IPS recommends 100% online learning to start school year, parents work to plan

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indianapolis Public Schools administrators recommended all students begin with e-learning to start the school year on Aug. 17.

If the Board of School Commissioners votes to pass this measure during Thursday’s meeting, the 100% online plan will continue until at least October.

“I think it’s the right move on the part of the district to see where we’re at in six weeks or nine weeks,” Christina Smith said.

Smith is an IPS parent of two students. Following Wednesday’s announcement, parents like her went into planning mode to prepare to help their children succeed.

“I really hope that individual parents like myself who can take kids in a couple days a week and try to help with daycare issues,” Smith said.

Smith works from home. She is asking other trusted adults to step up and help when and where they can.

“If you can help out another student’s family, help out another student’s family,” Smith said.

Superintendent Aleesia Johnson expressed a similar message during Wednesday’s announcement.

“I believe that we will do our part as a district, we’re committed to doing that, but this is and will need to be a community effort,” Johnson said.

Johnson announced a plan to supplement remote learning with learning hubs—physical spaces where students who struggle with remote instruction can go to access their classwork and get help.

She did not provide many details yet about the learning hubs as they are still working to set those up. Johnson explained they will be for students “who are housing insecure or homeless at this time. Those students being the group of students who we were most focused on serving.” 

All the changes take a toll on children especially. That is why licensed psychologists, like Dr. Beth Trammell, caution parents not to pour their fears into their children.

“Our kids who are already anxious, if we are also really anxious as parents, and we’re showing them we’re really anxious, is probably going to just make it worse,” Trammell said.

As teachers navigate e-learning, Trammell urges parents to encourage them as well.

“The options, the solutions right now are all impossible,” Trammell said. “There’s no good solution right now, and so as we as parents are stepping in to join along with the teachers, we have to just see it as that.”

IPS said they will release more information about the 100% remote learning plan in the coming days. You can read more on their website, myips.org.

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