May 29, 2020

News, tips and advice from Quill and Scroll

The Lede

By Nichole Shaw, Q&S Communications Director

1 in 5 teachers may not return to the classroom come fall

USA Today worked with Ipsos to conduct an exclusive poll, discovering a significant amount of instructors consideration of resignation.

The world sort of feels like its spiraling out of our control right now, what with over 100,000 American human lives lost to this novel coronavirus—the highest loss of human life in the world. In addition, a staggering 40 million Americans claim joblessness and a heartbreaking but consistent display of violence against black lives in America have led to race riots in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, the outrage spreading to other cities in the United States. A lot is happening right now, and it’s hard to keep up with all of the news that is rolling out.

SOURCE USA TODAY/Ipsos online polls of 505 K-12 teachers and 403 parents with at least one child in K-12 taken May 18-21. Credibility interval +/- 5 percentage points for teachers sample, 5.6 for parents sample. / Janet Loehrke/USA TODAY

Among one of these developing concerns is the reliability of educational institutions in their plans for the fall, to both foster learning and the safety of their students. One of the emerging apprehensions for the fall is the ability for teachers to have the proper ability to educate their students and ensure every pupil is actually learning important material efficiently and effectively.

“1 in 5 teachers say they are unlikely to go back to school if their classrooms reopen in the fall, a potential massive wave of resignations,” according to a recent, exclusive poll conducted by USA Today and Ipsos, a multinational market research and a consulting firm. “Though most teachers report working more than usual, nearly two-thirds say they haven’t been able to properly do their jobs in an educational system upended by the coronavirus.”

Among the key findings of the poll is the understanding that teachers are struggling to ensure they equip their students with worthwhile class material when public safety is the primary concern for everyone. On top of that, many of them haven’t been trained to teach in a digital landscape like this one due to lack of district preparation.

As we all move forward into a future unknown, where many scenes of life will look different come fall, I urge you all to continue to put your health at the top of your priority list. Below that, a safe education is the goal, and I encourage you all to reach out to your respective districts and see what can be done to ensure the youth is being serviced properly in their endeavor to learn more about the world about them, so they can create better futures for this world.

It’s An Honor


Yearbook Contest is open for entries

The Quill and Scroll Yearbook Excellence Contest is ready to start taking your entries.

You may get started right here.

Please know that this is a digital contest (the third year in a row we’ve done it digitally), so all entries go into a cloud storage where judges around the country can access them.

Entries for the Theme Development category are $10, and all other categories are $5. There are no limits to the number of entries in the $5 categories. Schools compete in two classifications: Class A for schools with 750 or more students, and Class B for schools with 749 or fewer students in grades 9-12.

Student scholarship winners announcement on June 5

Quill and Scroll will announce its 2020 scholarship winners on Friday, June 5.

Here are the scholarships we will award this year:

  • George and Ophelia Gallup Scholarship ($1,500)
  • Edward J. Nell Memorial Scholarship ($500)
  • Edward J. Nell Memorial Scholarship ($500)
  • Richard P. Johns Scholarship ($500)

In the very near future, Quill and Scroll hopes to increase its top award to $5,000 per year, but we need to build our endowment before we can do that. If you’d like to help with that, please visit this page and think about a generous donation to our scholarship fund. It’s likely tax-deductible.

Summer workshops—are they still happening?

The answer is yes and no. For the summer workshops we’ve partnered with, all have transitioned to an online format, except for Indiana University and the Institute for Environmental Journalism, who have canceled due to the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Here’s a quick summary of the new online policies our partners have adopted in lieu of this global pandemic:

  • Media Now is still having their summer workshop, occurring from June 22 to June 25. Their workshop will be going live at MediaNow.Press. All materials will be accessible until Sept. 1, 2020. Course material will be uploaded via video so that you can work through it all on your own, at your own pace. They have also set certain live times for feedback and conversation throughout the week. Media Now Online will have one live daily large group session and a varying degree of opportunities to connect live with your instructor and classmates throughout the week. You will NOT be sitting in front of a computer all day, all week in the middle of summer. They’re also giving out a scholarship to cover the cost of one course. Learn more here.
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Association has switched to a virtual summer journalism workshop format as well. Their workshop will occur virtually from June 22 to July 31. That’s 8 different classes offered over the course of five weeks! The annual Summer Journalism Workshop offers sequences focused on either writing, editing, management or advanced design. Participants will choose one class for a particular week (Monday-Friday), virtually attending that same class each day (through Zoom). Students and advisers who choose to take an additional class during a different week are encouraged to do so and at a reduced rate. Learn more here.
  • Iowa Summer Journalism Workshop has also switched to a virtual configuration as a response to COVID-19. The online workshops will be held July 20-23, 2020. Sign on instructions will be provided to registered attendees in the week prior to the workshops. You’ll need a computer with web camera and internet connection. Online classes will commence at 9:00 am each morning in a large session for all workshop participantsOn the first day we will review ground rules for a successful workshop and then we have an exciting guest speaker. From there students will migrate to their topic specific workshop led by their instructor. Each day will conclude at 3:30. Faculty is available for coaching during office hours Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Find out more specifics here.

Other Deadlines

Q&S Student Advisory Board deadline has been extended to Sept. 1

Here’s your chance to take on an important leadership role and help make important contributions to a unified project released for nationwide engagement in the fall semester every year. To top it off, you’ll work directly with our director to help promote the ideas and importance of scholastic journalism. Plus, it looks great on a resume! The deadline this year was extended to Sept. 1, so mark your calendars and apply here!

News Media Evaluation Service is June 15

Our annual News Media Evaluation Service is open for submissions! The News Media Evaluation resource has proven to be one of the most beneficial resources for scholastic journalists and their advisers, as winners receive constructive comments and suggestions for improvement from qualified evaluators. Judges will provide a thorough analysis and rating to schools, and the evaluation exercise and feedback are instructive and developmental.

Judge’s comment: “The Crier is solidly issue-based, providing a great service for helping students make sense of the world. You show a great deal of compassion for your fellow students and a great deal of courage in addressing tough issues like consent.”

This is the best critique (in terms of specific things to work on and suggestions to keep on going) that my students have ever gotten, ever. My staff is STILL benefiting from that critique. It’s shaped much of our philosophy in coverage and some of design for this year! So, thank you so so much.

— Sarah-Anne Lanman, “The Crier” Adviser, Munster High School

To enter, high schools and junior highs may enter their multimedia news operations, newspapers, news magazines and/or online news sites until June 15, 2020.

We want to help make this process as easy as possible for you and still provide valuable services to those who enter. Thus, PDFs of print publications may be submitted because of the extraordinary situation we’re all experiencing right now. Find further instructions on how to enter and details here.


Simplified order forms and online inductions

For the most part, Quill and Scroll has moved off campus, but we go in every few days to fulfill and ship orders for induction materials and other Quill and Scroll schwag.

We published this update earlier this spring. It includes a simplified order form for schools and advisers willing to pay via credit card, and an offer to host an online induction ceremony for your students.

A reminder about cords

Students MUST HAVE BEEN OR WILL BE INDUCTED into the Society to earn the honor to wear an Honor Cord (GHC) or Honor Cord with Insignia (GCI). If you order cords for non-members, please choose the Non-Member Cord Option (NCD). Quill and Scroll exists because of the special unifying bond brought about by membership and the lasting legacy of the induction ceremony.

And, as always, feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions.

What’s Hot?

What have we learned?

High school classes should start later in the day

The pandemic has brought up the old argument that school should start later. A new study supports that theory, as the study’s researchers found compelling evidence that starting school later would not only increase the amount of sleep for kids, but also increase their performance. I know I would benefit from a later start to my morning, and I think so would teachers. Although, I’ve unfortunately scheduled two 8 a.m. classes for my fall semester at the University of Iowa.

Read more about the argument for a later start to school and its benefits for students here.

NYTimes features 1,000 obits

This past Sunday, The New York Times featured 1,000 people who lost their lives to the disease that is COVID-19. Instead of a statement of the skyrocketing death toll being made, the Times put the names of 1,000 names on the front page of their print newspaper, along with a brief description of each individual named. The snippets written for each person were touching and reignited a sense of humanity in the despairing loss we as a people have suffered from the friends, neighbors and family members that left this world.

What was most significant about this design however, was the recognition that this feature of 1,000 obituaries on the front page of a newspaper were just a fraction of those who have died. View the interactive obituary here. You can view the print version of the feature below.

A disproportionate enforcement of social distancing

New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia are just a few cities among a myriad more that have been put into the spotlight for their patterns of uneven social distancing enforcement by police forces. Civil rights activists and experts alike claim anecdotes and current data shows different standards are being applied for different demographic groups.

NBC News reports, “The homelesspeople in low-income neighborhoods and people of color wherever they congregate face disproportionate enforcement of social distancing rules, which sometimes ends in arrest, armed police response in crisis uniform and physical takedowns, according to experts.”

On the flip side, places where white people gather in these same cities appear less policed, with pictures of people sunbathing, picnicking and gathering in small groups (some without wearing masks). The emergence of this pattern brings a new light to the discussion of unequal treatment, regarding race, that has been a social issue for centuries. Read more about this development here.

Just a Thought

A check of power, by both the Chief Executive and social media mammoth

Twitter hit Trump with a fact-check and the president responded with an executive order for social media and internet companies

Below are the words of Senior Media Writer Tom Jones for The Poynter Report

This controversy involving President Donald Trump and Twitter reveals several things, but two stand out.

One, Trump is clearly going to keep pushing the limits, testing to see just how much bite Twitter has behind its bark.

And, two, Twitter doesn’t have much bite.

A day after Twitter put a fact-check label on two of Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots, Trump lashed out at Twitter … on Twitter. Ironic, eh? Trump tweeted:

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that …

“ … happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

He basically repeated the conspiracy that earned him the first Twitter “fact-check” label and wasn’t fact-checked for those new tweets. This was after Trump tweeted that Twitter was interfering in the 2020 election and that Twitter was “stifling free speech.”

Then, later Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Twitter has now shown that everything we have been saying about them (and their other compatriots) is correct. Big action to follow!”

That action came in the form of an executive order that Trump aimed at social media on Thursday. You can read more about that here or watch the video below.