BARSTOW • When the red light started blinking at 7:32 p.m., the Barstow Unified School District Board of Trustees knew they were on.

The discussions and debates of the board, administrators and input from the public will now be viewable to the general public on the district's Web site, thanks to the work of Barstow High School students in the television and video production class.

Eleventh-grader Randall Carbajal and 12th-grader Ryan Horner set up the cameras, connected the wires and tested the microphones Tuesday in their first attempt to video-record the board meeting.

Carbajal said he'd never attended a board meeting before, but noted that it seemed like the district was "making important decisions."

The first attempt went without a hitch, according to Vinney Williams, BHS  television and video production teacher.

"We didn't have any errors. ... Everything captured pretty nicely," he said.

The board voted in May to start video-recording meetings. There was even talk about moving meetings to Barstow City Hall to be televised.

Board Vice President Barbara Rose said she liked having the meetings recorded and promoting transparency.

"When you're actually in front of the camera, people tend to change their faces," said Rose.

"It puts you more on a cautious state that we should always be on," she said.

Rose hopes that making videos available online will get more community members involved in what's happening in the schools.

Carbajal said he thinks while parents may check out the videos, students probably won't.

The video will be viewable starting either Thursday or Friday on the district's Web site at http://barstow.k12.ca.us/index.cfm.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or elee@desertdispatch.com