The San Diego Unified School District, KPBS and the San Diego County Office of Education launched an initiative Monday allowing students throughout the county to have access to educational programming while schools are closed amid coronavirus concerns.
The initiative, “At-Home Learning: Where Children Matter,” includes a broadcast component of “standards-aligned” programming in blocks by grade level, along with a digital library of free PBS educational resources. The resources are available online and on television.
The San Diego Unified School District announced Friday it would shut down all schools from Monday until April 6, and potentially longer, to avoid spreading coronavirus, known as COVID-19. The SDUSD serves more than 103,000 students. School closures are also affecting more than 504,000 students attend public school in 42 districts and charter schools in San Diego County.
The programming in Monday’s initiative was developed to theoretically help schools and districts provide access to learning for all students at home, regardless of access to internet or computers.
“This collaboration provides students in San Diego Unified and throughout the county opportunities to continue their learning during this crisis with equity and access in mind,” said San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten said. “I am grateful for this partnership that provides high- quality programming to students and teachers.”
KPBS will broadcast 12 hours of programming selected to meet California educational standards. From 6 to 8 a.m., grades from transitional kindergarten through third; from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. grades four through eight; and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. grades nine through 12 will have their own targeted educational programming.
For the online component, students and educators can access a library of free resources, including videos, associated lesson plans, training sessions and how-to resources for teachers. That link can be found at ca.PBSlearningmedia.org.
“Public media television is a public service that has the importance of children’s education embedded in its DNA,” said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager. “Answering the call to ensure our TK through 12th grade young people have access to learning while at-home during this unprecedented time is critical to our mission and we are honored to be of service because at KPBS children matter.”
“At-Home Learning: Where Children Matter” is patterned after similar partnerships between public media TV stations and schools that have been forged across California, including PBS SoCal and the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“It’s critical that learning continues for all students in this time of uncertainty,” said Paul Gothold, San Diego County’s superintendent of schools. “Schools may be closed but our responsibility to our students’ future remains. We can’t let students who have worked so hard lose that hard-won progress away from the classroom.”
— City News Service