In August of 2009, Instructional Television became a separate department. Prior to this time it had long been a part of the United ISD Communications Department.
In 1997, United Independent School District entered into an agreement with KHOY and the Laredo Catholic Diocese to rent their facility and studio, in which to produce educational television programming for the District.
Throughout the years Instructional Television employees have distinguished themselves by winning many local, state and national awards for their numerous educational video productions. In August of 2010, the United ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to build a state-of-the-art-facility in the amount of $969,500.00 to house the new Instructional Television Department. The San Antonio based architecture firm of Kell Muñoz was hired to design the facility. The Leyendecker Construction Company completed the demolition and construction project in just over six months.
The television studio and offices now occupy the space that was formerly the automotive trades department at United High School, which is now known as the United High School 9th Grade Campus, located at 8800 McPherson Road.
The newly transformed facility received a standing seam metal roof, a covered canopy entrance, a brown and blue paint scheme and a glazed tile logo on the outside to identify the building. The taupe and black interior has a modern high tech design, which includes some creative colorful tile work on the lobby and hallway floors that signify television “color bars.”
The beautiful new state-of-the-art ITV complex comprises 6,250 square feet. The facility includes: a lobby, offices, editing room, master control, audio room, prop and storage rooms, conference/break room, and a 30 by 60 foot television studio.
The studio’s lighting system was designed by the Texas Scenic Company from San Antonio. The studio is also equipped with a three tier curtain system, which allows for a variety of backgrounds, including chroma key.
The studio is large enough to house three permanent sets where the ITV department will continue producing their award winning United ISD Newscast and the Knowledge for College academic/scholarship game show. The studio also contains a talk show set, which will be used to produce interview programs highlighting students, staff and board members.
The ITV department produces a unique and diverse variety of informational, educational and promotional English and Spanish videos which include: training videos, Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for both television and radio, music videos, recruitment videos, District Newscasts, Academic Game Shows, retirement videos, interviews and special videos to promote schools, departments and various District programs. In addition, the department also records all board meetings, graduations, concerts, and special events.
The Instructional Television Department is comprised of six talented staff members including a director, ITV specialist, three photographer/editors and a secretary. All staff members had previous media experience before their employment with United ISD. The employees’ combined years of total experience equals 131 years!
Over the years the Instructional Television Department has been recognized nationally. And for the past two years, the department has the distinction of winning more awards from the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA), than any other Instructional Television Department in Texas. United ISD competes in the division of school districts with a student population of 30,000 or more. United ISD instructional television programming airs weekly on KVTV, KGNS, CW, FOX and the Public Access Channel (PAC). UISD ITV also recently joined YouTube, the largest worldwide video-sharing community. Some select UISD videos can be accessed on YouTube by going to UISDInstructionalTV.