For almost ten years, the David E. Williams Morning Announcement Team has been broadcasting the morning announcements to staff and students. Each school day, the team uses audio, visuals, and live video to inform the staff and students as to what is happening at our middle school. Student staff members participate in all facets of producing the show and gain valuable skills that can be used as they move through their educational career.
In 2006, I attended a seminar on school-wide broadcasting. Since the middle school had the cable infrastructure and most of the needed equipment was already in our building, I realized that a broadcast studio was something that was within reach. The administration provided a room, and a video mixer was purchased by our PTA and the DEW Student Council. In a short period of time, the team was broadcasting live morning announcements school wide. Technology improvements now allow broadcasts to be streamed through the school network giving more individuals access to our announcements.
A typical morning broadcast usually includes the following:
- Introduction – school schedule, date and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
- Main Announcements – school events, lunch menu, and anything else of importance
- Closing: this day in history and song of the day
New members of the team are always amazed to see the amount of coordination required for what seems to be a very simple broadcast. A daily broadcast requires at least three technical staff members in addition to the announcer.
The typical broadcast crew:
- announcer – organize and read announcements
- sound engineer – operate sound mixing board
- video engineer – set up cameras, run video mixing board and control streaming software
- background and music – set up background slide show and select and control the song of the day feed.
The studio staff is comprised of student volunteers who give up their time to produce a quality broadcast each morning. It has always been policy that any student who expresses an interest will be given the opportunity to participate. Members of the team must learn the skills needed to work on both sides of the camera. Since there is a fair amount of training required, a minimum of a one grading period commitment is required to become part of the team. The staff is comprised of students from different grade levels so that new students will gain the needed skills and confidence required to seamlessly replace the experienced staff members as they move on.