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  #1  
Old 07-24-2007, 09:29 PM
lorac lorac is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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K-12th Computer
Yearbook Class

Last year I was a Yearbook Advisor for the first time. I survived well enough considering I have no graphic design skills or knowledge in the matter and had never done a YB. But I'd love tips from anyone who has or does teach YB classes. Anything you want to share about how your class works would be welcomed. How do you grade? How do you assign projects? How do you get them to cover sports? How do you get ads? Anything!!

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  #2  
Old 07-24-2007, 09:39 PM
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bandnerdtx bandnerdtx is offline
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Texas
HS English and Driver's Ed
A couple of questions will help us help you...
1. How big is your staff?
2. Is your book self supported, or do you have to sell ads?
3. Do you have the right to remove students from your staff?
4. Did you meet your sales goals last year?
5. Who is your publisher?

I've been a yearbook adviser for 6 years. I moved to a new school last year, and we didn't have an official book, but we made a psuedo book anyway! LOL! I LOVE being a yearbook adviser!
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:50 PM
lorac lorac is offline
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K-12th Computer
Last year my staff was 8 students - 6 seniors, 1 junior, 1 sophomore. (7 girls, 1 boy) I've been told the cap is supposed to be 12 - but honestly I can't imagine having that many. We are a K-12th small Christian school and our book was only 128 pages. The book has to cover the whole school - getting seniors motivated to attend elementary games after school was really hard.

We do have to sell ads, although I was given no specific goal last year. We did have a few blank pages at the end of the book - we should have sold more ads. Selling is a very weak area for me - I'm no salesman. It was hard for me to get them to do it when I don't like it.

I think I could request a staff member to be removed if need be. It was really not an issue last year until the end when a couple of girls just quit working the last couple weeks and I was stuck doing their pages. I'm nervous about my staff this year because I know of some will be seniors who have not taken any computer classes and will have to take YB to graduate. I really want to make sure that does not happen in the future - I want a staff who wants to be there - not who took it because it's perceived as being the easy computer credit.

Walsworth is our publisher right now. We have one more year I believe (maybe 2) in our contract. My principal is willing to let me decide whether we stay with them or not. I don't know anything about other companies though. I'm reasonably happy with Walsworth but might get Jostens to come in and show me what they can offer. We did an all color YB, and designed our own cover and endsheets - all firsts for the school! We used Walsworth's online service to design the book. We are a fall delivery school so that everything can be included. (They will get last year's YB when school starts.)
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2007, 10:07 PM
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bandnerdtx bandnerdtx is offline
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HS English and Driver's Ed
Ok, well, I don't know much about Walsworth because they aren't big in this area, but at the national conventions, I've never heard anything bad. The most important thing you should be getting from them is support. If you are concerned about selling ads, then they need to send a rep into your school to help you out. If you are concerned about budgeting, then your rep needs to be there working out the budget with you, you know what I mean? They need to work for their money! LOL! I use Taylor Publishing, and I loved them, but honestly, each company is only as good as its rep.

Are you allowed to tie their sales quota to their grades? If so, you need to do that. In my class, meeting deadlines (and all the steps that led to it) was 50%, and meeting the sales quota was the other 50% of the grade. I can send you a specific breakdown of that if you want. Older/more experienced staff members had to sell more ads than younger/less experienced staff. Do you sell vanity or senior ads in your book? That was our biggest source of revenue. I'm assuming that the yb is part of the school's tuition, is that correct? So what you are really paying for is extra color and such.

Your book sounds exactly like my daughter's school's book-- k-12, private school... It is difficult to get the older kids to go to elementary events. Here's the first rule in yearbook production: THE BOOK IS THEIR BOOK NOT YOURS! Don't do a single page in that book! You have to be a Nazi about that, or you will end up burned out and completing that whole book on your own.

For the elementary kids, I would make an elementary editor whose job it is to contact all of the homeroom mothers of the different classes. Those ladies LOVE to take pictures of their little darlings. They'll be more than happy to supply you with pictures. You just need to give them a deadline for submission. You could even offer a "photo class" for them one day after school and teach the moms what kinds of pictures make good yb pictures. Trust me, they LOVE that kind of stuff. If possible, I would also see if you could get couple of 5th graders to volunteer to help with the book after school once or twice a week (or however often you need it). Let them help you identify the names of the little ones. They'll know who most of the kids are, and they'll like hanging out with the big kids.

As far as keeping them motivated... well, welcome to the world of senioritis! LOL! Seriously, the best motivator is a grade for most of these kids. I'll send you some stuff on how I grade if you'd like.

I'm droning on and on here.... I sent you a pm, too. As you can probably tell, I get a little excited when it comes to yb! I'll help any way I can!
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