So where to turn? One possibility: your local public television and radio stations.
Many of these stations across the country are partnering with school districts and state education departments to provide curriculum-based lessons and educational programming — all free and commercial free. And in some places, award-winning teachers are leading the lessons.
According to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, its members reach almost 99 percent of the country, including areas where families have no Internet service.
There are already several strong partnerships offering extensive programming. For example, PBS SoCal says that more than 200,000 Californians in 140,000 homes are daily tuning into its “At Home Learning” broadcasts — and that the model is being used by more than 70 stations in 30 states. PBS SoCal partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District and several other California public media stations.
Here are some other examples of partnerships between local public media stations and school districts and states provided by CPB, though it is not an exhaustive list:
- WGBH in Boston announced a partnership with PBS to launch the At-Home Learning Service to PBS stations nationwide. The five-hour block of programming for students in grades 6 to 12, backed by PBS LearningMedia resources, airs from noon to 5 p.m. on WORLD Channel, which is available to 70 percent of the country.
- WETA, MPT and WHUT in the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area have started “At-Home Learning,” 11 hours of educational programming across all three stations (including on WETA PBS) that cater to specific school-age groups.
- In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam and the Virginia Department of Education announced that the four public media stations covering the state — including WETA — have teamed up to offer “VA TV Classroom,” where instructional content at state educational standards are aired on WETA PBS Kids from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. .
- KEET in Eureka, Calif., and WNIT in South Bend, Ind., announced plans to air the WORLD Channel offerings from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- WKAR in East Lansing, Mich., announced that it is airing the WORLD Channel block and adding two hours of K-6 programming to its main channel.
- NJTV, in partnership with the New Jersey Education Association and the New Jersey Department of Education, announced the launch of “NJTV Learning Live,” which started April 6 and is broadcast on weekdays. State Teacher of the Year Kimberly Dickstein Hughes hosts, as some of New Jersey’s best public schoolteachers teach on-air classes daily for grades 3 to 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is live-streamed for viewers in New Jersey.
- WCNY, in partnership with the Syracuse City School District, launched the TV Classroom network, K-12 classes taught by district teachers and administrators from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays on WCNY’s GLOBAL CONNECT channel, simulcast from wcny.org, WCNY’s Facebook page via a live stream on YouTube.
- PBS Wisconsin and Milwaukee PBS have partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to support at-home learning for students and families by broadcasting a new weekday television schedule of programming with digital resources that connect to Wisconsin’s state academic standards.
- APT announced its Learn at Home With Alabama Public Television initiative, which will modify its regularly scheduled programming to offer specific pre-K-12 resources. APT’s resources are Alabama state standards aligned, customizable, and can be fully integrated with digital teaching platforms such as Google Classroom and Remind.
- Alaska Public Media announced the launch of a 12-hour educational broadcast schedule in partnership with the Anchorage School District.
- Vegas PBS is offering pre-K-12 curriculum-based educational programming from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays in partnership with the Clark County School District and Nevada Department of Education.
- West Virginia Public Broadcasting announced its biweekly TV “Education Station,” offered through a partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education. Teachers across West Virginia have sent in videos of themselves teaching their favorite lessons, and they are presented from 9 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays on WVPB across the state and on YouTube.
- KOSU reported that RSU-TV (KRSU) is airing courses taught by teachers from Tulsa Public Schools and Sequoyah Public Schools in Claremore four days a week. This is separate from Oklahoma Educational Television Authority’s schedule of educational programming, airing 12 hours a day statewide with accompanying digital resources.
- The Bennington Banner and others reported that the Vermont Agency of Education has partnered with Vermont PBS to provide educational programming to students, with pre-K-8 programming from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the main channel and Grades 6 to 12 from noon to 5 p.m. on the PBS Plus channel.
- Our Midland (Michigan) reported that Delta Broadcasting/Q TV is offering At Home Learning for grades 4 to 8 from 8 a.m. to noon, the PBS KIDS channel, and grades 9 to 12 through WORLD Channel.
- The Quad City Herald in Washington state reported that KCTS 9, KBTC, KSPS, and Northwest Public Broadcasting are partnering with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to offer distance learning via PBS KIDS, WORLD Channel and PBS LearningMedia.
- PBS39 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, launched Lehigh Valley Learns, on Monday, March 30, which broadcasts over PBS39’s channels in the mornings, with K-5 specific programming at the same time each weekday. It has a partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the six other public TV stations in PA..