TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN THE
FIRST MONTH OF SCHOOL

Many experienced advisers may have already made progress in these areas. If it’s not something you’ve considered, it’s time to jump in. While many activities need to happen simultaneously during the first few weeks of the school year, here are some areas that need attention early on.

1. TEAM BUILDING

Use a combination of short start-of-class activities with others that require more time to fully involve all staffers. Building group rapport at the start of the year will undoubtedly pay big dividends at stressful times later in the year. Refer to the Herff Jones “Skill Set Cards” for possibilities.

2. THEME/CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

Either begin the process of brainstorming theme ideas or present and develop ideas started at summer workshops.

3. LADDER BUILDING

While putting the yearbook ladder together will most likely be the responsibility of editors, be sure to include all staffers in the brainstorming process to help expand coverage where needed, or curtail coverage that has been overextended in previous years.

4. BUDGET REVIEW

Money matters are an integral part of the yearbook experience for students and everyone on staff should have a clear understanding of how much it costs to run the yearbook program and how funds are generated.

5. BOOK SALES PROMOTION

Be sure students and parents know when they may buy the yearbook, along with where and how much. Whether book sales duties are led by the yearbook business manager and a small committee of staffers or the entire staff, be sure promotions are clear and frequent.

6. AD SALES CAMPAIGN

To help keep yearbook prices as low as possible to students and to help add enhancements to the publication, money from ad sales may be an essential part of the overall income. Thorough planning and early execution could mean that the editors and staff know how much they can spend on the book early in the year.

7. TRAINING SCHEDULE

Establish plans to train new staffers and refresh scholastic journalism concepts with returning staffers. The Herff Jones Teaching Yearbook Journalism student workbook and adviser binder are invaluable resources, along with the HJ “Skill Set Cards.”

8. TECHNOLOGY CHECK-UP

Be sure all computers are in working order with required software and fonts installed. Schedule any required installations with school site or school district IT personnel. Also, be sure all cameras are in working order and ready for checking out to students for photo coverage of special events and day-to-day activities.

9. GATHER SCHOOL LISTS

Student enrollment names and schedules will be useful for name checking and also with locating students for interviews or other communication.

10. GET THE SCHEDULES

Don’t forget to get activities calendars and sports schedules to help map out complete coverage for the year. School and district calendars can also help plan around school holidays and any special events.