In March 2020, COVID-19 created not just a health crisis, but a learning crisis across our country. If children couldn’t return to school, how could instruction continue? The Kansas Department of Education recognized a need to help bridge this learning gap, and they reached out to the Public Television Stations in Kansas – the Continuous Learning Task force was born. PBS partner stations included KPTS – Channel 8 in Wichita, KTWU in Topeka, KCPT in Kansas City and Smoky Hills PBS in Bunker Hill. This new partnership gave students of all ages (grade bands K-5, 6-8, 9-12) another avenue for learning. Each PBS station worked with a lead teacher to create a 30-minute segment (six segments per station) of the Learning Across Kansas television show that featured educational content and aired on PBS stations across Kansas for six weeks.
The Continuous Learning Task Force was created by Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson to offer guidance after Gov. Laura Kelly closed school buildings for the remainder of the school year because of COVID-19.
The Task Force is chaired by the following people:
- Dyane Smokorowski, one of three chairs of the Continuous Learning Task Force, an innovation and technology leader for Wichita Public Schools District 259 and the 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year
- Cindy Couchman, assistant superintendent at Buhler USD 313 and the 2009 Kansas Teacher of the Year
- Tabatha Rosproy, an early childhood teacher at Winfield USD 465 and 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year and a 2020 National Teacher of the Year
The supplemental education content was geared toward all grade levels and taught by Kansas teachers across the state. The content was be shared through PBS stations for six weeks, April to May 2020.