The class of 2020

In an unprecedented commitment to a 13-year project, NBC News “Today” announces the series “Class of 2020,” a project that will follow a class of kindergartners as they navigate the education system all the way through high school graduation. The first installment of “Class of 2020” airs Friday, Sept. 14, on “Today” and will be reported by NBC News' Natalie Morales.

The goal of the series will be informative and solution-oriented, with every installment offering a progress report on the children, the teachers and the parents. “Class of 2020” will look at the kids, the educators and their families' lives from several angles — witnessing important teaching moments as they happen in the classroom, watching students overcome difficult obstacles to succeed in school, and seeing how parents get involved to incorporate their children's homework and lessons into their daily routines at home. Over the next 13 years, viewers will follow the lives and lessons of the students from that emotional first day in class to their high school graduation day in 2020.

The school participating in the series is in the San Fernando Valley area of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The elementary school is located in a diverse, middle-class neighborhood with a multicultural mix of white, Hispanic, Asian and African-American students as well as students of Middle Eastern descent.

“Class of 2020” will be shot, edited and broadcast in High Definition. In addition to its broadcast elements it will also have a strong online component on  

“Many families are facing similar situations in their own homes, so this unprecedented series will offer our viewers a window into today's public school system, and what educators and families are investing in their kids' education,” said Jim Bell, executive producer of “Today.” “By committing to this series, we are creating an extraordinary relationship between these children and our viewers as they watch them grow over the next 13 years.”