Learning pods for all, the Hoosier way

Across Indianapolis, hundreds of students are getting help navigating remote learning while school campuses remain closed.

The city is now home to two efforts—one led by the local school district, one outside it—to extend an academic lifeline to students who, for a variety of reasons, needed additional support during remote learning. 

Once Indianapolis Public Schools decided to start the school year fully remote, education leaders knew they would have to get creative, quickly, about how to sustain school without school buildings.

“We are responsible for making sure we have some sort of structure to address what we know will be a gap exacerbated by our decision to go fully virtual,” Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said during an online presentation hosted by CRPE.

To close that gap, the district launched what Johnson called a “Herculean effort” to create 11 learning hubs that prioritized access for students who are housing insecure or those with disabilities—the students most vulnerable to missing learning opportunities without access to campuses. 

The Mind Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding high-quality education opportunities in the city, complemented those efforts with a $200,000 investment to launch 11 additional learning sites, with more set to come online, run by churches and neighborhood organizations, where students can connect virtually to their public schools.

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