Sept. 8, 2022
Some districts still scramble
to find school staff members
For many, it depends on where you live
With Labor Day just earlier this week, an examination of the labor force at your school would be in order. Many discussions this summer have circled around anticipated staffing shortages as the school year opened. Now according to an article in the New York Times, whether or not you have enough teachers and staff for all vacancies may be dependent on where you live and the students the school serves.
What you can do —
Have teacher vacancies gone unfilled at your school? If so, what areas are they in and how has the school adjusted to cover these classes? Are teachers taking on overages? Have class sizes increased? What is the effect of these decisions on students?
Are any other areas understaffed at schools? Does your school have the same amount of cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, counselors, administrators, hallway staff, etc.? What has the impact of this been on your students and their families?
Two noteworthy events
Constitution Day, Banned Books Week work to unite
As you plan for next week, don’t forget to celebrate Constitution Day with your students. Several organizations have provided lesson plans and activities for teachers to use with their students.
Some Quill and Scroll members have used this day as an educational and interactive introduction to the importance of student media and the First Amendment. See JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Committee and Bill of Rights Institute (among others) have resources for you.
Now is also a great time to show students the importance of student voice and independence, especially with the recent censorship in Nebraska and California. As these two instances show, several organizations such as FIRE, SPLC and JEA’s SPRC are available to help advisers and students. So, don’t forget to use Constitution Day activities as a way to educate your administration, faculty, staff and students about the importance of the First Amendment.
Banned Books Week, Sept. 18-24
The Week, which was founded in 1982, highlights attempts at text censorship. Honorary Chair George M. Johnson, whose book “All Boys Aren’t Blue” was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library and the Chicago Public Library, will host this week-long event centering on the theme “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” For a full lineup of the week’s events and for more information and promotional materials — and a list of the 10 most challenged books of 2021 — go to bannedbooksweek.org.
This site, which is maintained and updated by the Banned Books Week Coordinator and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom,
When was the last time someone lodged a complaint about a text?
As we head into Banned Books week, how has the proposed banning of books impacted your teachers and media center specialists?
What you can do —
When was the last time someone lodged a complaint about a text? Find out what happens behind-the-scenes when the request is made and how the decision is made.
How are teens, community members and librarians fighting back against the banning of books? What are the text titles and what reasoning is given? Students also might examine the themes of the texts. How does this compare with what students access on their own through social media?
What are some of the texts teachers in your school have provided alternative reading assignments for? Don’t only talk with the English department chair. Reach out to those teaching foreign languages and other classes. How does this alternative text selection impact the student’s understanding? Reporters may also examine how this influences student text choice and whether administrators and parents ask for more information concerning the texts students opt to read.
Search news sites for the latest updates.
Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, Sept. 4, 2022
Editorial: Press freedom under attack in Grand Island with shutdown of Northwest school paper, journalism program
Missing school lunch
Funding decision and its impact
Access to free school lunches stopped this summer after Congress didn’t renew the federal funding it passed early in the pandemic. This decision has impacted some of your students.
What you can do —
Examine the percentage of students who qualify and compare it to the amount of students who have taken advantage of the program. As a reader service, you may want to include a link to the application. For some students, free and reduced lunch status may also decrease other fees, such as athletics. See if this is the case in your state as well.
IT’S AN HONOR
Gallup Award Winners announced today
Check out our Twitter feed today, Sept. 8, at noon ET to find out which news publications and/or websites have earned the coveted Gallup Award, which signifies the best student journalism in the world.
A full list will be posted on our website later today on quillandscroll.org.
Student Advisory Board applications due
Do you want to serve your fellow student journalists and Quill and Scroll members? Join the Q&S Student Advisory Board for 2022-23. Applications close Sept. 30.
SAB members will work on projects including establishing a regular communications channel for editors and other student journalists to discuss problems, successes, and coverage; and working on seminars that can aid Quill and Scroll chapters.
It’s always membership season
Don’t forget you can nominate members year round
Do you have a senior who just met the GPA requirement or a student who now wants to join Quill and Scroll? Want to avoid the spring rush? Nominate students for membership order pins, cords and other Quill and Scroll materials and memorabilia.
YEC open for entries
Entries accepted until Oct. 10.
The 2022 Yearbook Excellence Contest is open for entries. The cost for each entry in all 30 categories is $7, and schools will be divided by size — Class A for 1,000 or more students, and Class B for 999 or fewer students.
Entry deadline is Oct. 10, and here is a link to complete descriptions of those 30 categories.
Judges will award first, second and third places in each category for each class, and they’ll award honorable mentions so that between 10 and 15 percent of all entries are recognized in every category. All Quill and Scroll recipients who place will be eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll student scholarships in May of their senior year.
Journalism classes teach so much more than just journalism, and a New York Times article reiterates this in The Case for High School Journalism.
What you can do —
Reach out to alumni concerning what they use that they learned in their high school journalism class. Use these first-person accounts to help recruit and publicize why keeping journalism in the curriculum is a must.
Just a thought
I’m excited to now be the associate director of Quill and Scroll and be part of its significant history of honoring student journalists and their endeavors.
Prior to joining Quill and Scroll, I was a journalism teacher for more than 20 years. I’m passionate about student journalism, and I believe in the organization. In fact, I inducted my oldest son as a member last fall.
I look forward to continuing to offer our many programs during the next year. You’ll still be able to induct members year round, and the contests we offer will be the same. Please watch the website, Twitter and Weekly Scroll concerning key dates and deadlines. (In fact, you’ll see a reminder about Student Advisory Board applications, membership and the Yearbook Excellence Contest in this week’s edition.)
I’ll be at the Quill and Scroll booth in the exhibit hall at the JEA/NSPA Fall National Journalism Convention, Nov. 10-13 in St. Louis. Feel free to drop by, say hi, and grab a postcard with all the key dates and deadlines for the school year.
I’m excited about what we can do together. Please let me know how I can help you or feel free to send your ideas about building on what Quill and Scroll offers. I’m open to your suggestions and feedback.