Local public broadcasting stations across the country are partnering with school districts, state governments and educational agencies to provide educational resources to students and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are some examples of these partnerships.
Additionally, read about other public media education resources to support remote learning for students and teachers, and to provide families and school systems with enhanced support during this unprecedented times.
- Alaska Public Media has partnered with the Anchorage School District to broadcast educational content for students from preK to 12th grade and to provide educational content online through a specially curated set of PBS LearningMedia, interactive lessons aligned to grade levels, grades and subjects so that teachers working on remote learning plans can more easily access relevant digital resources.
- KUAC TV (Fairbanks, AK), in partnership with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, is offering five hours a day of At Home Learning for sixth through 12th graders on its WORLD Channel. The station is also offering 10.5 hours of PBS Kids programming on its primary channel for kindergartners through fifth graders and 24/7/365 children's programming on its PBS Kids Channel. KUAC set up a Homeschool Resource Guide on its website and, in conjunction with the school district, invited teachers to attend a live history night with Ken Burns on April 29.
- Arkansas PBS is proud to partner with the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to broadcast streamlined, curriculum-based programming for the state’s pre-K through 8th grade students in response to mandatory school closures due to the new coronavirus. This content will align with current state and federal standards so that programming is flexible enough to serve as both supplemental and fundamental, based on timing and need. All lesson plans are being developed by ADE.
Educators and parents will be able to access the lesson plans and curriculum materials tailored to the PBS content to facilitate meaningful use of the content and learning. These AMI packets will be sent to school districts digitally so that schools can personalize the lesson plans before distributing them to their students.
"This partnership between Arkansas PBS and the Arkansas Department of Education demonstrates the type of creative solutions we need during this crisis," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. "Our ability to meet the needs of our citizens and provide our children with educational instruction regardless of the circumstances is important. Our goal is to limit the amount of lost instruction time and to limit the impact on our children as much as possible. This coordination helps us accomplish that goal."
“The Arkansas PBS and ADE collaboration to support districts and families is a win for everyone during these unprecedented times,” Assistant Commissioner of Learning Services for the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Stacy Smith said. “The Arkansas AMI Learning Guides promote continuous learning in our state, while supporting our teachers, students and parents.
- California public media stations have joined forces to create the California Public Media Education Service coalition to better support teachers, families and students throughout the State. Together, KQED in San Francisco, PBS SoCal in Southern California and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association have partnered with eight other California public media stations in this effort. Their goal is to ensure that no matter the geographical location, educators can take advantage of free digital resources and online events offered by public media from across the State, all collected in one, easy-to-navigate place. California Public Media Education Service partner stations include KPBS, Valley PBS, KVCR, KLCS, KVIE, KNPB | PBS Reno, KXIE and NorCal Public Media.
- The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest district in the nation, announced a plan in partnership with PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS organizations, to provide for continuity of learning for its students during the recent school closures due to the coronavirus effective Monday, March 16. This measure will allow 700,000 local Los Angeles Unified students educational resources via television in light of recent significant school closures.
“We want to continue to provide the best possible education for our students, while we work to evaluate the significant number of school closures for the next two weeks,” said Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner. “So we asked PBS to work with us with a simple goal: We know what good looks like, let’s find a way to share it with our students.”
- In collaboration with the San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego Unified School District, KPBS has launched an At-Home Learning response to school closures for all children and youth in San Diego and Imperial counties. This response includes a new educational schedule for broadcast on KPBS 2, as well as free digital content for at-home learning and support for teachers and parents navigating this new learning landscape throughout the state.
- Empire KVCR launched a partnership with the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) and the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) to support at-home learning. Empire KVCR is now offering students, families and teachers programming aligned to California’s state curriculum on TV Channel 24 and kvcr.org/education.
San Bernardino Community College District owns the broadcast license for Empire KVCR.
"Our children will be our future scientists, doctors, nurses, and first responders, and they're at home right now, eager to learn and grow,” says San Bernardino Community College District Interim Chancellor Jose Torres. “Even though schools may be closed, we must continue working together – families and educators – to nurture the life potential of our students."
“More than one million preschool to college-aged students in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have seen their educational journeys interrupted due to school closures,” says Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White. “In these unprecedented times, partnering with educational leaders like Empire KVCR and SBCSS to develop innovative at-home learning tools will be invaluable for parents and students.”
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre is optimistic about the bi-county collaboration, noting, “This is an exciting new partnership that will benefit our students, families and educators to further support at-home learning while schools are closed as a result of COVID-19,” says Alejandre. “It is critical that our students have continuity of learning, and that families have tools and resources aligned to statewide curriculum. Through this valuable, regional partnership we are expanding access to rich learning resources for students and families during these uncertain times.”
- PBS KVIE, in partnership with other California PBS stations and the Sacramento City Unified School District, is offering broadcast programming for grades pre-K through 12th grade that adheres to California’s state curriculum to provide continued at-home learning. See the broadcast schedules, as well as resources for caregivers and educators.
“This exciting partnership with KVIE will give all Sacramento area students access to free, standards-based instruction. We must not let a digital divide or lack of access to in-person instruction set our students back during school closures,” said Jessie Ryan, President of the Sacramento City Unified School District.
“We are fortunate to have KVIE’s partnership during this public health emergency,” said Eric Guerra, Sacramento City Council Member. “We have to make sure that all children have access to education and explore all options to ensure they don’t fall behind during social distancing. The partnership with KVIE and Sacramento area schools will support continuity of learning for thousands of students while our community faces an unprecedented number of school closures.”
“I want to thank my colleague Austin Beutner, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, for initiating the partnership with PBS SoCal to support student learning during this unprecedented school shutdown,” said Sac City Unified Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. “The model they established gives students a way to keep progressing towards their educational goals while helping to keep our community safe.”
“Students across the Sacramento region and throughout Northern California who are experiencing school closures will really benefit from access to standards based educational programming broadcast by KVIE,” said Dave Gordon, Superintendent of the Sacramento County Office of Education. “By thinking outside the box, our region will be able to provide quality educational services to our students, even under these challenging circumstances.
- Rocky Mountain Public Media (RMPM) is providing educational resources for children across the state who have been affected by school closures through its Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) stations and digital presence at rmpbs.org. Rocky Mountain PBS will air educational programs from 6am to 5pm, weekdays, to support at-home learning while schools are closed due to COVID-19 measures. Accompanying lesson plans and/or digital materials will be provided weekly. This initiative will provide all students with access to free educational resources at home, both on-air and online, regardless of their broadband access.
Rocky Mountain Public Media (RMPM) has partnered with Denver Public Schools to offer a Colorado Classroom At-Home Learning service with free educational resources, on-air and online, including STEAM-related content for K-12 students from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Lesson plans and/or digital materials are provided weekly. Resources are also provided through RMPM newsletters, social media posts, school district communications, and via public radio stations, KUVO and The Drop.
“We are incredibly grateful for this partnership. Rocky Mountain PBS quickly reached out to us after announcing school closures and offered to help increase students’ access to educational resources,” said Winna MacLaren, Media Relations Manager, Denver Public Schools. “They are helping many of our 93,000 students continue their education with remote learning.”
“It was only a matter of days after we announced school closures that RMPBS reached out to us to offer their broadcasting as a way for everyone to access educational content,” says DPS superintendent Susana Cordova. “PBS has supported educational programming for decades, so this felt like a natural partnership.”
As many schools and districts across Florida shift to online and at-home learning in an effort to lessen the spread of COVID-19, WJCT Public Media, in partnership with public media organizations across the state, launched a new, weekday schedule of educational programs aligned with state standards. WJCT will also offer a suite of free digital learning resources accessible from home. The service has been developed in consultation with educators, including Duval County Public Schools.
Each week’s program schedule will be shared with teachers across the First Coast, who can follow up with discussion questions, worksheets or hands-on projects and experiments when they communicate with their students. Resources will also be integrated into the Duval County Public Schools’ Parent Academy.
“Duval County Public Schools’ Parent Academy, a free family resource traditionally offering face-to-face classes, has now moved to virtual courses, and soon can add television to our educational offerings,” said Regan Copeland, Parent Academy Supervisor with Duval County Public Schools. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with WJCT in providing our families with additional enrichment opportunities as a supplement to our HomeRoom environment.”
Due to Florida’s school closures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and WLRN Public Media are working together to support at-home learning for students by delivering a weekday television schedule of educational programs.
“We cannot allow these unfortunate circumstances to set our children back,” said Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. “This new WLRN-TV programming schedule provides students with yet another educational resource while they are away from school and aligns with the measures the district has already taken to ensure our brilliant students continue to succeed.”
WUCF in Central Florida, already well known for providing strong education resources, has partnered with Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in an effort to provide engaging lessons created by OCPS teachers for the county’s K-2nd grade students. These videos compliment workbook materials all OCPS students in K-2 received for summer enrichment.
The WUCF programming content will consist of a wide variety of educational materials including, but not limited to, at-home learning instruction, school and district events, and superintendent and district leadership news conferences. The content is available on the station’s multicast channel as well as online.
Dr. Phil Hoffman, WUCF executive director, is enthusiastic about the partnership, commenting, “Schools, teachers and students are facing unique challenges, and WUCF is happy to help play a critical role in bringing a learning environment into the homes of our Central Florida families.”
- Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) Education has partnered with the Georgia Department of Education to launch gpb.org/learn, a site that offers a wealth of free digital learning resources for teachers, students, and parents. GPB Education is also offering a number of professional development webinars every week and a daily e-newsletter. GPB-TV has adjusted its weekday programming schedule to provide educational television from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Beginning April 20, Idaho Public Television’s “Classroom Idaho: Learn @ Home” programming will connect students with certified Idaho teachers so that they can finish learning for the balance of this school year. Idaho teachers will provide instruction to students in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 via Idaho Public Television’s CREATE channel (one of our five free over-the-air broadcast channels).
Third grade instruction begins at 8 a.m. MT/7 a.m. PT; 4th grade instruction begins at 9 a.m. MT/8 a.m. PT; 5th grade instruction begins at 10 a.m. MT/9 a.m. PT and 6th grade instruction begins at 11 a.m. MT/10 a.m. PT. The instruction will be aligned with what the students would be learning if they were still attending their brick-and-mortar schools.
The same lessons will also be available in playlists for students with connectivity at IdahoPTV’s YouTube channel.
Classroom Idaho: Learn @ Home is a partnership of Idaho Public Television, Idaho Business for Education (IBE) and the State Department of Education.
“Idaho Business for Education is working during this epidemic to get computers and internet connectivity to as many students as possible who don’t have these resources at home,” IBE President and CEO Rod Gramer said. “But we also know that getting these resources to every student in a timely way may not be possible. That’s why IBE so appreciates Idaho Public TV stepping up and providing “Classroom Idaho: Learn @ Home” so that all 3rd-6th grade students in Idaho have access to instruction from one of Idaho’s great teachers.”
“For the State Department of Education and educators throughout Idaho, a crucial objective during this soft closure has been to find ways to reach all of our students with distance learning, although online access and equipment is a major challenge in many communities and households,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “I am thrilled that Idaho Public Television has stepped forward to level the playing field, providing instruction via equipment that virtually all households already have – their TVs.
“Through this partnership with Idaho Public Television and Idaho Business For Education, some of Idaho’s great teachers will provide instruction in math, history and more to students in grades 3 through 6, the key demographic that is not currently reached by educational TV in Idaho. We are thrilled to line up teachers for the project and help bring this brilliant idea to Idaho children and families.”
WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale moved swiftly to respond to school closures. Collaborating with public media partners at the State and national level, as well as with regional offices of education and school districts across Illinois, the station developed multi-platform resources to support home learning.
WSIU launched an around the clock, commercial-free educational channel for families of children ages two through eight. PBS KIDS 24/7 reaches households with some of the most popular children's media such as Arthur, Clifford and Sesame Street through free, over-the-air broadcast and video streaming. Providing children with lessons in literacy, science, math, world culture and social-emotional skills, these programs are essential to school readiness and success in life.
In addition to the daily line-up of PBS KIDS programming, WSIU added instructional programming for middle and high school students. On April 6, the station initiated a five-hour weekday instructional program block on World Channels. On April 13, a four-hour weekday instructional program block was added on the primary channels, ensuring that all students have a free alternative to internet service to continue their education at home while schools are closed. The instructional television broadcast is complemented by on-air tune-in messages, a robust website at https://www.wsiu.org/learn with downloadable educational material, and an ongoing social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter to draw attention to public media services for distance education. Using the hashtag #KeepLearning, the stations' social media channels and posts are cross-referenced to Illinois State Board of Education's Remote Learning Days. They continue to broadcast instructional programming on our primary channels through summer months to help offset learning gaps among families at home. Prompted by K-12 school districts in the local service region, WSIU is are exploring the feasibility of locally produced instructional TV content for the fall semester.
WSIU continues to work with local educators to develop and distribute content for PBS LearningMedia and to offer PBS TeacherLine professional development opportunities. Preschool through high school teachers rely on PBS LearningMedia, a free service that offers thousands of learning materials aligned to State and national standards. The site allows educators to curate and share educational media. Integrated with popular education technologies including Google Classroom and Remind, PBS LearningMedia inspires students to engage with media for powerful learning outcomes.
“This is amazing and I will be sure to share it throughout the community. This is great work and truly an example of us all stepping up to help in this wild time,” said Daniel L. Booth, Superintendent of Schools, Carbondale Elementary School District #95.
“Thanks so much for the WSIU updates and for always striving to support teachers, students, and families,” said Cathy Stewart, Illinois Education Association Regional Uniserv Director.
- Illinois Public Media is ramping up their commitment to helping children of all ages learn at home. This effort to better serve teachers and parents includes a number of educational offerings across multiple platforms, supporting at-home learning for students ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. WILL-TV (channel 12.1) is now presenting a new daytime lineup of educational programming tailored to students Pre-K through 5th grade. Families can count on award-winning PBS KIDS programs geared towards 3- to 7-year-old children from 6 a.m. until noon, 4- to 8-year-old children from noon to 3 p.m., and 6 to 12-year-old children until 5 p.m.
Families can find online resources, including free games and apps, on-demand videos, printable PDFs, and articles for parents supporting the at-home learning effort at will.illinois.edu/athomelearning. Similarly, all programs presented during this time of at-home learning have associated learning materials available for download on PBS LearningMedia.
Additionally, Illinois Public Media is partnering with Champaign Unit 4 Schools to ensure local families are made aware the programs and resources offered and how to access them.
- WTTW is teaming up with Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot and Citadel on STAY HOME. HIT PLAY. This is a new series of behind the scenes “virtual field trips” at the city’s museums and cultural institutions that families can enjoy while staying at home. These will air on WTTW on Fridays and Mondays beginning May 1. In the first episode, Mayor Lightfoot takes audiences inside the Shedd Aquarium.
WTVP (Peoria, Illinois) partnered with the Peoria Regional Office of Education and to deliver supplemental education to area students utilizing a new, multicast television channel. The plan is to have the new television station up and running by the beginning of the school year. Even after the shutdown ends, WTVP REMOTE will continue to air content vetted by area school officials 24/7.
Local educators are already working on programming for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Many of the programs will come from the PBS digital learning library, but eventually local educators may also help produce programs. Parents will get guides which will note what grades each program is appropriate for.
“During this unprecedented time, schools have had to move quickly to deliver teaching and learning in new ways,” said Beth Crider, Regional Superintendent of Schools. “One key thing we have learned through this time of great change is that the lens of equity must be taken into consideration.
“Many families do not have access to technology, whether that is a device in the home or high-quality broadband,” Crider added. “Utilizing the WTVP public television resource is a dynamic, innovative way for us to deliver quality programming to families right in their homes. Education can take place any time of the day with this learning channel! We are honored to be a partner in this process!”
WTVP is also partnering with Neighborhood House, and is currently feeding 200 children in the 61605 zip code. Beginning on May 20 and continuing while supplies last, families visiting Neighborhood House for lunches will receive a WTVP Summer Learning Bag that includes a schedule of WTVP’s educational content. All of the age-specific programming is broadcast over the air on PBS KIDS 47.2 and should be available on conventional televisions. No internet or cable access is required.
- The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations (IPBS) are partnering to offer at-home learning experiences for K-12 students, aligned to Indiana curriculum standards. Informed by educators, PBS LearningMedia offers free, Indiana standards-aligned resources contextualized for educational use. The resources include grab-and-go activities, lesson plans, interactive lessons, and media that illustrate specific topics or themes, as well as support materials on multiple subjects, and offerings on PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, the WORLD Channel, and programs such as NOVA and Into the Outdoors.
All eight IPBS stations (WFYI (3&1), WIPB, WVUT, WTIU, WYIN, WNIT, WFWA and WNIN) have published programming schedules and corresponding curriculum resource materials focusing on math, science, social studies, literacy, and other subjects. Television program schedules have been augmented with appropriate grade-level information, subject area focus, and learning objectives.
“Providing our students with access to high-quality and evidence-based materials is critical during this extended time of out-of-school learning,” said Indiana State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick. “I am grateful for IPBS and their local television affiliates for partnering with us to create engaging educational experiences for Indiana’s children.”
- On August 24, 2020, Jennings County School Corporation (JCSC) and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, Inc. (IPBS) announced a partnership that will provide datacasting technology to roughly 1,200 students in Jennings County who have little or no access to reliable broadband. Datacasting overcomes the unmet need for internet access by sending computer-based files over a television broadcast signal.
IPBS member-station WTIU in Bloomington and SpectraRep, a leading provider of datacasting solutions, will carry out the implementation. Funding for the project was made possible by a $1.38 million grant awarded through Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s emergency education relief program (GEER Fund) to JCSC and IPBS. The GEER Fund was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for the purpose of developing and improving the availability of distance/remote learning techniques and technologies.
Jennings County is a predominantly rural county located in southeastern Indiana. Datacasting has the potential to change the remote learning landscape for children and educators in rural, low-income, and internet desert communities because of its ability to transmit the same instructional content and educational resources that would normally require an internet connection.
“We are delighted to be among the first school districts in the nation to use educational datacasting,” said JCSC Superintendent, Teresa Brown. “When the pandemic hit, we knew we needed a sustainable cost-effective solution to enable remote learning in the areas of our county where internet connections are challenging, and datacasting was the answer.”
- Iowa PBS is collaborating with state agencies and organizations to provide access to educational enrichment options for students, parents and educators during the temporary disruption of classroom learning due to COVID-19. Compiled by Iowa PBS Education staff for easy download and printing at home, state government and local schools are sharing links to these resources and information on their websites, social media and email lists.
Resources include a weekly online story time engagement and a full arsenal of educational resources online. Additionally, a new virtual learning camp launched March 30 online.
A partnership with the Science Center of Iowa to create short form video STEM demonstrations that currently have no audience while public amenities are closed. These fun, inspiring science experiments will encourage young people to explore the world within their own reach and perform activities that show how science is at work in everyday lives.
Further, Iowa PBS is fostering community and nurturing artistic expression by asking kids and parents to print and color their favorite PBS character, send a photo of it to be shared online and on air, and to hang it in a street facing window to show their neighborhood they are Iowa PBS KIDS!
“While they do not replace classroom learning, these resources are a great way for families, caregivers and educators to continue to engage students in their learning at home,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “I am grateful to our partners who came together to provide the content to make this resource page possible.”
- Kansas’ students receive supplemental education content via television thanks to an alliance between the Kansas State Department of Education, the Continuous Learning Task Force and the Kansas Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), including KPTS in Wichita; KTWU in Topeka; KCPT in Kansas City; and Smoky Hills PBS in Bunker Hill. The new partnership is called Continuous Learning-Kansas Public Broadcasting Alliance and will give students of all ages another avenue for learning. Each 30-minute segment of the “Learning Across Kansas” television show will feature educational content and will be aired on PBS stations across Kansas.
"This PBS alliance is the perfect partnership to reach every learner in Kansas – from our most rural communities to our most populated neighborhood – easily and effectively,” said Dyane Smokorowski, one of three chairs of the Continuous Learning Task Force and 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year. “For the first time in Kansas history, teachers will be able to reach all learners through broadcasting and online access while bringing them inspiration, creativity and fun – all centered around current classroom content. That’s the magic of public access – it benefits everyone. Thank you to PBS for this opportunity.”
- Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) is working with the Louisiana Department of Education to deliver educational content to teachers and families around the state, many of whom have limited or no internet access. Specifically, LPB has dedicated from noon-5pm on its main weekday broadcasting schedule to carrying middle and high school educational programming. They are also working to provide instructional math content, an identified need, on their LPB-3 channel. LPB also created an educational resource page for PreK-12 teachers and families, with free resources accessible across its digital platforms.
- Maine Public, the Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine partnered to create original, educational programming for students in grades 3 through 5. Dedicated teachers from across Maine develop original video lessons, pulling content from their own lesson plans and sources to provide exceptional learning opportunities for Maine students.
- With schools across the state closed in response to the COVID-19 virus, public media outlets WGBH in Boston and WGBY/New England Public Media in Springfield are partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to provide distance learning opportunities on broadcast television, ensuring students continue to have access to educational programs regardless of their access to broadband internet.
WGBH’s longstanding work with educators and the station’s experience with children’s programming make their work with DESE a natural partnership,” Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley said. “Their willingness to partner with us in providing supplemental educational resources to students and educators during these unprecedented times is admirable.”
WGBH is also partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care to launch the Family Activity Initiative, a series of weekly activity resources featuring a carefully curated collection of videos to watch, free online educational games and apps to play, and non-digital hands-on activities for young children.
- WKAR and Michigan State University's College of Education partnered to create a series of short video segments to help families adapt to at-home learning. Featuring College of Education faculty and produced via teleconference to adhere to current social distancing standards, each segment includes research-based tips and resources to help families thrive during this uncertain time. The first segments of the series began airing on WKAR-TV last week and are also available online.
- KMOS (Sedalia, MO), in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, has modified its weekday broadcast schedule to include three hours of programming from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily to assist students and families while schools are closed. The “KMOS Classroom” schedule includes: math and technology (Monday); history and social sciences (Tuesday); performing and visual arts (Wednesday); foreign languages (Thursday); and nature and science (Friday). Career-related content for students, including Roadtrip Nation, will also air on Monday and Friday afternoons.
- Montana PBS has partnered with the Montana Office of Public Instruction to air Learn-at-Home programming with free online resources for students from pre-K-8 from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Topics include social studies, STEM, Montana History and American Literature. In addition to this curriculum-based programming schedule, the station provides educator and family resources, including on-air promos, unplugged learning menus, writing contest and virtual PD+ tools for teachers.
"During these unprecedented circumstances, teachers are continuing to teach and students are continuing to learn through a combination of digital and non-digital distance study. This can present challenges for ensuring equitable delivery of education services," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen. “The new daily TV programming will help bridge this divide and provide additional opportunities for equitable access to education.”
PBS Reno announced the launch of At Home Learning on PBS Reno Channel 5.3. The launch was the latest feature of Camp Curiosity, PBS Reno’s on-air and online camp designed to supplement the educational needs of thousands of local children who are learning at home due to school closures. Students can then visit PBS Reno’s website to explore extended lessons tied to each program viewed that day. The online content is rooted in mathematics, science, social studies, literature, and world history. The lessons adhere to Nevada’s state curriculum standards to ensure a strong foundation for at-home learning, while helping parents and caregivers support their students.
“I am very proud of our partnership with PBS Reno and their programming through Camp Curiosity,” said Kristen McNeill, Interim Superintendent of Washoe County School District. “The programming enriches our academic programming already in place and allows our educators and parents to have more rich and engaging lessons during this time of distance learning. I am thrilled this is an option for our community!”
- Vegas PBS is offering pre-K-12 curriculum-based educational programming from 6 am – 6 pm weekdays in partnership with the Clark County School District and Nevada Department of Education.
To assist school districts, Vegas PBS has mined PBS LearningMedia and other content resources to create the Classroom Cast service available across the entire state of Nevada - three portals for elementary, middle and secondary content. Content is grouped to simplify and streamline the non-educator parent search process, including interactive lesson collections in LearningMedia, and is grouped by subject area to directly correlate with grade level curriculum. As over 30% of children in Nevada have no home internet connectivity, the school district is printing worksheets drawn from these resources. These worksheets will be distributed at 40+ drive-through meal stations throughout the school districts.
- New Jersey Public Media (NJTV), New Jersey’s public television network, in partnership with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and the New Jersey Department of Education, launched a new series of on-air instruction called NJTV Learning Live. Weekdays starting Monday, April 6, kids can tune in to NJTV for on-air classes. State teacher of the year for 2019-2020, Kimberly Dickstein Hughes, hosts as some of New Jersey’s finest public school teachers teach. On-air classes will be taught daily for grades three through six from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on NJTV. NJTV’s on-air classroom lessons will be live-streamed and archived on the network’s website, NJTVonline.org.
Additionally, NJTV provides educational kids programming available for free over-the-air, and access to PBS LearningMedia.
“This is a great example of how New Jerseyans are coming together, from educators to broadcasters, to help improve student learning throughout the state,” Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet said.
“These lessons will provide valuable enrichment and supplement what students are already getting from their own teachers," said NJEA President Marie Blistan. "They will also showcase the amazing work that our educators continue to do every day, even in the middle of a pandemic.”
All three public television stations in New Mexico – New Mexico PBS/KNME in Albuquerque, KENW in Portales and KRWG in Las Cruces have partnered with Albuquerque Public Schools to broadcast classes for all of New Mexico’s students. From 8 am – noon through the rest of the school year, APS@Home will provide K-5 students and their families with a schedule of televised APS classes. Videos feature Albuquerque Public School educators in short segments, supporting a variety of subjects and grade levels, including English language arts, math, visual and performing arts, physical education and more. Segments include a Sign interpreter, making them accessible for the hearing impaired. Bilingual lessons are also available. For grades 6-12, New Mexico PBS is providing the WORLD channel feed of content, working with state educators to provide support through online PBS LearningMedia resources to reinforce the WORLD channel curriculum.
"Our students are living through unprecedented times. There’s so much that’s out of our control right now. That’s why we have to do everything possible to meet the educational needs we can manage,” said APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy. “It may be a while before we can ensure every school-aged child has a laptop and Wi-Fi access, but we know most students have TVs in their homes. NMPBS is a familiar and trusted friend to most of us. We are grateful to extend continuous learning opportunities to students with assistance from America’s leading educational broadcast group.”
- Let’s Learn NYC! is a new educational public television program for children in grades 3K through second grade, which offers lessons to supplement remote learning. Produced by The WNET Group in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), episodes on THIRTEEN will air on weekdays at 11 a.m. through the end of the school year.
Episodes can also be viewed on the livestream at thirteen.org/live. Following each broadcast, each episode and supplemental learning materials will be available on schools.nyc.gov and thirteen.org/letslearn. Archived videos will include English and Spanish captions.
- WCNY in Syracuse has partnered with the Syracuse City School District to produce the TV Classroom network which airs every weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and provides classroom lessons for all grade levels on TV. The programming includes the subjects of English Language Arts, math, science, health and physical education, history, and social studies. With schools closed and many children without internet access, WCNY is committed to providing educational opportunities to audiences of all ages. WCNY’S “TV Classroom” will allow children, regardless of internet access, to continue to connect with real teachers and have the continuity of a classroom experience at home in Syracuse and across the 19 counties in Central New York.
WCNY Is also providing other resources for students and parents on their website.
"I want to applaud WCNY and the Syracuse City School District for their partnership to provide this critical educational resource to students, especially those without internet access at home," said Ben Walsh, Mayor, City of Syracuse. "This new network has the ability to impact thousands of students across Central New York while supporting teachers, educators, parents, and families."
"This is a wonderful partnership and I am so happy that we are able to provide this academic resource for our students and families," said Jaime Alicea, Syracuse City School District Superintendent. "We have amazing teachers and educational leaders in the Syracuse City School District, and I want to thank them for reimagining what learning looks like at this moment in time."
- UNC-TV and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction have partnered to support school-age children learn at home by providing free curriculum-informed, over-the-air content that is widely accessible to students – especially those with limited or no internet access. Each weekday, two blocks of programs air on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel to serve students in grades 4-8 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., and students in grades 9-12 from 1 – 6 p.m. The partnership has also created accompanying materials for online access and printed for distribution at food distribution sites around the state.
“We’re excited about this additional learning resource for students and families during this challenging time across our state and nation,” said Angie Mullennix, Director of Innovation Strategy and interim director of K-12 Standards, Curriculum, & Instruction for DPI. “We thank UNC-TV for working with us to help fill the gap left by the unfortunate, but necessary, school closures.”
- All eight Ohio public television stations have come together to broadcast expanded educational programming for kids preK-12th grade as part of a “#LearnAtHome,” initiative to provide kids, parents and teachers with additional educational resources for remote learning while schools are closed. These broadcasts are particularly helpful to kids and families, particularly some in rural areas, who may have limited or no internet access.
The schedule has the support of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. “In this unprecedented time, Ohio’s educators, parents and caregivers are doing their best to keep learning going for students in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. I am humbled and grateful that all eight of Ohio’s public broadcasting stations have stepped up as major partners committed to delivering high-quality, grade appropriate learning to students, complementing the amazing effort being made by Ohio’s schools and districts,” DeMaria said. “This ‘at home learning initiative’ crosses the digital divide and provides yet another tool in the toolbox, ensuring learning doesn’t stop just because school buildings are closed.”
The participating stations are: PBS Western Reserve – Kent, Think TV – Dayton, WBGU PBS – Bowling Green, CET Public Media – Cincinnati, WGTE – Toledo, WOSU Public Media – Columbus, WOUB Public Media – Athens, and WVIZ – ideastream – Cleveland.
- OETA has partnered with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to provide curriculum-based programming for students over the air on its broadcast channel, OETA WORLD. Programs will include PBS favorites like NOVA, Nature, American Experience as well as PBS KIDS programming. Each episode or series directly correlates to lessons and resources made available through PBS LearningMedia which have been designed to meet federal and state standards for grades PreK through 12. Programming changes will take place Monday through Friday from 6 am until 6 pm which will last until the end of the school year.
OETA and OSDE have also partnered to provide teachers with professional development webinars, resources and lessons to help teachers learn how to leverage OETA programming as they develop distance learning plans
This special project has been coordinated with State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Joy Hofmeister, who also serves as chair of the OETA board of directors. “These are unprecedented times for our state and nation," said Hofmeister. "But Oklahomans are known for coming together in a crisis, and we are grateful to OETA for swiftly stepping in to ensure thousands of Oklahoma teachers, students and families can access high-quality educational programming at the touch of a TV remote."
- Rogers State University TV (RSU-TV) in Tulsa is providing educational resources for continued learning during the coronavirus outbreak. The station is broadcasting and streaming live classes from local school districts on Mon-Thu 9 am-noon on RSU-Public TV. On Friday mornings, the station is partnering with Tulsa City County Library for Build-A-Reader story time from 9 -11AM.
“The first thing that came to mind was all the parents and students who do not have unlimited access to data plans and the Internet; but, RSU TV is free and can be accessed by almost everyone regardless of where they live or their economic status,” Sequoyah Superintendent Dr. Terry Saul says. “We feel like RSU TV is the best option for us to reach a maximum number of households with the least amount of stress on our families. RSU TV also gives us a chance to showcase our amazing teachers to the community.
- Southern Oregon PBS (SOPBS) has partnered with the Medford School District and radio stations theDove, KDRV and KTVL, to air lessons taught by local teachers for grades K-12. In addition, SOPBS WORLD channel offers a block of educational programming for grades 6-12, with accompanying lesson plans and activities from PBS LearningMedia.
On September 10, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds is awarding $8 million in federal funding to Pennsylvania PBS to establish a statewide datacasting initiative. A total of $15 million will be made available for schools to secure broadband, mobile hot spots and other platforms that increase equitable access to remote learning in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania PBS will be partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Education on this statewide datacasting initiative to bring instructional materials to students without internet access. Pennsylvania PBS includes all seven public television stations in Pennsylvania - PBS39/WLVT (Allentown), WHYY (Philadelphia), WITF (Harrisburg), WPSU (Penn State College), WQED (Pittsburgh), WQLN (Erie) and WVIA (Scranton).
Read the full press release from the Governor’s office to learn more about this exciting development in datacasting.
- All seven public television stations in Pennsylvania - PBS39/WLVT (Allentown), WHYY (Philadelphia), WITF (Harrisburg), WPSU (Penn State College), WQED (Pittsburgh), WQLN (Erie) and WVIA (Scranton) - are working with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and have created Learning at Home, a connection to thousands of hours of educational and entertaining videos, activities and games to support students, families and teachers. From Sesame Street for preschoolers to NOVA for high school science students, public television offers engaging programs that will support child’s learning.
Lehigh Valley Public Media has worked with educators locally, including the Bethlehem Area School District, and nationally to create Lehigh Valley Learns – an Over the Air educational offering. It will be broadcast over 1 or more of Lehigh Valley Public Media’s channels in the mornings, with grade specific programming (Grades K-5) at the same time each weekday. This will provide all students, including those without internet access, with high-quality educational programming. Be sure to check out this short video of Joe Roy, Superintendent of the Bethlehem Area School District, commenting on the PBS 39’s Lehigh Valley Learns.
“PBS 39 has been an unbelievable partner in the midst of all of this craziness,” said Joe Roy, Superintendent of the Bethlehem School District.” It is unique and it is a real service to the community.”
WITF and the Harrisburg School District are partnering to bring free, over-the-air curriculum to students and families who have been tasked with learning at home due to the coronavirus.
WITF will broadcast programming linked to curriculum over both of its channels, WITF and WITFK PBS KIDS 24/7. Its Educational Services department has arduously worked with the Office of Academic Affairs to assess which currently scheduled programs align with the standards and curriculum of the Harrisburg School District.
“We truly appreciate the partnership and support from WITF. Based on recent survey data, over 95% of our students and families have access to “Over-the-Air” educational offerings,” Chris Celmer, Acting Superintendent of Harrisburg School District explained. “Equitable access is critical to a good faith effort to offer a continuity of education using alternative means.”
On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced a $1.3 million investment to expand datacasting at South Carolina ETV (SCETV) to help reach students in rural and remote areas across the state.
Datacasting is the process of delivering computer (IP) data over a traditional broadcast television signal. Datacasting content can be targeted to specific recipients, ensuring that students receive the content for their grade.
The Republican Governor, along with State Superintendent Molly Spearman, leaders of the state legislature, and leaders of SCETV, South Carolina’s education and public broadcasting channel, made the announcement in a press conference at SCETV’s station headquarters.
In his remarks, Governor McMaster began by saying that SCETV is “the finest educational television system in the United States. And we want to build it, we want to grow, because its capacity is enormous, and it certainly fits our needs.”
Governor McMaster highlighted SCETV’s ability to provide educational resources, stating that “while datacasting has traditionally been used to support public safety, the opportunity and technology now exists to deliver lessons, assignments and educational content to students with limited or no internet access, and about 20 percent of our state does not have good internet access.”
SCETV reaches about 98 percent of the state with the television signal, making it possible to deliver educational content to students in any part of the state.
Watch the full press conference for more about this exciting new initiative.
SCETV is also broadcasting curriculum-based programming for the state’s pre-K through 12th grade students. SCETV has modified its broadcast schedule three days a week to offer specific pre-K – 12 resources between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
In addition, SCETV is providing virtual professional development opportunities for educators, giving them an opportunity to learn more about the free educational resources and broadcast programming available.
- The Tennessee Department of Education secured a partnership with the state’s PBS stations to deliver daily instructional content for Tennessee students during COVID-19 school closures. This partnership will provide all students with access to daily learning opportunities right in their own homes.
Starting April 6, Tennessee’s six PBS stations — WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS, and Chattanooga WTCI — will deliver two hours of programming with high-quality instructional content from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CST. Four hours of content will also be streamed overnight, which viewers can watch live or record. The content will be developed and provided by Tennessee educators in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and meets a critical need to ensure all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities, regardless if their home has internet connectivity or capable devices.
“This is an incredible example of Tennesseans coming together to support kids,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We are so thrilled to be partnering with PBS stations across the state to make high-quality instructional content available to all students so they can continue learning during school closures. Families and students are hungry for content right now, and we are grateful our local stations have stepped up to help fill this need.”
"We know so many Tennesseans have grown up learning from public television and are so grateful to PBS for embodying the volunteer spirit and supporting our students in this critical way," said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. "We are amazed by the response of PBS and Tennessee's educators to support at-home learning during these unprecedented times."
This statewide partnership builds on the work many of Tennessee’s public TV stations have already been doing with local districts to provide instructional programming during school closures.
- Nashville Public Television has partnered with Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide At-Home Learning service for Nashville middle and high school students.
NPT will air four new hours of programming for middle school and high school students from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. following its regular morning block of shows for younger children from 6 to 10 a.m.
The two hours from 10 a.m. to noon will be designed for middle school students, followed by two hours for high school students from noon to 2, when children’s programming will resume.
“Nashville Public Television is an essential partner in our city-wide strategic effort to support student learning, and by broadcasting this additional programming into every home in the Nashville area, they will be creating community-wide opportunities for students to broaden their horizons and learn new and interesting things every day that will maintain and advance their education,” Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle said. “I’m extremely grateful for all NPT is doing to educate children and adults of all ages in a thoughtful, entertaining way.”
- WKNO in Memphis partnered with the Tennessee Department of Education and Shelby County Schools to provide at home instructional content for Mid-South Students during school closures. WKNO is providing five hours of at home learning programming per weekday, and the local NBC affiliate is airing the same content in the mornings on their secondary channel. WKNO is also broadcasting PBS Teaches Tennessee, a statewide broadcast of two hours of programming with high-quality instructional content from 10am to 12pm. Resource guides for the broadcasts are available online. For families without internet access, the guides are available at YMCA Meal Distribution Sites.
- The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Texas PBS stations announced a joint initiative to air TEKS-aligned educational programming each week in 10 different PBS viewing areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officially known as the At-Home Learning Initiative, the collaboration strengthens TEA’s efforts in assisting school districts and public charter schools with establishing instructional continuity and at-home learning during this unprecedented public health crisis.
The partnership calls for all 10 of Texas’ PBS affiliates to preempt regularly scheduled weekday programming with grade-level-appropriate programming featuring shows such as Peg+Cat, NOVA, and American Experience. Affiliates will air educational programming each weekday, with the slate of programming divided into three distinct age groups: Pre-K through 3rd grade, 5th through 8th grade, and high school. This free programming will reach 96 percent of Texas’s student-age population and each age group will receive targeted programming at specific times throughout the school day.
TEA Commissioner of Education Mike Morath recorded a special video introducing this collaboration to Texas families.
“This joint initiative between TEA and PBS stands to benefit all students as they work each day to navigate uncharted waters and continue to do their best to learn and grow as students and individuals” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “While we’re living through uncertain times, we are thankful to have PBS commit itself in such a meaningful way to serve the needs of communities across our state. We are all in this together, and our friends at PBS understand and exemplify that.”
Weekday education programming statewide commenced April 20 and will run through the end of June.
Basin PBS is providing a new daytime lineup of curriculum-based television programs supporting At-Home Learning for our Permian Basin students. The new lineup will begin Monday, April 6, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., to better serve our pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students, who are currently in at-home learning situations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures.
Jason Osborne, Chief Innovation Officer, Ector County ISD said, "We are extremely excited about this partnership. It is an Ector County ISD obligation to provide a quality education to all students and provide as many resources for learning as possible. PBS educational programming is an amazing resource for our students and parents, especially during this time where at home learning is needed. We are grateful for the support of Basin PBS and look forward to continued partnership opportunities."
- Governor Phil Scott and the Agency of Education (AOE) announced a partnership with Vermont PBS to provide educational content to supplement remote learning for Vermont students and school districts during the COVID-19 outbreak. The initiative will give over 83,500 Vermont students access to free, high-quality educational resources via television broadcast and online content throughout the duration of school closures to help complement distance learning efforts by Vermont school leaders. This includes content for Pre-K to Grade 3, Grades 3-8 and Grades 6-12.
“Educators and parents are working hard to achieve these goals, and this initiative will help support their work. I am grateful to Vermont PBS as this partnership will give those already doing so much another tool to reach and educate students,” Governor Phil Scott.
- Four Virginia public media stations, Blue Ridge PBS, VPM, WETA and WHRO Public Media, worked closely with the Virginia Department of Education to create “VA TV Classroom,” broadcast teacher-led classroom instruction aligned with the commonwealth’s academic standards beginning statewide on Monday, April 13. The second season of VA TV Classroom began Monday, September 14 and will run through Friday, October 23.
The “VA TV Classroom” broadcast resources from 1-3 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, to provide instruction to students in grades K-10 who are unable to access other distance learning options due to a lack of high-speed internet.
“I would like to thank Blue Ridge PBS, VPM, WETA and WHRO Public Media for providing this resource for students while schools are closed as part of the commonwealth’s strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect public health,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “It is nothing short of amazing that these public media stations were able to create ‘VA TV Classroom’ and schedule its launch within a month of the governor’s initial order to close schools.”
“I believe that ‘VA TV Classroom’ will make a tremendous difference this spring as schools endeavor to provide continuity of learning for students, especially in communities where online learning is a challenge,” Lane said. “This programming builds on the long-standing partnership between VDOE and public television to support teaching and learning across the state.”
- West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB) has partnered with the West Virginia Department of Education to deliver student engagement Learn-at-Home content on the statewide television network. The programming is being developed and provided by state educators, addressing the need to provide students ongoing access to learning opportunities, regardless of internet connection or operational devices within the student home. Learn-at-home content is provided on the West Virginia Channel from 12 noon – 5 p.m. each day with programs suitable for grades 6-12. Additionally, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has created “Education Station,” on YouTube, airing from 9-9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays with teachers from across the state providing instruction for students at home.
"The partnership with WVPB helps us to stay engaged with children and families during this challenging time,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “The school closure has required us to be creative, flexible and focused on meeting the needs of our children, and I am grateful for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and their enthusiasm for helping us meet this need.”
- The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has partnered with PBS Wisconsin and Milwaukee PBS in creating at-home learning opportunities through a new television schedule and online resources aligned to Wisconsin academic standards.
In a recent news release, it was announced that starting Monday, March 30, PBS Wisconsin is dedicating the 5 a.m.- 5 p.m. daytime weekday schedule on The Wisconsin Channel, and PBS Wisconsin-2 to educational programming. Milwaukee PBS is dedicating the 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daytime weekday schedule on WMVT 36.1 to educational programming.
- Wyoming PBS, in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Education and the 48 school districts in Wyoming, is offering virtual teacher training in the use of Wyoming PBS LearningMedia in virtual classrooms. Two sessions per week are held via Zoom. In May and June, Wyoming PBS will partner with the PBS series “Prehistoric Roadshow” and “Nature Cat” to create virtual outreach events with discussion panels, educational content and program clips.