Northwest Indiana lawmakers: Free online learning tools available to Hoosier students, parents

Thursday, April 16, 2020

STATEHOUSE (April 16, 2020) – With Indiana school buildings closed for the academic year, northwest 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. Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville), 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.

"Although students and teachers cannot be together in classrooms, there are some helpful tools and resources so that learning continues," Gutwein said. "We are in a position to get kids through the school year successfully while learning remotely and staying healthy."

State Rep. Michael Aylesworth (R-Hebron) said parents can visit, 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.

"While it's not ideal the rest of the academic year has to be finished at home, I am encouraged by our local teachers and their continuing efforts to make classwork fun, engaging and something students look forward to doing," Aylesworth said. "Because of the resources Indiana has, our children will be able to complete the school year successfully and on time."

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. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) said parents can find their local TV program schedule through the DOE's COVID-19 website or by visiting the local IPBS station website at Students and parents can also visit to find grab-and-go activities, lesson plans, interactive lessons and other materials.

"IPBS is a helpful resource for students who may not have reliable internet access at home," Pressel said. "Children in all grades can use these materials to stay engaged with their curriculum."

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 credit for the classes they complete remotely this semester.

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, State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) said the DOE's COVID-19 website also offers information on how to get low-cost or even free broadband service.

"While there are certainly disruptions to our daily lives, there are a lot of resources to help us get through this," Soliday said. "From free mobile hotspots offered by our local providers to grab-and-go meals from area schools, many are identifying how they can help and are lending a hand where they can."

Parents and guardians in need of child care during this time can visit 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, or email with questions.


State Rep. Douglas Gutwein (R-Francesville) represents House District 16, which
includes all of Pulaski County and portions of Fulton, Jasper, Newton and Starke counties.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Gutwein.

State Rep. Michael Aylesworth (R-Hebron) represents House District 11,
which includes portions of Lake and Porter counties. 
here for a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) represents House District 20,
which includes portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.
 here for a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) represents House
District 4, which includes a portion of Porter County. 
here for a high-resolution photo.