SDE partners with IdahoPTV, Idaho Business for Education in 'Classroom Idaho'
BOISE - Thousands of Idaho students do not have a computer at home or a way to connect to the internet so they can learn remotely during this coronavirus pandemic.
But nearly every family in Idaho has a television set and can watch Idaho Public Television. That is where IdahoPTV's "Classroom Idaho: Learn @ Home" programming can connect these students with certified Idaho teachers so that they can finish learning for the balance of this school year.
Beginning Monday, April 20, Idaho teachers will provide instruction to students in grades three through six, via Idaho Public Television's Create channel (digital channel .3). Instruction begins at 7 a.m. Pacific Time for third-graders, with the next grade beginning every hour through noon 11 a.m. PT. The instruction will be aligned with what the students would be learning if they could still be attending their brick-and-mortar schools. The same lesson plans also will be available in playlists for students with connectivity at IdahoPTV's YouTube channel.
IdahoPTV's over-the-air broadcast channels are free to receive. All people need is an antenna. The signal is available to more than 99 percent of the households in Idaho. For information on where to find the channels in their area or how to re-scan for the channels, visit IdahoPTV's website. The full channel lineup is also available on many major cable outlets around the state.
"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."
Idaho Public Television General Manager Ron Pisaneschi shared the station's enthusiasm for the project, noting that, "We are pleased to partner with the State Department of Education and Idaho Business for Education to use the power of public television to deliver these lessons to students in homes throughout Idaho.
"PBS has always been America's largest classroom, but now we are bringing Idaho's teachers and their lessons directly into students' homes," Pisaneschi said.
"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 three through six, the key demographic that is not currently reached by educational TV in Idaho," Ybarra said. "We are thrilled to line up teachers for the project and help bring this brilliant idea to Idaho children and families."
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