INDIANAPOLIS– Districts across the state have had to pivot to e-learning to finish out this school year while educators and families take on new challenges to navigate this new normal.
Schools may be empty but district leaders in Washington Township are coming up with a plan for what’s next, and that includes the input from their students and parents.
“I would really like to come back to school,” said Gabrielle Benjamin, a student in Washington Township. “Without having a teacher there to make me do my work, it’s hard to stay on it.”
She isn’t the only student who has mixed feelings about at-home learning. In fact, roughly 100 students and 600 families voiced their opinions in a survey conducted by the district.
“The questions were really general questions as to what’s gone well with at home learning, obviously what do we still need to work on, there have been some challenges for our families during this time,” said Sean Taylor the Assistant Superintendent of Washington Township Schools.
Taylor says questions for families varied from communication to work-load. The district also surveyed educators to see what it’s been like to teach at home and how it could be improved.
“There were certainly some things that we can improve upon,” Taylor added. “I think our parents still want that differentiation; they want more of that Zoom instruction.”
This comes at an important time for the district as they ask voters to approve two referendums: A $285 million construction referendum and a $16 million operating referendum for eight years.
“I think if anything, the community has seen how valuable our schools are during this time, especially times of crises like we’re currently going through, we hope they can also see that long term plan that we are mapping out,” said Taylor.
Taking steps now to plan for when school is back in session or if e-learning needs to stick around.
“We just want to be prepared for multiple, different variations of what a return to school might look like and there’s no greater person to hear from than students and families and staff,” Taylor added.
The district has not made a call on what the fall semester will look like as they wait for guidance from the governor.