July 26, 2012 / Coverage / Five Simple Ideas

Five Simple Ideas for… creating a 7-12 yearbook

Written by Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Private schools and smaller school districts often combine coverage of grades into one yearbook. This creates issues for staffs trying to make sure the high school is adequately covered while not leaving out younger students, especially if the book size staff is producing a book around 200 pages.

There are ways you can adequately cover all of the high school happenings while making the middle school students feel included.

1. Plan coverage for the lower grades. Crystal Kazmierski, adviser at Arrowhead Christian Academy in Redlands, Calif., said the staff needs to consider whether they want separate stories for everything, a sidebar on some pages devoted to middle school or just all mixed in. As an example, think of sports, Kazmierski said. Consider how to cover middle school sports without compiling the same level of coverage given the varsity or JV teams.

2. Add feature articles and profiles to portrait pages. If you do this for your high school students, do the same for all grades. Also consider having a feature or two dedicated totally to those grades, Kazmierski said.

5-simple-ideas-712book3. Find ways to include them in routine coverage. Remember to collect quotes from the middle school students now and then on events that affect the entire school, Kazmierski said. Quote boxes are great ways to get more students into your yearbook.

4. What other spots in the book are available? Do you have students holding page numbers for folios, or holding letters for the index sections? Remember to include middle school students there, too.

5. Get liaisons. Consider having a few middle school students in English classes serving as junior members. They can let your staff know what is going on in their classes for coverage ideas, and can even proofread items with middle school names. Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas – a pre-K through grade 12 school – has a junior staff program and works with the regular yearbook staff.

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Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Elizabeth Braden, CJE, is the former editor of Idea File magazine. Before retiring, she was a copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks for more than 15 years, writing articles for various marketing materials, and proofreading copy for the Yearbook and Commercial divisions. Her career included reporting and editing for United Press International and editing for Knight-Ridder Financial News. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media News from the University of Tulsa.