Thanks to COVID-19, Indiana’s K-12 students will not be going back to the classrooms this year.
In today’s virtual news conference, Governor Eric Holcomb and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick announced that schools would not re-open and instead students would have to continue distance and e-learning.
“It’s going to take a collective effort to save lives and schools must do their part,” McCormick said.
“Students are the future of our state and teachers are the heart of our schools,” Gov. Holcomb said. “While COVID-19 is impacting every classroom, our teachers, administrators, school board members and school staff are going to extraordinary levels to deliver quality learning to students all across our state, even while school buildings are closed. We’ll continue to do everything we can to empower educators and parents, while protecting students’ health.”
To complete the school year, all schools previously received a 20-day waiver to reduce the number of required in-person or remote instruction days to 160. Schools must continue to provide instruction via remote learning until they complete either:
- 160 instructional days or
- At least 20 additional days of remote learning between the date of the executive order (today) and the end of the school year. If a school completes 20 days and falls short of the required 160 instructional days, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) can waive the difference.
All K-12 schools will need to submit a plan for review and approval by IDOE by April 17. The plan can include eLearning, extended learning, project-based or portfolio learning, competency-based learning, partnerships with higher education for increased student supports, and other similar methods.
The governor, in conjunction with Superintendent McCormick, also directed the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) to provide flexibility for school corporations for students who are to graduate in 2020. A school corporation may issue an Indiana diploma to a student who has done all of the following:
- Has met all of the course and credit requirements for the specific diploma designation based on a combination of high school credits earned prior to and the course in which a student was enrolled as of March 19, when the governor issued the statewide school closure.
- Meets any virtual or remote learning participation requirements established by the governing body of the local school corporation in response to the statewide school closure order issued by the governor.
- Meets any additional graduation requirements established by the governing body of the local school corporation prior to the school closure order issued by the governor.
The executive order also extends teacher licenses expiring between March 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020 until Sept. 1, 2020.
Other deadlines and requirements for the current school year will be reviewed by Dr. McCormick, the executive director of SBOE, and relevant state agencies. They will submit recommendations to the Governor by April 7 for review and further action.
In addition, DWD Commissioner Fred Payne addressed the steps Indiana is taking to deal with a record number of unemployment claims due to COVID-19.
You can hear them, as well as Public health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, in the Leon-Tailored Audio above.
To date, Indiana has had more than 3,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 80 deaths
Governor Eric Holcomb is expected to extend the state’s “Stay in place” order tomorrow.