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WCNY, Syracuse schools launch TV Classroom to connect students without internet to teachers

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Syracuse Superintendent Jaime Alicea at WCNY.

WCNY, public television for central New York, in partnership with the Syracuse City School District, is launching the TV Classroom network, a series of different classes for kindergarten through Grade 12 students. It’s another way for students, stuck at home, to connect with teachers, if they do not have internet.

With schools closed, Syracuse Superintendent Jaime Alicea said teachers are using online learning and mailing packets of work to students. But almost 8,000 out of 23,000 students in the Syracuse school district do not have internet access at home. WCNY’s TV Classroom is airing segments, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., taught by district teachers and administrators. The classes include math, science, social studies, English language arts, fitness and health, arts and culture and Regents review.

“This is again, for all the students, whether they’re using packets, whether they’re using online learning, this is another opportunity for them to be engaged in their learning,” Alicea said.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, who has two young daughters in the school district, said teachers are going above and beyond for their students.

“What all parents are dealing with is trying to keep our kids from getting bored," Walsh said. "Teachers can relate to that. Having another avenue for them to be able to put down their smartphones and devices and be able to turn on the TV and tune in to TV Classroom, it’s just another way to make sure our kids are continuing to learn.”

TV Classroom can be viewed on WCNY’s Global Connect channel and it is also streamed online. The shows will continue to air in WCNY's 19 county coverage area of central New York, until schools reopen.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.