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ALPINE ADOPTS PILOT PROGRAM TO BRING CHANNEL 1, ADS AND ALL, TO SCHOOLS

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The Alpine School District Board of Education has voted 4-1 to adopt a pilot program bringing Channel One into its secondary schools.

The Whittle's educational network, which is broadcast to more than 8,000 schools nationwide, was approved by the board at Tuesday's public input session. The service will be added to the 11 junior and senior high schools in the Alpine District.The programming will feature 12-minute broadcasts of current events, world culture, science studies, National Geographic features and an educational channel to keep teachers informed on issues affecting education. The hardware needed to tie into the system will be provided by the network. Each school will receive a satellite dish, two VCRs and each classroom will be equipped with a television monitor. The equipment is valued at about $50,000.

The cost of the programming will be supported by two-minute commercials that will be broadcast daily with the 12-minute news programs. These commercials were the focal point of those who opposed bringing the network into the schools.

"I object to making students watch TV commercials as part of their educational experience," said David Harvey, the dissenting board member.

Several parents at the meeting expressed similar concerns and asked the board to provide safeguards to ensure the commercials were consistent with educational goals.

Company officials assured the board that the commercials would be truthful, tasteful and not misleading. They said the network will not advertise alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, feminine hygiene products, abortion clinics, firearms or R-rated movies.

"If commercial television had the same standards and guidelines as Channel One, it would be of a much higher quality," board member Linda Campbell said.

Board President Richard Gappmayer said that a review committee would preview each program before its broadcast to the students. Any program deemed inappropriate would not be shown. He also said the network will be monitored and would be terminated if it does not meet the students' needs.

"Despite the potential concern which we all feel about commercial advertising in our schools, this program has great potential as a beneficial resource for both students and teachers," Alpine Superintendent Steven Baugh said.

The network is expected to begin operating at the beginning of school next fall.