The Sidekick newspaper syllabus and responsibilities


Adviser goals:
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Welcome to The Sidekick newspaper!
2014-2015 Newspaper (Aug. 25 – Jan. 16; Jan. 20 – June 4)
Gr: 10-12/Lv: 3/ Cr: 1.0
Mr. Chase Wofford –, 214.496.6239
Coppell High School, Career and Technical Education Dept./D115 newsroom
Office hours: 2- 2:52 p.m.; Before and after school by appointment

Course description: This is an advanced Journalism course involving intensive reporting, web media, editing copy, page design and layout, advertising sales, photography and graphic design, among many other responsibilities. Students wishing to pursue a career in Communications will gain valuable experience

Text: Student journalists need to purchase an AP Stylebook (2011 version or newer). It can be a hard copy or iPad version.
Classroom policies/rules: Refer to CHS 2014-15 student handbook for campus policies regarding tardies/absences and dress code.
Practice all journalistic guidelines stated in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics and follow Associated Press Style in all content.
Journalists are expected to have their CHS issued iPads (with a battery charge) every day in the newsroom.

Grading: 40% Critical Thinking-Problem Solving / 30% Content / 20% Oral-Written Communication / 10% Professional Ethics-Responsibility-Collaboration. Final exam (online portfolio) is 1/7 of semester grade.
Critical Thinking-Problem Solving grades: Major Deadlines, Multimedia Package, Editing (issue)
Content grades: Weekly Assignment, Page Designs, Social Media Postings
Oral-Written Communication: CSM videos, Photo Requests, Advertising Contact Lists
Professional Ethics-Responsibility: Style and Accuracy, Following Staff Procedures
Late work is not accepted.

Portfolios: Each student is required to maintain an online portfolio of work in the print edition and Students must continue to update their portfolio throughout the school year to receive full credit. All portfolios must include updated resumes. These portfolios will be due by the date of your semester exams.

Publication page design deadlines:
Issue No. 1 pages due Oct. 1
Issue No. 2 pages due Nov. 5
Issue No. 3 pages due Dec. 10
Issue No. 4 pages due Feb. 4
Issue No. 5 pages due April 1
Issue No. 6 pages due May 13

Responsibilities: D115 will be treated like a professional newsroom. Journalists must be respectful of their peers and act like professionals.
Journalists are not allowed to leave the classroom for any newspaper responsibilities without adviser’s permission. Students must carry their Sidekick ID in order to leave the classroom and must sign out/sign when leaving for newspaper duties.
While working on campus and in the community, you are representing The Sidekick. You must be responsible. Any negative conduct while working on newspaper assignments outside of class may result in loss of privileges.

Deadlines: All members of The Sidekick newspaper are expected to consistently meet deadlines. You will be provided with your deadlines via Google Docs and hard copies are available in the classroom for the entire school year the first week of school so please plan accordingly.
You can always write more than the minimum story requirement or post more than the minimum photo requirement (hint, hint editors and aspiring editors). This is taken into consideration when selecting leaders and awards recipients.
You cannot post your story/gallery earlier than two days prior to your deadline as we want to make sure we maintain a steady flow of content on CSM.
Deadlines start Tuesday, Sept. 2.
Executive leadership: 3 stories per six weeks
Section editors: 4 stories per six weeks
Staff writers: 1 story per week (don’t panic as this does not all have to be 500 plus word stories. Stories can be news, features, reviews, columns, blogs, sports dailies/gamers, Q&A’s, etc.). Each writer is responsible for publishing on his or her assigned day every week.
Photographers: Each photographer will be assigned one day of the week for Photo of The Day and one Photo Gallery per week in addition to photo assignments. All on-campus events must be staffed by a Sidekick photographer.
Graphic Designers will have deadlines come about as stories develop but will be required to create at least two infographics per week.
Business staff must sell $100 worth of advertising (web or print) each two weeks ($300 per each six weeks).
Sidekick staff members will also be scheduled to partner with KCBY staffers to produce a multimedia package.
All students will maintain an online portfolio, which will be turned in at the end of each semester. All Sidekick/CSM work must be included on your site.

SPORTS: All sports content for 2014-2015 must be Coppell related. All home (and area playoff) games must be staffed by both a writer and photographer. Covering a game/match means arriving before it starts, staying the entire game, not participating in student cheering/separating yourself from the student section (such as sitting in the press box, on the field/floor, etc.) and conducting post game interviews.
Gamers must be 3-5 paragraphs with at least one quote and filed by midnight of the day of the game/match. All district games/matches require a 3-paragraph preview posted by midnight the day of the game/match. Sports writers are also expected to attend practice of your sports beat at least once a week.


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