In addition to the new Channel One program starting in Eudora, the district soon will have another option for educational television that includes extending cable television service to rural residents.
Bill Johnson, manager of licensing for RuralVision, said his Thayer-based company provides wireless cable television to rural areas of the country previously inaccessible by traditional cable service.
"They way it's done is with a marriage between a commercial endeavor in the business to make a profit and school districts who have educational broadcasting channels available to them but no money to build (receivers)," he said.
All school districts have access to the channels, but it costs about $2.5 million for equipment that will ultimately bring the programming to the schools, Johnson said. RuralVision enters a partnership with the school district, leasing the channels to provide schools with educational television programming and the rural public with cable television.
EUDORA is one of five school districts listed as applicants with the company for Federal Communications Commission licensing to operate a wireless cable television station in Ottawa, Johnson said. In return, RuralVision will pay the district $10,000 a year for 10 years for use of the channels. Once the Ottawa station goes on line, Eudora schools also will receive up to 40 hours free use of the educational programming, Johnson said.
The channels will air live classrooms sessions, which students can view for credit. The service is two-way, so teachers or students can use special telephone equipment to ask questions of the teacher leading the class, Johnson said.
PROGRAMMING also includes 200 hours of staff development, which will give teachers an opportunity for continuing education without traveling long distances to workshops and seminars, he said.
Supt. Dan Bloom said the RuralVision partnership will provide the district with another option in education.
"It's a nice option, the cost is essentially nothing and we make a little money," he said.