Teacher offers support to parents after schools officially close for 2019-2020 academic year

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Students, teachers and parents received the official word that schools will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

The logistics of remote learning are still following into place.

"For me personally, it felt like a gut punch to the stomach," Nicole Hays said. "It was expected and we knew but until you hear those words, you don't really...there's not real way to prepare for exactly how you'll feel."

Hays teaches 21 kindergartners at Pittsboro Primary School. She is also a mother of four, including a daughter who is a senior. As a parent and teacher, she wants to encourage parents who are trying to figure this out.

"Just like with anything that you're starting new, there's going to be some failures before we all get it right," Hays said.

During Thursday's news conference, Dr. Jennifer McCormick, the superintendent of public instruction, announced that schools will have to rely on remote learning.

McCormick also said schools must complete 160 total instructional days or at least 20 more days of remote learning from Thursday through the end of the school year.

"And how that looks is going to be defined locally, whether it's e-learning, expanded learning, extended learning or a combination of any of those above," McCormick said.

The state is also requiring school districts to submit a continuous learning plan in order to minimize the learning gap. Those must be turned in by April 17.

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