Private School Uses Video Boards to Build Community

Sometimes a video board goes way beyond athletics or even academics. At St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes in Alexandria, Virginia, their video boards are helping them maintain their school community.

St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School is a private, Episcopalian K-12 school in Alexandria, Virginia. The upper school (grades 9-12) has about 480 students – very small when you consider that it lies in the largest school district in the commonwealth.

The school has two Daktronics video boards – one in the outdoor football stadium and one in the gym. They also have three standard Daktronics scoreboards that they use for softball and lacrosse.

According to Assistant Athletic Director Chip Phillips, the school has also used the video boards outside of the athletic world. For example, fifth grade parents bid on the chance for their children to play video games on the board in the gym one night. The winner brought in friends to play, and it was a big hit.

The school used the outdoor board as a backdrop for signing day. Different grade levels also gather for an outdoor movie night.

The pandemic eliminated competitive sports in the school for the time being, but they continue to use their video boards to build community.

“Last spring, we had a drive-thru graduation with a rolling slideshow of graduate highlights. It played as they came through. The students and families really enjoyed that,” says Phillips.

Perhaps most important is the class meetings.

“We are running at 50% hybrid right now,” explains Phillips, “so only half the class can attend in person in the gym. The other half is at home, but we can show their faces on the board so it feels like we’re still together in a way.”

Adding board operators in the school

“The goal is for students to run the board at some point,” says Phillips. “But for now, four of us operate it regularly – me, both ADs and the basketball coach who uses it during practice. The volleyball coach uses it a little during practice as well, and some of the teachers can run it.”

For the time being, Phillips himself uses the board as he teaches. His Sports Leadership and Management class meets in the gym, so he uses the board as a teaching tool.

Upgrading to flexibility

When St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes switched to video boards, they also changed brands. They hadn’t used Daktronics in the past. They are very happy with their choice.

“The products are versatile and flexible for multiple sports, and Daktronics customer service is elite,” says Phillips. “We use our venues for multiple sports, so we are able to use them for different things. It’s easy to switch from volleyball to wresting to basketball.

“We can get on-site service quickly or it’s over the phone. Dustin and Mic (from Daktronics) are awesome,” he adds. “Most of the time, athletics are flying by the seat of our pants, and they understand that. Daktronics gets that and responds appropriately.”

Want to Learn More?

If you’d like a frank discussion with a fellow educator about how a Daktronics video board could work in your school, Phillips welcomes your questions.

Chip Phillips, Assistant AD
St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes High School
703-751-2700
cphillips@ssas.org

Then, contact your Daktronics rep to learn more!

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