News Release

11.21.2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Johnson County cable customers have window on local education

Cable television viewers in Johnson County now have additional programming choices, thanks to a partnership between Johnson County's three largest school districts and Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable Kansas City, supported by the community and district business partners.

A county-wide educational access channel (Channel 18) is available to viewers at no charge to the districts.  Programming by the Blue Valley, Olathe and Shawnee Mission school districts is available to customers of both cable companies via linked cable access.

While the shared programming time and partnering with the cable stations are new, broadcasting on Channel 18 isn't new to the Shawnee Mission and the Blue Valley school districts.

"We are pleased to offer the patrons of Shawnee Mission and residents in Johnson County quality educational programming via cable television.  Shawnee Mission remains committed, as it has for more than 30 years, to offering instructional program selections, as well as district-produced programs, communicating news and events occurring in our school district," said Marjorie Kaplan, superintendant of the Shawnee Mission School District.

The Shawnee Mission School District offered the only public education programming in the county since the 1970s until the last couple of years.  Once the Blue Valley and Olathe school districts added cable programming within the last few years, the three school districts began a collaborative effort toward a county-wide station.

"The power of cable TV, combined with the power of partnerships between school districts, demonstrates not only our commitment to providing a quality education for our students, but our commitment to educating patrons about their public schools in Johnson County," said David Benson, superintendent of the Blue Valley School District.

The Olathe School District has been broadcasting their programming on Comcast Cable Channel 18, available only in the City of Olathe.  Now their programming can be seen by Olathe district patrons in Overland Park and Lenexa.

"We are pleased to join other partners in providing information via cable programming to parents, community members, and others interested in public education throughout Johnson County.  The partnership represents a major step forward in providing an excellent learning experience for students while increasing public awareness on a variety of education issues facing our public schools," said Ron Wimmer, superintendent of the Olathe School District.

The school district's vision of a window to public education in Johnson County wouldn't have been realized if it hadn't been for the collaborative spirit of Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable Kansas City executives in negotiating the details of the partnership.

"Comcast places a high priority on working with our education community.  This is why we are pleased to play a part in the launch of this new K-12 education channel that will be available to cable customers in Johnson County.  We are confident that educators, parents and students will derive a great benefit from this new cable network," said Tom Krewson, Comcast Cable's manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations.

Comcast Cable and Time Warner Cable Kansas City teamed up to provide a fiber line to allow the signals to travel from one cable company to the other.

"Supporting public education has been our number one community priority for over 20 years.  We provide schools in our viewing area with free cable service to access Cable in the Classroom programming, as well as channels which each district uses to broadcast their own programming.  This partnership between the school districts, Time Warner Cable and Comcast will eliminate community, school and cable boundaries, allowing all Johnson County cable subscribers to tune in to what is happening in their schools.  Time Warner Cable was pleased to be involved in this partnership," said Carol Rothwell, vice president for Public Affairs, Time Warner Cable Kansas City.

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