Feb. 9, 2023

Our past three editions

Feb. 2, 2023 Toy gun • Sports betting • Tyre Nichols

Jan. 26, 2023 Tax season • AP African American Studies • Hamline professor

Jan 19, 2023 TikTok bans • Article verification • Landmark renaming



Changes may be on the way for some school lunch items

Food higher in sugar targeted

Added sugars found in cereals, yogurt, flavored milk and breakfast food may be a thing of the past for the 2025-2026 school year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed both this change and another more that would limit sodium levels, which would take effect in 2029.
What you can do —

What are the most consumed items from the cafeteria? Would these items be things of the past if the proposal happens?

It might be interesting to poll your students and examine the nutritional composition of the three most popular lunches. What items on the list are in danger of removal?


Debt ceiling conversation could impact local communities

Examine what this might mean for your school district, families

While the debt ceiling might not be of great interest to many of your students, its effects would be. According to the National League of Cities, federal grants for local government could be on the chopping block. It might also impact other areas such as jobs, mortgage and car loan rates as well.

What you can do —

Talk to a local government representation on what this might mean for your community and school.

Additionally, many schools start to take action on possible expansions and cuts based on projection (enrollment, funding, etc). It’s a great time to start to examine how a budget cut or additional funding would impact students. 

What’s viral

The balloon lives on — even though it was shot down

Footage, spoofs show help spur conversation

Media has been awash with both the actual footage of the spy balloon being shot down to  spoofs randing from SNL’s opening to an homage to the 1983 hit “99 Luftballoons” and the 2009 movie “Up.”

What you can do —

Aside from the obvious of hosting a meme contest, which is something I would love to do, you could ask students how they first heard of the news then use this to examine other international and national news.


Student opportunity from Quill and Scroll’s Student Advisory Board 

Meet, collaborate and discuss with peers, but act now 

It’s not too late to be part of Quill and Scroll’s Student Journalism Collaboration Program, but interested students need to act now to be part of this inaugural event! The first offering will center around motivating staffers. 

The students leading this session will facilitate this discussion so the participants can discuss, collaborate and troubleshoot with their peers about motivating staff. Advisers, we are asking this to be a student-only offering. 

Fill out the interest form here by the event date. We will send the meeting link prior to the first meeting.

It’s always membership season

Don’t forget you can nominate members year round

We are gearing up for the busiest season of the year. Order now to avoid the spring rush. Remember, we need to have either payment or the Purchase Order in order to send your order. It can take up to three weeks to process and send an order during the peak spring season, which traditionally starts next month.

We are currently able to process orders within 48 hours of the payment arriving. But this won’t last long. Remember, to please, plan ahead. We are unable to overnight orders during the weeks of March 5, March 12 and April 17.

Also, as a gentle reminder, our address changed in July 2022. Many are still sending checks and orders to Iowa, which can result in a delay in sending orders. Please make sure to inform your business offices of our move to Minnesota. (Quill and Scroll, 2829 University Ave. Se, Suite 720, Minneapolis, MN 55414.)

> Start the process here.

Student Journalist Impact Award

Has your reporting made a difference in your community? Apply by March 15

The Student Journalist Impact Award recognizes a secondary school student (or a team of students who worked on the same entry) who, through the study and practice of journalism, has made a significant difference in his/her/their own life, the lives of others, the school he/she/they attends and/or the community in which he/she/they resides. (NOTE: This is not a scholarship competition. Do not send transcripts.)

This award is co-sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists. Quill and Scroll became a co-sponsor in 2018.

PSJA Journalism Contest Opens

Q&S and Private School Journalism Association set up portfolio contest

The PSJA Journalism Contest, co-sponsored by Quill and Scroll, seeks to honor the best journalism produced by private and independent school students. It is a “portfolio” contest, one that seeks not to reward single stories, but a pattern of excellence over the course of a year.

Other than Editorial Leadership, work produced for the contest should have been published in a news publication — in print or online — or a yearbook between April 1, 2022 and March 30, 2023. Deadline for entries will be Friday, March 31, 2023. An awards ceremony will occur after judging is finalized.

For PSJA members, the cost for your school is $20 per entry. PSJA membership is free. To join, schools must enroll here to also receive the newsletter. Non-members pay $25 per entry. To become a member, email PSJA Director David Cutler ([email protected]) and sign up for the PSJA newsletter.

If you are interested in entering the contest, email PSJA Director David Cutler ([email protected]), who will send additional instructions and an entry form.

Writing, Photo, Multimedia contest entries off to judges

Due date has passed

Thanks to all of those who entered the contest. They are soon out to our judges, and we hope to have the results out by the end of March.

We will open our Yearbook Excellence Contest in mid-to-late April. Of course we will publicize in the Weekly Scroll.

Spring convention registration opens 

Join us in San Francisco for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. This year’s convention will be at the Hilton Union Square. Registration opened Tuesday and the hotel link is available to all registrants Feb. 14. Leave Your Heart, Find Your Voice at the JEA/NSPA spring convention April 20-22.

Free Spirit Conference Applications available until March 1

2023 Free Spirit Conference: In June 2023, the Freedom Forum will host its annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference for high school juniors. Students selected for the program receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the nation’s capital where they are introduced to top journalists, as well as a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice. Applications are due March 1.

Chapter activity/discussion point idea: Scholastic Journalism Week

We are about two weeks away from Scholastic Journalism Week (Feb. 20-24) AND Student Press Freedom Day (Feb. 23). Both sites have available activities and resources, so if you haven’t made a plan yet, now is the time!

Just a thought

We’ve had a lot of discussion concerning ChatGPT in our office — and in my home.

Poynter weighed in with an article concerning how the app could help propagate fake news sites, especially when partnered with another site that provides photos.

Student media should start to discuss the impact this might have on student work. How can the reader know the reporter wrote the article? How does student media educate readers on this? What happens if someone questions whether the student journalist or ChatGPT wrote the piece? Do you add it to the publication media policy? Truth and transparency are key. 

The work you find in the Weekly Scroll will still be written by a real human and edited by real humans. If we use something like ChatGPT, we will note how it was used in the text. Promise.

— Lori Keekley