Posted 22 Mar 2020
CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS announced today a plan in partnership 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 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.”
Arkansas PBS is the state's only public educational broadcasting network with 6 transmitters throughout Arkansas. This partnership between Arkansas PBS and ADE recognizes the importance of continuing the educational experience by providing access to free educational resources to those students at home during this difficult time.
“Arkansas PBS was established more than 50 years ago as an essential educational resource for Arkansans statewide,” Arkansas PBS Executive Director and CEO Courtney Pledger said. “Today, more than ever, we are proud to serve Arkansas students, teachers and families by fulfilling a critical need during an unprecedented time.
“PBS’s programming for children is the most valued and trusted in America, and Arkansas PBS is honored to be able to partner with ADE to respond immediately to the needs of Arkansans.”
Utilizing the power of television, content broadcasted will be specifically targeted to children enrolled in pre-K through the 8th grade. That 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 the ADE Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“We at the Department of Education are proud to work with Arkansas PBS to deliver curriculum-based programming directly to students in their homes,” Arkansas Secretary of Education Johnny Key said. “Students statewide are impacted by school closures and it is important that we do as much as possible to reduce the amount of lost instruction time.
“I am grateful for our partnership with Arkansas PBS that makes this possible.”
Arkansas PBS currently provides free national and local content to classrooms through Arkansas PBS LearningMedia, as well as teacher training and professional development through the ArkansasIDEAS professional development portal, which currently serves 60,000 users throughout the state. This partnership is indicative of the state’s priority to provide unrestricted access to education for early learners and secondary students.
Beginning Monday, March 30, Arkansas PBS will modify regularly scheduled programming for three weeks to offer specific pre-K-8 resources between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Program modifications will take place throughout the duration of school closures and will address a wide variety of content areas. Educators and parents will have access to lesson plans and curriculum materials tailored to the PBS content to facilitate meaningful use of the content and learning.
Additionally, an Arkansas PBS LearningMedia resource page has been developed to aid teachers and parents in their kids’ at-home learning and is available through ArkansasIDEAS, ideas.myarkansaspbs.org. AMI instructional packets, which include lesson plans and other resources, will be available. This page will allow teachers to search for the age range that most accurately applies to their students – ages 3-5, ages 6-11 and ages 12+ – to be connected with resources for online instruction, professional development and training, additional materials, and resources students can access from home. Parents can search the same age groups to find activities for children based on subject area. These resources include educational videos, activities and games.
Arkansas PBS will also share daily resources on Facebook, and parents can sign up atmyarkansaspbs.org/engage to receive daily learning resources emails.
Additional information about the modified broadcast schedule, available online resources and virtual professional development opportunities is available at myarkansaspbs.org
Arkansas PBS is available statewide over the air or through select cable and satellite providers. More information about how to watch can be found at myarkansaspbs.org/channelinformation. Instructional content will also be accessible on the Arkansas PBS Facebook page (facebook.com/ArkansasPBS) and the Arkansas PBS YouTube page (youtube.com/arkansasPBS). Additional ways to watch are available at myarkansaspbs.org/online.
Arkansas PBS is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available atmyarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).
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