BEECH GROVE, Ind. — Many Indiana schools are taking on the coronavirus threat and a new way of educating with e-learning technology at the same time. Beech Grove Schools is one of them.
Tuesday, teachers were more concerned with their computers than their classrooms. School will start Thursday with everyone learning virtually.
Mackenzie Shanahan teaches first graders.
“If I am being honest, I am a little uneasy,” Shanahan said.
Schools everywhere were thrown into home learning programs when COVID-19 shut them down without warning.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, public schools built their e-learning programs to be used three or four days a year, not three or four months.
“We had problems. We had problems,” Shanahan said.
Not all children had computers or reliable internet connections. Teachers had to make lesson plans as they went along.
Over the summer, teachers received more training. The school district bought more computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, software and curriculum.
Principal Erin Probus called it an extreme makeover.
“Good teaching is good teaching,” Probus said. "We want it to be accessible for kiddos from the living room or from our classroom."
Some parents have enrolled their children for e-learning all year. Kids attending school will be in class beginning Aug. 10.
They will find more space in their classrooms, masks for everyone and lots of sanitizers. Students will eat at their desk and won’t be mingling with kids in other classrooms.
“I am confident and proud of the plans we have in place, but to say we aren’t a little nervous and we aren’t a little unsettled would not be true,” Probus said.
Shanahan is also a mom and admits she’s concerned.
“In this building, we have a lot of mamas,” Shanahan explained. “I have a little one at home. I’m worried I might bring something home to my child. We can take the precautions, but is it enough?”
But e-learning doesn’t scare her.
“All of that will fall into place,” Shanahan said confidently.
Teachers everywhere are trying and learning how to make the school year safe and productive.