DARIEN, IL – Hinsdale Central High School is broadcasting on the school district’s radio station, but Hinsdale South does not have access.
Some wonder why this is the case. This is in light of the efforts of a group of Southern students to raise funds to upgrade the school’s old studio.
In an email last week to radio station supporters, District 86 Superintendent Tammy Prentiss said the district’s Radio Club is housed in Hinsdale Central, but is open to all students in the district.
“We implemented this practice in 2019 based on low participation levels in the South and the cost of repairing or replacing school equipment,” Prentiss said in an email.
Low interest is often the reason for the lack of offers at South. Two decades ago, the two schools had similar enrollments, but Central’s count is now double that of South.
One way to even out enrollment is to change the attendance limit between the two schools. But such a decision is fraught with political risks. Indeed, residents of the central area fear that the value of their properties will drop if they move south. Hinsdale, where Central is located, is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States.
In his email, Prentiss said the new Southern group, the Recording and Broadcasting Club, was treated like other student organizations. New clubs fund themselves, she said.
The broadcast club posted on the GoFundMe website to raise funds and received a booster club grant, rather than relying on traditional fundraising methods such as selling candy and popcorn , said Prentiss.
The group, she noted, goes beyond radio to include creating podcasts and learning about audio production and engineering.
Central and South have long shared radio station WHSD, with each school broadcasting at different times. It is authorized by the FCC.
In a response to Prentiss, Matt McCann, South’s station manager in the late 1970s who pursued a career in broadcasting, said the district was missing an opportunity with South’s studio.
“Creating podcasts, learning audio production and engineering, giving musicians access to a recording studio, etc., is not beyond a traditional radio station – it’s part of the traditional radio,” McCann said in an email. “If WHSD were used and operated properly, there would be more student interest and participation. This requires leadership for the radio station and a desire to operate as a radio station like so many other radio stations in high school and college are exploited.”
He said the district had no reason to deny Southern students access to WHSD.
“Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, both campuses had studios and broadcast live. With technology, certain shows can be recorded and scheduled to air later,” said McCann, now chief insurance officer. . “The WHSD is underutilized.”
The GoFundMe page raised $4,645. The band said the money will be used to “build their podcasting studio”.