Learning across Kansas: PBS, KSDE, local teachers providing class on TV

Kansas students who must stay home because of closed schools due to the coronavirus pandemic will now have another way of continuing their education.

Kansas PBS stations, the state education agency and teachers have teamed up to provide educational content on television during the school shutdown.

The Learning Across Kansas broadcasts began today (April 20) and will offer 30-minute segments for elementary, middle school and high school students. A complete list of programs on KTWU, KPTS, KCPT and Smoky Hills PBS is available here.

The program hosts will be the three co-chairs of the Continuous Learning Task Force, which produced the guidance document that helped launch safe-at-home learning for Kansas after schools were closed for the remainder of the school year.

The short, fun and engaging sessions will be presented by local teachers.

Many Kansas students have been receiving instruction from their teachers through online learning or lesson packets dropped off at their homes. This adds another tool to provide education.

“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,” said Dyane Smokorowski, one of the Continuous Learning Task Force co-chairs and an innovation and technology leader for Andover USD 386 and the 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year. “That’s the magic of public access – it benefits everyone. Thank you to PBS for this opportunity,” she said.

The other co-chairs are Tabatha Rosproy, an early childhood teacher at Winfield USD 465, 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year and a 2020 National Teacher of the Year finalist, and Cindy Couchman, assistant superintendent at Buhler USD 313 and the 2009 Kansas Teacher of the Year.

After schools were closed, Eugene Williams, executive director and general manager of KTWU Public Television in Topeka, met with KTWU’s senior management team, Kansas Public Broadcasting Council members and the Continuous Learning Task Force to formulate a plan to assist schools.

“Education and information are the hallmarks of public media,” Williams said. For a more detailed news release from the Kansas State Department of Education about Learning Across Kansas, go here.

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