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(INDIANAPOLIS) — Today’s the last day of in-person classes for most Indianapolis schools. The city

is adding more locations for students to keep up online.

The education nonprofit The Mind Trust is adding a dozen “community learning sites” in Marion

County, for a total of 22. The organization is using churches, community centers and Boys and Girls

Clubs to ensure kids have high-speed Internet and adult supervision they might lack when learning

from home.

The Marion County Health Department ordered schools last week to shut down by November 30 as

the county’s rate of positive coronavirus tests soared to nearly 14%. Most school districts,

including the Indianapolis Public Schools, will close Monday, a week ahead of the deadline.

The centers will average 36 students apiece. And Mayor Joe Hogsett says in addition to concerns

about rising infection rates among students, the e-learning sites reduce the risk of infection among

teachers and staff. He says the combination of infections and quarantines of staffers with virus cases

among their contacts has “decimated” manpower at many schools, to the point that some were

considering closing on their own, even before the health department order. He says he’d have

preferred not to close schools, but says a countywide order is preferable to the chaos of parents

pulling their kids in and out of schools in search of a district that was staying open.

The Mind Trust centers will be open through January 15. Hogsett says he’s hoping businesses or

charities will donate money to keep them open longer.

The Mind Trust says it can handle up to 800 students with the expansion. You need to sign up for a

slot at