April 20, 2020

Indianapolis Public Schools To Broadcast Student Lessons On TV Starting April 23

The outside of the John Morton Finney Center for Educational Services. - WFYI News file photo

The outside of the John Morton Finney Center for Educational Services.

WFYI News file photo

Lessons for Indianapolis Public Schools students in grades K–8 will be televised in partnership with MyINDY-TV 23 as part of a strategy to teach children at home during the pandemic.

Circle City Broadcasting, owner of MyINDY-TV 23 and WISH-TV, will start to air the lessons five days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., beginning April 27. The lessons will cover core subjects, such as English, math, and reading. Social emotional learning, like self-awareness and coping skills, will also be part of the programming.

The lessons are intended to reach more than 24,000 students in kindergarten through grade 8.

“We are extremely excited about this new partnership with Circle City Broadcasting as a way to share critical learning with our K–8 families who may not have a computer or internet access,” IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said in a statement. “This adds another layer to the instruction that our students are receiving through the IPS Home Learning Plan, and increases access to families who need it most.”

IPS and city leaders are struggling to connect all students to e-learning options during the closure of school buildings for the 2019-20 academic year because of COVID-19. About a fifth of Marion County families with school age children do not have a computer or internet at home, according to the  2017 American Community Survey. The IPS Foundation and the city established funds to help expand internet access to families.

Instruction from IPS teachers will be recorded and produced by MyINDY-TV 23. The production will be similar to videos teachers are already making themselves and distributing to students through an IPS-website. The videos correspond with assignment packets students are supposed to be using for at home learning. The district started mailing packets to families last month.

“We’re very proud to bring these critical broadcasts to students in our community,” DuJuan McCoy, owner, president and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting said in a statement. “While e-learning is fulfilling the educational needs of students across the state, many families do not have internet access in their homes. Free broadcast television can help to fill the gap for those without access by providing a link to educational opportunities for all students, regardless of income.”

Partnerships between school districts and broadcasters are happening in other cities. Last month Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest district in the nation, partnered with two Southern California public broadcasting stations to provide instruction and educational programming to students.

How To Watch

Check your cable or satellite provider for the MyINDY-TV 23 channel. If you don’t have those services, you can watch for free through an antenna or converter box.

Contact WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle at eweddle@wfyi.org or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

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