New Jersey schools remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but class is still very much in session — yes, even on your TV.
The state Department of Education announced Thursday that local teachers will appear on a new show, NJTV Learning Live, with daily lessons for grades 3-6, beginning April 6. Each hourlong segment will have a lesson recorded by a teacher from his or her home.
All New Jersey schools are closed for the foreseeable future to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but students are participating in distance learning — either through a virtual program or a series of worksheets, depending on their district. But many educators are concerned about the lack of internet access in low-income communities and how that might affect the equity of remote learning.
The new TV program could help close that gap by offering lessons to any student with access to public broadcast television. The show is a partnership between the state, NJTV and the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.
“These lessons will provide valuable enrichment and supplement what students are already getting from their own teachers,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “They will also showcase the amazing work that our educators continue to do every day, even in the middle of a pandemic.”
More than 200 teachers have already volunteered to participate, according to the state. The Department of Education will select the teachers, and NJTV will produce and broadcast the shows (locate your local channel on NJTV’s “Where to Watch” webpage).
Gov. Phil Murphy praised the show in his daily media briefing, calling New Jersey teachers “best in the nation, best in the world.”
Kimberly Dickstein Hughes, New Jersey’s current Teacher of The Year, will host the segments.
“I am truly inspired by collaborating with such extraordinary educators, who are not only meeting the needs of their own students and families, but are going above and beyond to reach all students during this unprecedented time for our schools,” she said.
The show is scheduled to run until May and could be extended, if