WHRO is a half-century old this year and we would like to take the opportunity to look back on how we got here, especially since the desire to offer new educational services is what motivated our founders to establish WHRO in the first place.
In 1961, the school board chairs of Norfolk and Hampton Public Schools began experimenting with the idea of teaching elementary and secondary students through television and, by handshake agreement, established WHRO-TV. Over the next few years, the utilization of WHRO’s instructional programming expanded to the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach; as well as the counties of Isle of Wight, Nansemond and York.
In 1968, the participating school divisions formally incorporated to own and govern WHRO as they do today, creating the group we now refer to as “HRETA”—the Hampton Roads Educational Telecommunications Association.
In the 70’s and 80’s, WHRO expanded its educational services to higher education by offering college credit courses on television and producing a national award-winning radio college course titled American Diplomacy. WHRO-TV also introduced its first series into national distribution. This series, The Community of Living Things, achieved the highest utilization of any ITV series, won major television and film production awards, and continues in distribution today.
The late 80’s marked the beginning of what has now become known as the “digital age.” HRETA was tasked with responding to the area school systems’ interests in the educational application of computers and their solution was the Consortium for Interactive Instruction. The C.I.I. was formed with representatives from each HRETA school division to manage regional collaborative developments among school systems, higher education, private and independent schools and major research facilities.
Presently, the Hampton Roads Educational Telecommunications Association includes 18 school divisions throughout the Hampton Roads area who all work together to own and operate WHRO. Their leadership and guidance brought us to where we are today and continues to keep WHRO on the frontier of education.
WHRO Education Services -
same great services...NEW NAME!!