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Foxborough High School to Add TV Production Courses to Curriculum in 2013-14

Foxborough High School was awarded a grant from F.A.C.E.S. Monday that will fund the development of a video production lab and provide 10 iMac editing computers.

Years after teacher retirements and outdated equipment forced Foxborough High School to do away with its video production courses, the social studies department has found a way to reinstate the program for the 2013-14 academic year through a F.A.C.E.S. grant.

F.A.C.E.S. (Foxborough: A Community Enriching Schools) is a non-profit community organization dedicated to enhancing the student experience within the Foxborough Public Schools. At Monday’s school committee meeting, F.A.C.E.S. announced it would be awarding Foxborough Public Schools with $22,159 in grants this year, including the one requesting funding for a TV production lab and equipment submitted by FHS social studies teacher Jim Callahan.

“We are very excited about this particular [grant],” said F.A.C.E.S. member Christine Igo Freeman.

The grant will fund the installation of a video production lab and 10 iMac editing computers, according to Freeman.

This grant enables the social studies department to add communications art and video production courses to its curriculum for the 2013-14 academic year, which has Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debbie Spinelli thrilled.

“Without [F.A.C.E.S.] those courses would not be happening,” Spinelli said. … “I would call this a legacy move on the part of the F.A.C.E.S. organization because this is not anything near of what we can do [financially] and I give them so much credit because they are so thoughtful about balancing all the grants that come in and how they review them. ... I’m really thrilled about this [grant].”

Callahan’s inspiration for the grant came from a video he watched last year produced by high school students.

“When I read Mr. Callahan’s grant proposal to F.A.C.E.S. he was really quite eloquent in his bid for it,” Spinelli said. “He started by saying the inspiration for his proposal was from a small group of students who put together a video without production instruction or experience [last year]. He said, ‘If these students were interested in creating such work how many more students are interested?’ That’s really the essential question.”

Spinelli expects there to be tremendous interest in these courses, especially from younger students entering the high school from Ahern Middle School.

“[Video production] is very alive at the middle school and for our students to be able to move on we need these courses at the high school,” Spinelli said.

These programs will offer both I and II level one-semester courses, according to Spinelli.

The superintendent added this is just another example of the great work done by F.A.C.E.S. over the years.

“If you remember, we didn’t have any interactive white boards until they seeded us with a few,” Spinelli said. “They really do exactly what they hope they would do and that is to seed us with innovative ideas when we may not have the money to try. … I couldn’t be happier about this legacy project on F.A.C.E.S.’ behalf.”

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