Five Simple Ideas For – Staff Manual contents
Written by Idea File Staff
A staff manual should answer any question a yearbook staff member may have if they were to find themselves working alone in the yearbook room – not that that should happen. But the point is, the manual needs to be inclusive and easy to navigate and access information. Place your mission statement and purpose at the beginning with the table of contents and, at minimum, put these items in the manual. This contents list comes from Deborah Garner, yearbook adviser at Central High School in Springfi eld, Mo.
1. Expectations One or more course syllabuses are needed, depending on whether there is one class or if it is divided into writers, photographers, designers and marketers. Include grading policies, such as standards for writing, designing, selling and photography, and penalties for missed deadlines, misuse of equipment, excessive absences and poor use of class time. Add job descriptions so students will understand what is expected of them, and edit them yearly as needed. Outline expectations of work nights.
2. Finding people Publication staff contacts, with all phone numbers and email addresses, are needed so anyone can be reached for questions or help. Make sure to include school faculty and staff names, locations, titles and contact information, and school organizations, sports and activities with sponsors’ names and contact information.
3. Staying on track Schedules should be spelled out. Students need to know regular classroom procedures, such as staff meetings; workflow for yearbook production, such as how to turn in work or how to leave class for interviews or photographs; deadlines for all work along the process; school and production calendars; contracts; equipment usage forms; internet permission/responsibility forms; permission forms; commitment to staff letters; and letters to parents.
4. Mechanics The staff should have its own style guide, created by starting with the AP Stylebook and then adding changes specific to your school. Let’s say there is a place in your school adjacent to the cafeteria officially named the Student Commons Area. And maybe it is referred to as The Commons. Do you capitalize the T in The? Maybe it is called the S-C-A. Do you spell that S.C.A. or SCA? The style will probably come from school tradition, but it needs to be written down.
This section needs the fonts, sizes, design elements and standing elements, along with editing and design information and how-to guides on writing good headlines, body copy, captions and design rules. Include proofreader’s marks.
Editorial policies need to be included, ranging from media law and ethics to the handling of student or faculty deaths and advertisements.
5. Gear Include information about hard drives, networking issues, software applications and how-to guides for using Photoshop, InDesign or PageMaker. This goes for cameras, lenses, flash, tripods, film or memory cards and other photography equipment.