Elizabeth Braden 2017-08-25 05:32:15
FIVE SIMPLE IDEAS FOR… CREATING POLICIES ESTABLISHING POLICIES AHEAD OF TIME WILL GIVE YOU THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS BEFORE THE QUESTIONS ARISE. IF YOU ARE A NEW ADVISER, SEE IF POLICIES ARE ALREADY IN PLACE. IF NOT, OR IF THEY NEED TO BE UPDATED, HERE ARE FIVE TOPICS FOR WHICH POLICIES ARE HELPFUL. GRADING Yearbook is not a traditional class, so a traditional grading system won’t work. Set up mini-deadlines and grade the work being done along the process instead of the finished product. Consider points for attendance in class, work nights and at events students are supposed to cover. Also, give parents a copy of your grading system. ETHICS Knowing right from wrong can still be a fuzzy area for teens. With your staff, create an ethics policy that explains expectations and consequences of actions such as plagiarism and false reporting. The National Scholastic Press Association’s Model Code of Ethics has a short list of seven key ethics points: Be responsible; be fair; be honest; be accurate; be independent; minimize harm; and be accountable. Let students use these to write their own policy. SENIOR PHOTOS Some schools have one photographer who takes all senior photos while other schools let the students pick a studio. Among the decisions to be made are whether all backgrounds should look alike (blue, gray or something else) and what the head size should be so photos appear uniform. Decide on the dress code and whether props are permitted. Make deadlines and submission methods clear to photographers and parents. Since these portraits are usually taken during the summer before students’ senior year, send home information packets in May and put information in the parent newsletter, school newspaper and school website. PERSONAL ADS A policy on personal ads will help head off the parent who buys a quarter-page ad and submits 12 photos and 250 words of text. Since ads should look like part of your yearbook, have the staff design a few templates in the sizes you plan to sell. Decide how many photos and how much text will fit in each size. To determine ad cost, ads should generate at least two to three times the cost of the page. Specify submission rules such as whether you will accept digital and hard-copy photos, photo resolution, and whether to allow images with bare baby bottoms or guns. Decide whether ads will be sold to seniors only or every student. Advertise ad sales on your yearbook’s social media pages, the school website, the school newspaper and parent newsletter. DEATHS The loss of teachers and students causes many emotions. A good policy will ensure coverage is tasteful, sensitive and equal. The staff could choose to have a memorial page to honor these people as a group; just decide where it will appear, such as after the ad section. Decide whether parents or others will be allowed to buy a memorial ad and if so, the size and the cost (or maybe offer parents a free one). Most schools keep a student’s portrait with the class photos because the student was part of that class that year.
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