Innovative COVID-19 Response Keeps Pre-K-8 Students Learning at Home


WHAT IS ARKANSAS AMI?

With schools closed due to COVID-19, Arkansas PBS, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), is working to keep students learning from home with Arkansas AMI (Alternative Methods of Instruction.)


Starting March 30, Arkansas PBS will broadcast streamlined, curriculum-based programming for the state’s pre-K through 8th grade students. Utilizing the power of television, broadcast content will be specifically targeted to children enrolled in pre-K through the 8th grade. This same broadcast content will be available online at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI each day by 4 p.m. and also on the Engage Arkansas PBS app.


PreK – 2nd Grade Band Host:

Randi House

Kindergarten Teacher, Conway Arkansas

2018 Arkansas teacher of the year

3rd – 5th Grade Band Co-hosts:

Courtney Cochran

Principal in Cedarville, AR

2017 Teacher of the Year

Meghan Ables

Teacher at Stuttgart High School

2016 Arkansas Teacher of the Year

6th – 8th Grade Band Host:

Stacey McAdoo

9th-12th Communication/AVID Teacher, Little Rock Central High


2019-2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year

Incorporated Into All Bands with Math Games:

Joel Lookadoo

Math teacher in Springdale, AR

2020 AR Teacher of the Year


WHEN DOES ARKANSAS AMI START (AND END)?

Arkansas AMI starts Monday, March 30, beginning at 8 a.m. Instruction will continue Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m., for at least three weeks. A replay of the broadcast will be posted online each day by 4 p.m. and also archived.


WHAT DOES THAT DAILY SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?

The daily schedule (Monday-Friday) starts at 8 a.m. and is scheduled in programming blocks by grade, ending at approximately 1 p.m. A replay of the broadcast will be posted online each day by 4 p.m. and also archived. The schedule is released week-by-week.

  • 8-9:30 a.m.: Grades pre-K-2

  • 9:30-11 a.m.: Grades 3-5

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Grades 6-8


CAN I CATCH UP & WATCH EARLIER BROADCASTS IF I MISS A DAY OF INSTRUCTION?

Yes. Content will be archived at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI and available the entire time students are out of school due to COVID-19, and longer as online rights allow. Students can also access the content at the Engage Arkansas PBS app.


WHERE DO I FIND THE AT-HOME INSTRUCTIONS ON TV?

Arkansas PBS is available statewide over the air or through select cable and satellite providers. More information about how to watch can be found at myarkansaspbs.org/channelinformation. Students can also access the content at the Engage Arkansas PBS app.


Viewers can tune in depending on their location:

  • KAFT-Channel 13 (Northwest AR)

  • KEMV-Channel 6 (North Central AR)

  • KTEJ-Channel 19 (Northeast AR)

  • KETS-Channel 2 (Central AR)

  • KETG-Channel 9 (Southwest AR)

  • KETZ-Channel 12 (Southeast AR)


The AMI instructional content and shows will be available online by 4 p.m. on the same day of the broadcast at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI. Content will be archived at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI and available the entire time students are out of school due to COVID-19, and longer as online rights allow.


IS THERE AN APP FOR ARKANSAS AMI?

Yes. Parents and students can also access all Arkansas AMI learning content through the Engage Arkansas PBS app for iPhone and Android.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT THIS INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMMING TO LOOK LIKE?

Each block of programming per grade will open with a Teacher of the Year educator who will guide students during the instruction time. A large part of the instruction will be PBS programming such as a NOVA program on Yellowstone Park or a Peg+Cat episode to help young students learn math skills. The teacher will reference companion resources and activities in the AMI packet that can be downloaded at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI.


HOW WILL STUDENTS & FAMILIES RECEIVE THEIR AMI INSTRUCTIONAL PACKETS?

ADE will be sending digital AMI packets to each school district. Then, schools can personalize the lesson plans and are responsible for getting them to students. Schools will determine how best to distribute these materials to families – or families can find them online on their own. Examples: printing, mailing, emailing, working with local organizations, etc. Lessons plans can be downloaded by individuals, parents, caretakers and others who want to use these resources at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI


ARE THERE BILINGUAL MATERIALS?

Yes. Spanish language materials and schedules are included in the AMI packets being sent to school districts.


DOES THIS REPLACE THE WORK MY TEACHER ASSIGNS?

Questions about requirements of AMI days should be directed to your applicable school district. Regardless of the requirement by each school district, the programming was carefully selected for pre-K-8 students and their parents to enjoy and engage in family time learning.

IS THIS REQUIRED FOR MY CHILD?

Questions about requirements of AMI days should be directed to your applicable school district. Regardless of the requirement by each school district, the programming was carefully selected for pre-K-8 students and their parents to enjoy and engage in family time learning.


WHAT IF MY SCHOOL DISTRICT ISN'T UTILIZING THESE MATERIALS?

These learning resources are free and available to the public to view, download and use with their kids as additional learning tools.


HOW WILL MY CHILD'S SCHOOL KNOW IF HE/SHE WATCHES & COMPLETES THE WORK?

A Progress Report/self-reporting chart will be available for each student. Included in the report is space to record PBS programming watched, work done in subject areas, prompts to upload work, and questions and comments.


ARE THERE LESSONS ONLINE?

Instructional content will also be accessible at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI. The replay of the broadcast will be available after 4 p.m. each day online at myarkansaspbs.org/ArkansasAMI. Additional ways to watch are available at myarkansaspbs.org/online. Students can also access the content at the Engage Arkansas PBS app.


ARE SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE WITH THE BROADCAST/ONLINE CONTENT?

ADE will be sending digital AMI packets to each school district. Then, schools can personalize the lesson plans and are responsible for getting them to students. Schools will determine how best to distribute these materials to families. Examples: printing, mailing, emailing, working with local organizations, etc.


IF I HAVE QUESTIONS, WHERE DO I FIND ANSWERS?

For help with broadcast or finding Arkansas PBS on TV, contact Arkansas PBS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Call 501-682-2386 or email info@myarkansaspbs.org.


For help with educational instruction, contact the Arkansas PBS education team Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Call the help desk at 501-682-0317 or email AMIhelp@myarkansaspbs.org.


WILL THERE BE AT-HOME INSTRUCTIONS THROUGH BROADCAST FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS?

ADE has partnered with Virtual Arkansas to engage and provide continued learning for 9-12 high school students. Additionally, PBS is partnering with WORLD Channel on a content block for children in grades 6-12, which will be made available from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday beginning Monday, March 30. Find out how to watch WORLD Channel at myarkansaspbs.org/channelinformation.


WHY IS ARKANSAS PBS DOING THIS FOR SCHOOLS?

Arkansas PBS currently provides free national and local content to classrooms through Arkansas PBS LearningMedia, as well as teacher training and professional development through the ArkansasIDEAS professional development portal, which currently serves 60,000 users throughout the state.


This partnership with ADE is indicative of the state’s priority to provide unrestricted access to education for early learners and secondary students.

“Arkansas PBS was established more than 50 years ago as an essential educational resource for Arkansans statewide,” Arkansas PBS Executive Director and CEO Courtney Pledger said. “Today, more than ever, we are proud to serve Arkansas students, teachers and families by fulfilling a critical need during an unprecedented time. PBS’s programming for children is the most valued and trusted in America, and Arkansas PBS is honored to be able to partner with ADE to respond immediately to the needs of Arkansans.”

Utilizing the power of television, and Arkansas PBS’s statewide broadcast coverage, broadcast content will be able to reach targeted students enrolled in kindergarten through the 8th grade.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS INITIAL THREE-WEEK PERIOD?

Arkansas PBS and ADE is already in discussions about next steps in providing learning at home during this crisis – format changes, working with other Arkansas partners and more.


WILL MY REGULAR PROGRAMS ON ARKANSAS PBSS BE DISRUPTED DURING THIS TIME?

Arkansas PBS will modify regularly scheduled daytime programming for at least three weeks to offer specific pre-K-8 resources between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Program modifications will take place throughout the duration of school closures and will address a wide variety of content areas. Educators and parents will have access to lesson plans and curriculum materials tailored to the PBS content to facilitate meaningful use of the content and learning.


In addition to the main Arkansas PBS channel, we support early learning by broadcasting PBS KIDS programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Arkansas PBS KIDS. The schedule of children’s daytime programming will differ on Arkansas PBS and Arkansas PBS KIDS, offering families a variety of options. Arkansas PBS KIDS is also available to livestream on various devices and with an interactive gaming feature. Learn more at pbskids.org.


HAS ARKANSAS PBS ALWAYS WORKED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ADE?

This partnership between Arkansas PBS and ADE recognizes the importance of continuing the educational experience by providing access to free educational resources to those students at home during this difficult time. For more than 15 years, Arkansas PBS and ADE have worked together to provide professional development for all Arkansas licensed educators.

“We at the Department of Education are proud to work with Arkansas PBS to deliver curriculum-based programming directly to students in their homes,” Arkansas Secretary of Education Johnny Key said. “Students statewide are impacted by school closures and it is important that we do as much as possible to reduce the amount of lost instruction time. I am grateful for our partnership with Arkansas PBS that makes this possible.”

WHO CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF HAVING SCHOOL ON TV?

Arkansas PBS and ADE have had a long and successful partnership to increase student achievement and provide high-quality online professional development for all Arkansas licensed educators.

Knowing the power of television, Arkansas PBS leadership reached out to ADE to lend support as a partner, broadcaster and digital content provider to support their learning at home and AMI plans.


DID THE GOVERNOR SANCTION THIS IDEA?

"This partnership between Arkansas PBS and the Arkansas Department of Education demonstrates the type of creative solutions we need during this crisis,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Our ability to meet the needs of our citizens and provide our children with educational instruction regardless of the circumstances is important. Our goal is to limit the amount of lost instruction time, and to limit the impact on our children as much as possible. This coordination helps us accomplish that goal.”

WHERE CAN I FIND ADDITIONAL ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES?

An Arkansas PBS LearningMedia resource page has been developed to aid teachers and parents in their kids’ at-home learning and is available through ArkansasIDEAS, ideas.myarkansaspbs.org.


This page will allow teachers to search for the age range that most accurately applies to their students – ages 3-5, ages 6-11 and ages 12+ – to be connected with resources for online instruction, professional development and training, additional materials, and resources students can access from home. Parents can search the same age groups to find activities for children based on subject area. These resources include educational videos, activities and games.


Arkansas PBS will also share daily resources on Facebook, and parents can sign up at myarkansaspbs.org/engage to receive daily learning resources emails.

Additional information about the modified broadcast schedule, available online resources and virtual professional development opportunities is available at myarkansaspbs.org.


Individuals can sign up for daily emails (“Schoolhouse Daily”) that offer learning resources from Arkansas PBS and many other partners. Sign up at myarkansaspbs.org/engage


ONLINE RESOURCES

JOIN THE CAUSE

  • Keith Ingram for Arkansas | Facebook
  • Keith Ingram for Arkansas | Instagram
  • Keith Ingram for Arkansas | Twitter

© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.