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Parents, students adjusting to e-learning in Michiana

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Tuesday marked the first day of e-learning across Michiana.

As districts close schools, students and teachers are logging in online for class and virtual assignments; what could be the new normal for the weeks ahead.

Parents helping kids get to class online say it’s definitely a bit of an adjustment especially when facing issues with Wi-Fi and access to computers.   

Leslie Richardson, a teacher at Edison Middle School in South Bend, had to set up her first-grader for e-learning Tuesday before logging on herself to teach her students.

“It’s been good so far,” Richardson said. “This is day one so I think we’re in it for the long haul! We used his I-pad and my computer. I think it would have been a little more challenging had we not had both devices.”

South Bend and other area schools have been passing out Chromebooks for students without computers at home. Monday was dedicated to getting students set up and ready to learn online.

A typical day looks like logging on to an e-learning platform, watching a lecture or PowerPoint from your teacher, and completing different assignments or activities.

South Bend School Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings explaining the most important thing for kids right now is to understand that they’re still at school even though they’re not physically there.  

“We’re reiterating it’s not a snow day it’s not summer vacation so stay inside, wash your hands, and if you don’t feel well make sure you go to your primary care doctor,” Cumming said.  

Cummings admitting the district is still working to perfect e-learning and everyone is learning as the go. He says they’re doing everything they can to help students and parents by parking school busses with Wi-Fi in various neighborhoods and also opening a hotline for parents.

 “I’m knocking on wood. I believe today was a pretty good day,” Cummings said. “We fed our students; we had Wi-Fi on our busses. We know we have some glitches and some bugs to work out but overall I’d say today was a pretty good day.”

Parents can call South Bend Schools e-learning hotline number at (574)-393-7000 at any time during school hours Monday through Friday.

No area schools will penalize students for not being able to complete lessons because of Wi-Fi issues.

If you’re having trouble with your Wi-Fi connection, Comcast is currently offering free Wi-Fi for 60 days for low income families. To sign up to Comcast's Internet Essentials program, go to www.internetessentials.com.

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