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IPS superintendent ‘cautiously optimistic’ as students head back to school virtually

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis Public School students will log on to begin the school year virtually Monday morning.

It was a decision made by the IPS Board of School Commissioners last month when the first day of school start date was pushed back by two weeks to prepare for the transition.

With hours to go before the virtual bell rang, superintendent Aleesia Johnson said she was cautiously optimistic about the unconventional approach.

Johnson says despite being remote, students will have a daily schedule, they will check in with their homeroom teacher and attendance will be taken.

To help students log on to school, the district is making sure all students receive either an iPad or Chromebook depending on their grade. So far, more than 30,000 devices have been distributed to students, making the investment in technology around $16 million.

“It’s important students use the IPS devices because there are programs on there they will need,” added Johnson.

The district is also distributing a MiFi mobile hot spot device for families who do not have access to the internet.

Moving forward into the coming weeks, Johnson is asking for flexibility from families during this time of uncertainty.

“We don’t take lightly the extra work that’s on the shoulders of our families to support their students during this time at home. And so, it’s really important as a community that we are doing what we need to do to ensure or levels of COVID-19 spread are going down,” added Johnson.

IPS will stay virtual Monday through at least Oct. 2.

For the full back-to-school plan, including meal programs and technical assistance, click here.