Course Syllabus for Yearbook /Journalism
Adviser: Mrs. Brunner
Yearbook students are responsible for writing, editing, designing and laying out Colony High School’s student
yearbook. Journalism students have the same responsibilities listed above, but the media outlet will be The
Knightly News, published quarterly (4 updates per year). Students who choose to participate in both classes
will need to commit to a minimum of 3.5 hours per week outside of class time to earn duel credit.
Overall Course Goals:
A. To produce a high quality media as an end result of instruction and expansion of student skills.
B. To teach organization, planning, successful group dynamics and leadership.
C. To study journalistic coverage and audience needs.
D. To teach time management skills.
E. To examine press law and legal issues related to media coverage and production.
F. To teach principles of photojournalism.
G. To teach writing and reporting techniques.
H. To teach copy editing and proofreading of written materials.
I. To teach layout and design concepts.
J. To teach advertising, marketing and business concepts.
Journalism/Yearbook is a student-run class. As your advisor, it is my job to assist you in advertising,
budgeting, deadlines, editing, writing, layout, etc. It is the job of the editors to take on all the responsibility of
these tasks, as well as organize their undertaking. I expect my Editor(s)-in-Chief to run the day-to-day
operations of this class and I expect the section editors, staff writers and photographers to follow their lead. To
put it simply: the success of this yearbook and our student newspaper is on your shoulders. Good luck (but I
KNOW you are capable :)).
Expectations of Staffers
Being a member of a publication staff is a privilege that requires a great deal of responsibility. Staffers will meet the following
1. Staffers are expected to follow all school rules and policies at all times. Staffers will demonstrate responsible conduct in all
classes and at all school events.
2. Staffers are expected to meet all deadlines (small or large) completely, correctly and on time.
3. Staffers are expected to demonstrate positive and cooperative attitudes toward the adviser, fellow staffers and others in
the school/community. This includes demonstrating a willingness to do more than just what is required of them.
4. Staffers are expected to safely and correctly handle all equipment and materials associated with the publication process
(cameras, pictures, computers, ads, scanners, etc.) Staffers will be held responsible for any damage due to improper or
careless use of equipment.
5. Staffers are expected to complete their ad sales on time and to meet their ad quotas. They must handle all paperwork and
ad materials correctly and carefully.
6. Staffers are expected to take care of the production room. All materials should be put away at the end of the class period.
• Return items where they belong.
7. Staffers are expected to do whatever it takes to get their jobs done completely, correctly, and on time. The staff NEVER
MISSES A DEADLINE. Staffers must often work before and/or after school to cover events and meet deadlines.
8. Staffers are expected to be responsible, accurate, and fair in everything they produce for the
9. Do not remove any materials from the classroom including flash drives, photos, and cameras.
10. Back up everything you do on a day onto your flash drive as well as to your computer.
11. Use only the computer assigned to you. • Do not use the computer for personal business e.g. e-mail, typing papers for
other classes, research, playing games, etc. unless you have been given permission from the advisor to do so.
12. Never ASSUME everything and anything is okay with the advisor.
13. No food or drink around the computers.
14. No cell phone usage in class.
15. If you think the editor can help you with your problem before you ask the advisor, and then please ask the editor first.
16. Always ask permission and sign out the camera before you ASSUME it is okay to take it.
Hall Passes: Due to the nature of this class, students will start the year with the privilege to leave class through
verbal permission by me. Students will also be required to sign-out on a sheet with a “time-out-time-in” and
“location” request. This is not so that I may keep on “evil eye” on you, but so that I can notify anyone looking
for you where you might be and when you might be back. Always remember that hallway privileges are a) an
important component of this class and b) they are a PRIVILEGE. This privilege will be removed at the mere
suggestion of inappropriate hallway behavior. Do not attempt to discover how difficult this course becomes in
Late Assignments: If you miss a deadline, it is your responsibility to get the items completed. (See above)
Make-up Policy: Attendance is necessary to complete the production. When you are absent, you will let the entire staff and
the school down because you are not here to complete your pages. Deadlines must be met! Unexcused absences and TOO
many field trips are unacceptable!
Re-do Policy: In production, you will redo the page until it is right!
Each student’s semester grade will be determined using the following formula:
10% Time card: Students will be required to maintain an accurate accounting of their time spent, both in and
out of class with regards to contribution to the overall product. Time logs should accurately describe the
activity, the approximate amount of time spent on it and whether or not a task has been completed. Time logs
should be submitted weekly and maintained in your production portfolio. This is similar to having a job. If you
don’t punch your time card, you don’t receive a paycheck.
10% Participation: There are a plethora of tasks that need to be done on a daily basis that are unplanned and
simply need someone to pitch-in and volunteer. To equitably distribute these tasks, they will be counted at
10%of your overall grade. Tasks will generally be posted with completion requirements. Students can sign up
for these on a first-come basis. As needed participation grades will be entered quarterly.
20% Job Performance: Students will be given the opportunity to apply for specific leadership positions and
jobs in addition to their role as staff members. The job performance grade is determined by student and
teacher, jointly. Teacher observation and weekly work log updates will contribute to this grade. Accepting a job
is a commitment; failure to follow through with this commitment will have an impact on grades. Leadership
positions will often require after school commitments. Repeated failure to follow through will result in removal
from the job and/or staff. Do not accept a job if you are not willing to commit.
10% DEADLINES. Meeting deadlines are critical to production and costs. Assignments that do not meet
deadline will receive 0 points as a deadline grade. They will still be required to be finished and will receive an
assignment grade on the content of the submission.
20% Assignments: All students will be required to complete captions, headlines, and copy. All copy is graded
on content and mechanics/style. Content is worth 50% and is based on research, interviews, accuracy of
information, effort shown in writing, etc. Mechanics and use of the AP Stylebook account for the other 50
Additionally, all students will have homework and in class assignments that are related to media and
journalism standards, but are not related to newspaper or yearbook production. These are core skills to give
students a firm foundation in rhetoric, current issues and analysis.
20% Photography/Graphic Design: Students are required to ensure that photography or art is turned in with
each story (Notice that this does not say that the student must create the photography or art). Students are
simply required to ensure that it is turned in for publication.
Students who steal copyright protected work will receive a zero.
10% Advertising Sales: Yearbook staff members are expected to raise at least $300 through patron ships or
the sale of advertising. If a student is unable to meet this requirement, he or she may choose instead to
complete a research paper dealing with a topic related to journalism’s relationship to marketing and
Class work: You should KEEP EVERYTHING ALL YEAR in some sort of organized fashion – a three-ring binder or
portfolio works well. Another idea is to keep everything on a disk or your school-drive (keep hard copies) so
you can print it out whenever you need it. Don’t delete anything! And do not let anyone else delete your work.
This course is a two-semester class. I expect you will remain in second semester unless you are completely failing. At that
point, it is not necessary to prolong your torture or mine – it’s an elective. Elect to take something more your style!
4. Digital Camera (5 megapixel or higher)
LATE WORK POLICY:
Deadlines are deadlines. If a student is absent, he or she is still responsible for turning in work on the day it is
due. Work may be delivered to school or sent by email. Students who do not meet deadlines will receive 0/20
for deadline points.
To avoid being counted tardy, students must be seated and ready for class when the bell rings . School policy
states that students may receive warnings, teacher detentions, in-school suspension and out-of-school
suspension for repeated tardiness.
Cheating is considered a serious matter. The parents of a student who has been involved in cheating will be
notified and the student will receive a grade of zero for the test or evaluation period.
For this course, cheating is defined as, but is not limited to, the following acts:
•Copying anyone’s answers to questions, exercises, study guides, class work or homework assignments
•Taking any information verbatim from any source, including the Internet, without giving proper credit to the
author, or rearranging the order of words and/or changing some words as written by the author and claiming
the work as his or her own, i.e., plagiarism.
TEACHER: Mrs. Brunner
COURSE: Yearbook ___________ Journalism ____________
• I have read the parent letter and understand the academic integrity policy.
• I have reviewed the class syllabus and understand the grading policy.
• I am willing to be contacted by email, phone, and regular mail regarding my student's progress
Class fee: Additionally, there is a class fee of $20/year. This amount will be used to provide
students with camera cards and readers, as well as cover class consumables.
Student Name: _____________________________ grade level ______________
______________________________________ __ _____________________________
(Student's Signature) Student email address
(Parent's Signature) (Parent's Email)
RETURN THIS FORM WITH BOTH SIGNATURES BY THE END OF WEEK TWO.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns.