Detroit Public TV adjusts schedule to help teach kids at home amid coronavirus pandemic

The Detroit News

The coronavirus pandemic has closed schools in Michigan, keeping students at home. So beginning Monday, Detroit Public Television (DPTV) will adjust its daytime programming schedule to meet their educational needs and help parents, too.

From 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, DPTV will offer blocks of programming geared toward early childhood, middle school and high school students on Channel 56.1, as part of a collaboration with Michigan’s public television stations and the national PBS system, DPTV said in an emailed press release. 

Weekday programming will be as follows:

This image released by PBS shows characters Molly, voiced by Sovereign Bill, left, and her mother, voiced by Jules Koostachin in a scene from the animated series "Molly of Denali."

•    Current PBS KIDS programming (Ages 2-8 years old) – 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. 

•    Grades 4th-8th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

•    Grades 9th-12th – 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

DPTV’s schedule will be filled with PBS programming that aligns to curriculum goals, with associated online learning activities, the press release said. The programs are designed to supplement children’s learning and not be a replacement for grade-level credit, DPTV said. 

Parents and caregivers seeking traditional PBS KIDS programming after 9 a.m. will find it on the 24/7 Detroit PBS KID Channel (56.2).

Also, DPTV’s World Channel (56.4) will air learning programs for grades 6th-12th on weekdays from noon- 5 p.m., starting on April 6. 

Because the new daytime schedule draws on many popular PBS programs, like “Masterpiece,” “NOVA,” “American Experience,” and recent special, adults who also find themselves at home will find it appealing. 

“We have decided to use our ability to reach into every home, regardless of the digital technology or internet access available, in a new way,” said Rich Homberg, president and CEO of Detroit Public Television in the emailed press release. 

“Educators have told us that they know that in many homes, siblings are having to compete for computer time to work on learning. We are providing an option for parents who want to support what educators are able to do online during this unusual and challenging time.”

DPTV’s main channel (56.1) and Detroit PBS KIDS channel (56.2) are available to the vast majority of families in Michigan, over the air, from cable and satellite providers and on streaming services like YouTube TV. Detroit PBS KIDS programming is also available at and through the PBS KIDS app. 

For daily programming schedules visit