Reality television has come to Scott High School and Toledo Public Schools.
There's no million-dollar prize waiting for students on the fourth floor of Scott High School, but some students hope the experience at the school's new television studio may land them on television doing the news or some other program.
Teachers in the broadcasting program at Scott's School of Arts and Media held an open house last week for the new television studio. The studio, built in the school's old cafeteria serving area, has a control room, and a studio with two rolling studio cameras, professional lighting and a stage for production.
The television studio complements the school's long-existing radio station, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in both media.
"If you want to go into [the media], this is the best place to be," said Robin Jones, 18, a senior. "Before, we had to pretend we were doing a lot of things. Now, we can actually do it."
Robert Bailey, a broadcasting teacher at Scott, said television production classes, like the radio production classes, are open to all Toledo Public Schools high school students.
"The radio station is going into its 30th anniversary under its Jazz format," Mr. Bailey said. "Scott has a lot of history with radio and now this [television] studio will add to our history."
It cost slightly more than $100,000 to convert the area into a television studio, said Kevin McCann, director of career technology for TPS. He said the school district paid for it through federal grants and state funds dedicated to career technical programs.
Scott's communication history goes back to when the school opened in the 1910s when students from Scott and Waite communicated with each other through Morse code, said John Kuschell, a long-time broadcasting instructor and advisor for DECA, or Delta Epsilon Chi, a national association for students and teachers of marketing, management and business.
He said Scott students through the years operated short-wave radios up to its current radio station.
Unlike the radio station, WXTS-FM (88.3), Mr. Kuschell said the television studio is an in-house production studio and cannot broadcast programs outside. Lisa Zilba, a broadcasting teacher and DECA advisor, said when the school is remodeled, she hopes the district will allow close-circuit television to be used through other classrooms.
Ms. Zilba said the students are looking to gain experience with the help of the community. She said the Arts and Media program is offering to produce public service announcements, commercials and other video productions for small businesses at a reduced fee.She said the work helps out small businesses and organizations that cannot afford those services and gives students valuable experience.
She said the students will learn how to operate radio and television studios, edit digital video and audio, and produce and direct shows.
"It was a dramatic change from the way it used to look," said Ivory Purley, 18, a senior. "I didn't know it would look like this. The year is almost over so we won't get the full benefit of it, but the students next year will."
Rachel McClellan, 17, a senior, said the studio will provide students will real experiences in broadcasting. She said before, students operated hand-held cameras in an area that was not equipped as a studio.
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