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Eastside charter school gets community’s help making switch to virtual learning

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)– Circle City Prep, a charter school that serves young kids on the eastside of Indianapolis, is adjusting to life learning online like schools throughout the state and the country, but if you ask their leader they’re doing just fine.

“The building is not the school,” school founder Megan Murphy said. “Education does not stop because our school doors aren’t open. It’s just going to look different for us.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to be ready for anything.

“There’s so many different things that happened it feels like one day we’re heading down one track and you get more information then you kind of switch gears,” said Murphy.

She says she knew 175 students learning online would present it’s challenges and one big question: “What do kids need at home to be able to continue to engage at some level when we’re calling them and setting them up?”

First, they needed supplies and lots of it; so much they called on the community for help and they answered.

“We reached out and we collected thousands of pencils, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, books and more,” Murphy said.

However, the key was getting the right technology in their kids hands.

“To not only look at a YouTube video but write their responses and start practicing skills that they would be doing at school,” said Murphy.

With many Circle City Prep kids struggling financially, they couldn’t get their own computers, so they went and got chromebooks for the kids in need.

“We handed out 65 chrome books in a day to families and since then have passed out an additional 120 chrome books,” Murphy said.

Showing their families that they’ll do whatever it takes to keep teaching their kids.

“None of us are trained in e-learning,” she said. “None of us are trained video creation or zoom platforms and teachers just being driven,” she said.

However, Murphy says they’re up to the task and ready to keep finding creative ways to teach by any means necessary.

“[We’re] learning how to like edit and have music in the background and things are flying in and we’re using puppets,” she said.

When it comes to using every resource they can find, it’s because her Circle City Prep kids are a winning investment.

Click HERE to learn more about Circle City Prep and their new e-learning program.