BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District's Department of Instructional Television, Communications and Public Relations has four employees overseeing a wall of monitors and shelves of videotapes and DVDs. Its job: to record and publicize the goings-on in the school system.
Communications and public relations manager Roy Gordon, production technician Barbara Renczkowski, film technician Annie Mae Jackson and production technician Mark Zelakowski record concerts, football games, School Board meetings and many other events.
Gordon and his team are responsible for communication between the district and parents. Renczkowski is updating the school system's Web site and this school year's parent guide calendar. That publication earned the National School Public Relations Association's award of merit last year, Gordon said. It won an honorable mention three years ago.
The district has a link to Bright House Networks, and Hernando Instructional Television can be seen on Bright House digital cable Ch. 614.
"We're on the air 24/7," Renczkowski said.
The continuously running programs include concerts, award ceremonies, graduations, sports events, the Teacher of the Year and School Related Employee of the Year events, and a bulletin board.
Renczkowski said the department is working on a new series called Parent Connection. It will most likely run quarterly and will give parents information about the district and its schools.
The channel also runs some programs provided by the Florida Department of Education. And last year there were some student-moderated discussions. Renczkowski said they hope to continue those this year.
The Arts Channel provides the district with classical performances of ballet, concerts and solos.
"Folks just love it," Gordon said.
"The Arts Channel runs overnight with music," Renczkowski said.
She and Gordon know they have viewers during the wee hours of the morning because they get calls when something interrupts the broadcast.
The Department of Instructional Television is adjacent to the School Board meeting room. It broadcasts board meetings and workshops live and records them.
The materials available to teachers through the department have evolved from films to videotapes to DVDs. The films, Gordon said, are "really kind of museum pieces now." The department has modernized to include a DVD duplicator and a satellite receiver. There is a complete studio, too.
Students can sometimes be found milling around the sophisticated equipment when their teachers take advantage of field trips that Gordon offers. They are allowed to work with the cameras and controls, Gordon said — after they learn the button-pushing rules.
He said he has been impressed with student broadcast productions he has seen throughout the district.
"There are some pretty talented students doing their morning shows," he said.