regards to graduation ceremonies, I urge patience from this year's seniors and their families. Schools understand the importance of this occasion, as they try to get their seniors across the finish line."

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, Abbott 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 providers 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. David Abbott (R-Rome City) represents House District 82, which includes 

all of Noble County and portions of Allen, Elkhart, LaGrange and Whitley counties.

Click here for a high-resolution photo.

 

State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents House District 52, which

includes all of DeKalb County, and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

 

State Rep. Denny Zent (R-Angola) represents House District 51,

which includes most of LaGrange and Steuben counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.