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DC Public Schools to broadcast lessons on TV

Washington Teachers' Union says district will broadcast of class lessons on WDCA-TV, Channel 20

WASHINGTON — D.C. families without internet access will soon have a new way to access public school class lessons: Broadcast television. 

The Washington Teacher's Union announced Wednesday an arrangement to broadcast class lessons on WDCA-TV.

The "MyNetworkTV" affiliate broadcasts on Channel 20 free over the air and is carried on D.C.-area cable packages. Details of time slots used for class lessons are still under consideration.

The idea came after DCPS teachers met March 21 and discussed the inequities of lack of access to computers and internet, according to Washington Teacher's Union President Elizabeth Davis. The union began approaching D.C.-area television stations at the suggestion of its members.

Credit: Shavon Collier
Shavon Collier started teaching her kindergartner from home Tuesday as DCPS begins distance learning.

Initial plans call for utilizing studios at Eliot-Hines Middle School for teachers to record lessons tailored to specific grades for later broadcast.

On Tuesday, DCPS also said it intended to start giving some students access to the estimated 18,000 laptops the district owns. Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said the move was intended to help offset some of the disparities in the student population, although he acknowledged that roughly 30 percent of students in the District do not have access to wifi at home.

WUSA9 will promote the access to learning on its Great Day Washington program weekdays at 9 a m. 

"Helping our community's children to keep learning is one of the greatest public services we can provide during this trying time," said Richard Dyer, president and general manager of WUSA9. "We're glad to partner in this effort to make sure D.C. students have access to various avenues for learning."

Teachers will post lessons to www.wtulocal6.net so students and their families can work on the lessons discussed throughout the week.

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