State officials provide update on COVID-19’s impact on education

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – State education officials say COVID-19’s impact on education is being felt.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennnifer McCormick, says only a quarter of the state’s schools have ever used remote learning.

“It was usually very short term, whether it was professional development, inclement weather, just extreme emergencies they would use that,” McCormick said.

Now with all of Indiana’s K-12 schools required to finish the school year outside of the classroom, McCormick says education officials are seeing some of the struggles students, teachers, and families are facing.

“For us to expect students to be ready without ever having used that mode of learning before, although they are very tech-savvy, doesn’t mean they are good tech learners,” McCormick said.

To assist with the resources they need during the pandemic, McCormick says funding from the CARES act will allow for over $214 million dollars to be spread out across Indiana school districts, but she warns not all will see large amounts of money due to the state’s funding formula for schools.

“Some schools/districts will get $800, others are going to get $6 million. So it depends how you fall in the formula,” McCormick said.

School officials are also working to prepare for the fall.

McCormick says with much uncertainty about what school will look like officials are looking at several options.

“It’s going to look back to normal, which I think is pie in the sky. Or it will look a little bit like today where we are pretty much remote or a hybrid of you have some on site, some virtual,” McCormick said.

When asked about school in the fall, Vigo County Schools communication director Bill Riley says:

“We are focused on helping students close out this school year’s remote learning, especially focusing on making sure our seniors graduate. We would await state guidance on next school year.”

“I think we’re learning a lot about how to deliver remote learning to our particular students and would use this experience to inform what we do, should we need to create more remote learning plans”

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