Plum School Board meetings may be recorded and broadcasted once again.
High school television production class students recorded board meetings for about a decade under the direction of teacher Rick Berrott. That stopped this past school year as teacher contract negotiations heated up.
The revived broadcasts would be aired on public access channels and posted to YouTube.
The board approved a six-year contract with the teachers union in April, but video production had not resumed.
School directors are exploring restoring the recording, and could take action on the issue in August.
“We’re researching options at this point and what’s the best way to do it,” School Director Karin Acquaviva said. “It needs to be in a professional setting, not just a cell phone video. We’re looking into different opportunities to make it work.”
Board Vice President Vicky Roessler said having sessions recorded will increase transparency.
“I have always supported the videotaping of school board meetings,” Roessler said. “I would like to see both the discussion meetings and the voting meetings recorded for the community to view.”
Other school board members also expressed support and wondered why it wasn’t brought back sooner.
“We’ve been exploring it for a couple months, but it keeps getting delayed,” Rich Zucco said. “I don’t care who does it as long as it’s done well, and I think it should be done for every meeting. The workshops and discussion meetings are when the subject matter really gets discussed. I’d like to see it either on cable or live broadcast. Do people still Tivo things?”
Berrott did not respond to emails seeking comment.
Plum man makes pitch for the job
Resident Vince Lagrotteria records Plum Council meetings, events and produces various borough-related segments via his company, PVN Productions.
He also recently began covering Penn Hills Council meetings, and assisted Plum students recording school board meetings in March 2018.
Lagrotteria said he hopes the district considers his company when discussing meeting recordings.
“If the school board decides that’s the direction they want to go, we certainly would want to be considered to provide that coverage,” he said. “We bring multiple cameras. We also professionally monitor the sound so microphones could be heard equally.
“There are so many events that occur at the school over the course of a month that the students and TV station the students run can cover and would be appropriate for them.
“This school board meeting is probably something that would be better left to a professional company because of the importance of the presentation to the public, and probably shouldn’t be left to a school project.”
TV production students put on a full-scale telethon for Make-A-Wish every year complete with special guests and segments.