RSU Public TV announces @HomeLearning partnership with schools

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/04/2020 11:00 AM
CLAREMORE – As parents and teachers look for ways to keep hundreds of thousands northeastern Oklahoma public school students engaged with learning while honoring state and national Stay At Home guidelines, RSU Public TV will provide an over-the-air broadcast solution, @HomeLearning, in partnership with Sequoyah Public Schools of Rogers County.

Teachers at Sequoyah plan to begin broadcasting locally driven learning opportunities on Tuesdays and Thursdays on RSU TV starting April 9.

This effort does not replace but will enhance Sequoyah’s and other local school community or districts’ distance learning plans.

The RSU TV @HomeLearning will replace regular programming carried on RSU Public TV Channel 35.1, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, continuing through mid-May.

TV Station General Manager Royal Aills said the programming is a direct response to a State Board of Education mandate on March 25 that essentially closed all public-school buildings to regular classroom and educational activities due to state and national COVID-19 public health restrictions. As a result, schools across the state have been tasked with implementing distance learning plans to continue engaging all pre-kindergarten to 12th grade students throughout the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Dr. Terry Saul, Sequoyah superintendent, initiated this effort by reaching out to RSU Public TV.

“The first thing that came to mind was all the parents and students who do not have unlimited access to data plans and the internet,” Saul said. “We analyzed all possible resources in our area to connect and provide learning experiences to our students and families, which led us to RSU-TV. We know from data the vast majority of our homes have a TV and that RSU-TV is available for free.

“We will provide learning opportunities and experiences with an emphasis on enrichment teaching and presentations. Our goal is to keep our students engaged in learning and continue our vision of instilling the love of learning,” Saul added.

Sequoyah students and parents will access a blended learning plan with a combination of learning resources for parents, direct instruction via an online platform and RSU-TV. 

Sequoyah teachers will broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, providing learning opportunities covering pre-kindergarten to 12th grade lessons in half-hour increments. These learning opportunities are designed to reach a wide span of grade levels and will be divided into elementary, middle school and high school levels.

Sequoyah teachers will include multi-grade level lessons in reading, math, social studies and science with each lesson including enrichment opportunities.

“We hope to give students the opportunity to feel as if they are in the classroom. We feel like this approach will assist parents who don’t have internet or need to use the internet at home for their own job,” Saul said.

Aills said other schools are in the process of obtaining approval from their local boards to join the @HomeLearning program.

Saul said this gives northeast Oklahoma students and parents a consistent option for keeping their children engaged in learning through this unusual time in our state.

“We are grateful for the partnership with RSU-TV,” he said.

RSU-TV has provided educational programming, including telecourses, to residents of northeastern Oklahoma for 30 years. It broadcasts on channels 35.1 and 35.2 and is available via cable and satellite services throughout northeast Oklahoma reaching over 1.2 million viewers.
The RSU TV @HomeLearning Programming Schedule and other educational resources will be available starting April 5th at rsu.tv\learning.

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