TOP 10 THINGS TO CONSIDER
WHEN PLANNING THE LADDER
The page by page outline of what will be covered in your yearbook is commonly referred to as a ladder. The goal of ladder planning is to include everyone and every event and activity happening during the school year. The following tips will help ensure that nothing is missed in the yearbook.
1. REVIEW COVERAGE
Look at the last three yearbooks for your school. Take note of what coverage has been included, as well as anything that might have been missed.
2. ADAPT CONCEPTUALLY
If your theme/concept calls for an extended opening, double dividers or a theme magazine, you want to allocate those pages from the start.
3. VERIFY ENROLLMENT
Compare enrollment figures for last year to enrollment numbers for this year. Any significant differences should be considered when allocating the number of portrait pages required.
4. DOUBLE-CHECK EVENTS
Check the school calendar and make sure there is nothing new on/or deleted from the listing of official school happenings.
5. CONFIRM CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS
Contact the Activities Director for the current list of all clubs and organizations officially recognized on your campus. Check to see if any have been overlooked in previous year books. You might also allow pages for related topics (recruiting, fundraisers, competitions, leadership, etc.) that pertain to multiple organizations.
6. IDENTIFY TEAMS AND COACHES
Check with the Athletic Director to get the list of all official school sports teams. Also, get a list of all coaches and their contact information since some may be off-campus personnel. And don’t forget managers, trainers, fans and athletes who do non-school sports; those topics should also be included in thorough sports coverage.
7. CRITIQUE PREVIOUS BOOK’S COVERAGE
Critique last year’s book for complete coverage. Was there any topic that received too much coverage, too little coverage, or was not included at all?
8. MAKE A PLAN FOR INCLUDING ALL STUDENTS
Check the index in the last yearbook to see how many students had only one photo. Work on a plan to include each student at least two or more times in coverage beyond the school portraits. Also check the index for any students who had five (or more) listings. Assess whether these were legitimate inclusions because of club and team participation, and avoid feature mentions accordingly.
9. DETERMINE NUMBER OF PAGES
Use commonly accepted guidelines to determine the number of pages that should be assigned to each section of the yearbook: Student Life 25%, Academics 15-20%, Organizations 10-15%, Sports 15-20%, People 25-30%.
10. REVIEW THE YEARBOOK BUDGET
Be sure the budget supports the number of pages planned in the initial ladder. Coverage can sometimes be tightened up without actually eliminating anything that should be included.