Indiana Online Solutions for Teacher Shortages

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According to the Indiana Department of Education there are currently over 2,300 unfilled teaching positions in schools throughout the state. School districts are doing their best to fill those positions, but the struggle seems to keep increasing rather than getting better. Many aren’t choosing to enter the teaching profession and many are leaving. Per numerous sources the hard-to-staff subjects include math, science, and world languages. This has resulted in fewer course offerings for high school students in these subject areas and left school districts scrambling to find a solution. 

While utilizing Indiana Online isn’t intended to be a permanent solution to this crisis, it can bridge the gap in some of these hard to fill positions. As a partner of Indiana schools,we have created two programs that can be utilized in order to allow students to take courses online using the school’s licensed teacher (FlexED-C) or an Indiana Online licensed teacher (FlexED-T). The FlexED-T program in particular has all of the components to fill the need for both a teacher and curriculum. Our courses are designed to meet the Indiana Standards, are developed by Indiana certified teachers, and meet the Core 40 and Academic Honors requirements.

When a school partners with us and elects our FlexED-T program, we provide curriculum hosted on our learning management system. With this program, we provide a certified teacher for each course section who is teaching within their content area. We also keep in close contact with the school’s appointed liaison for these courses. The school is responsible for student enrollment, dates for course milestones, technology for student course access including Zoom or a collaboration tool, and a classroom monitor or point person. The school also agrees to grant the credit upon successful course completion. 

While the FlexED-C program doesn’t address the teacher shortage issue, it allows schools to lease Indiana Online’s content for the school’s teacher to moderate with the assistance of a mentor teacher. All other components of the FlexED-T program that Indiana Online provides minus the teacher are included with the FlexED-C program. 

Several schools utilized our FlexED-T program for the 2021-22 school year for science, math, world languages, and dual credit course offerings. With the teacher shortage issues not showing any sign of slowing down, it is anticipated that even more schools will be turning to options like Indiana Online to support and serve their students. 

Our Student Services team provides support to students enrolled in any of the programs we offer. Each partnered school is assigned to a dedicated Program Specialist who is a licensed professional school counselor. In addition, a licensed Special Education teacher is assigned to students with accommodations as an additional layer of support. The Student Services team monitors student progress and will reach out to the school, parent, and student if there is a cause for concern or if there is a need for additional support above and beyond what our teachers can provide. Indiana Online’s Executive Director, Kim Hendrick, stated, “I am so proud of our team and the additional services we provide to our students. We pride ourselves on being the choice educational partner with our schools and strive to serve their students with a high quality experience. Being able to serve our schools in this unique way allows us to fulfill specific needs even if it is for a semester.”

Indiana Online is the largest online supplemental high school course provider in the state, offering a wide variety of year-round and summer courses. If you are a school administrator struggling with filling teaching positions for 2022-23, please contact us at 317-759-5559 and we will be happy to meet with you to further explore how Indiana Online can provide assistance. You can also check out our website for information on our programs and course offerings.  

References:
Fultz, Matthew. “Indiana schools struggling with teacher shortage.” 13 WTHR News Indianapolis, Tegna Inc., 21 June 2022. Teacher shortage hits Indiana schools | wthr.com

Author

  • Allynn “Ally” is an Outreach Specialist with Indiana Online. Ally is responsible for school outreach. Ally works on marketing initiatives to further the growth and development of Indiana Online. Ally has 20+ years experience in various roles in online learning so she is equipped with the skills to support our partner schools by building relationships and working with them to find out their specific needs.