WARSAW —With Indiana school buildings closed for the academic year, State Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw) 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 Wolkins, 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.
“It’s unfortunate and unfair to the students that they cannot finish out the school year in their classrooms, but these are the circumstances we find ourselves in,” Wolkins said. “We, however, will not neglect our children’s education or abandon this school year.”
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. Wolkins 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. 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.
Wolkins 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.
“Quite possibly the hardest hit students are this year’s seniors, but the lessons learned during this crisis may turn out to be quite valuable,” Wolkins said. “We will do our very best as a community to pick up the pieces of this broken academic year and move on.”
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, Wolkins 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.