Juab School District Board members agreed to wait until their October meeting to decide whether to contract with Channel One to provide free educational broadcasts to the district.
Paula M. Pother, representing Channel One, told board members the company will provide one 19-inch, 36-channel television for every 23 students (approximately 50 for the district) on the secondary level. Also provided will be a fixed satellite dish, two VCRs, a video jack for additional equipment, a systemwide coaxial cable and complete service.Pother said the network would beam in a 12-minute news and current events program each morning at 6 a.m. The news program is prerecorded via VCR at the school automatically and is ready for review by a teacher or administrator at the school prior to being shown.
Included in the program are 250 other instructional and curriculum-specific programs per year, a camcorder which can be used to produce announcements for the system and to tape events at the schools and play them over the system.
The system will also connect to a personal computer.
Pother said Channel One delivers the free service to 7,000 secondary schools per year and asks for a three-year commitment from each school that signs up.
The televisions can be used for any program reception except for other teenage-level commercial programs. "There are no others at present," said Pother.
If the televisions are not used for the news program on a consistent basis then the televisions are reclaimed. However, occasional programs can be missed. "The program has to be shown in its entirety or not at all," said Pother. Still, not all students must watch, if they have objections, and not all teachers must have the program in the classroom. If a program is deemed undesirable, then it is not shown at the school's choice.
The sample news program board members were shown included two one-minute commercial breaks.
"We have been working in schools for 20 years," said Pother. She said the company does not show inappriopriate material and is careful to use good programming so as not to offend their sponsors and educational customers.
If the district did find the programs objectionable they simply would stop showing them and the service would be terminated. An audit will be done in the future on 250 schools with the service and on five television sets. The schools will be notified and only those willing to participate in the audit will be audited, said Pother.