Congrats to Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Tennessee, this week’s School Broadcast Program School of the Week!
Cleveland High School’s program, CHSLive, has been a member of the School Broadcast Program since 2010. They have been an excellent example of how the program can work and consistently push the envelope in their coverage. Currently, CHSLive streams all home and away football games, all home basketball and wrestling matches, select volleyball, soccer, baseball, and softball games. They also stream events such as graduation, Veteran’s Day events, the band Christmas concert, and other activities.
Below is a quick Q&A with teacher advisor, Jon Souders.
* Is the SBP part of a class or club at Cleveland? Who can participate?
The School Broadcast Program is part of the Broadcasting Courses at CHS. We offer three levels of Broadcasting under the Tennessee Career and Technical Education course standards. Any student wishing to be in the Broadcasting Program has the opportunity to register for the intro level. The 2nd and 3rd level students are the ones who work directly with the SBP and CHSLive.
* How many students participate in the program?
Per year, over 150 students participate in the Broadcasting Courses, with at least half of those somehow working with CHSLive. For away football games we typically take 4-5 students. Home games require 12-14 students since we have a much larger setup.
* Have any of your students gone on to broadcasting programs in college or related jobs/internships?
We currently have students studying broadcasting at Full Sail University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Emory University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee State University, and various other colleges. They have told me how well prepared they are based on the experience of live production they received in high school. One of the students was able to get an internship at MTSU as a sophomore since she had participated in live production already. Several other students are working with local television stations and producing independent films. Since the launch of CHSLive, we now have more students than ever wanting to go into Broadcast Journalism or Television Production in college and future careers. Also, we now have a Dual Enrollment agreement with Lee University, a local fully accredited private university. Junior and Seniors who are in the Broadcasting 3 course and working with CHSLive, are able to receive full college credit that can be transferred to any university.
* How has your school/students benefitted from participating in the program?
Our school has benefited tremendously since we joined the SBP. We have had numerous articles and news stories written about the program. Schools across the county have called asking how we stream and produce live events. We received the 2012-2013 Tennessee Outstanding Career and Technical Education Program of the Year award, in large part due to the SBP. This is an award given to only one CTE program in the entire state. The SBP has given our school state and national recognition.
The students in the SBP are getting amazing hands on experience which will prepare them to be better problem solvers and communicators regardless of the college major they choose. Our students’ families have probably benefited the most by being able to watch their children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, etc., play sports throughout the year. Recently we heard a story about a woman who lives in Argentina who was able to watch her granddaughter play soccer for the first time via the live stream. We have another student who plays football and his family watches from four different states every Friday night.
* Anything else unique you’d like to share about your program?
This year we added a Blimp Cam to our live stream. We have a 13-ft remote controlled blimp that has a camera with pan/tilt controls which can capture any outdoor event for a really unique view on the live stream. In preparation for basketball, we just added a camera behind the basketball goal and are experimenting with wireless HD transmission systems to put cameras in more unique places. We also have a mobile production trailer in which we broadcast from for our larger events. This trailer is completely equipped for live production and has room for a director, graphics operator, and producer.
This season we added a full-time sideline reporter for football. She provides us with score updates around the region, injury reports, interviews with students, and a coach’s interview at halftime and the end of the game.
The School Broadcast Program is entirely student produced from the commentary to graphics to camera operators. I simply provide the students with the tools, and they take it and go.