Senior News Production students to get English credit next year


Riley Mize

Francesca Messerschmidt reads old Purple Clarion newspaper during IJEA competition. April 1.

Kelee Mills, Staff Writer

News Media Production class will be offered as an English credit for seniors during the upcoming school year. 

The change is the result of two years of research and planning. 

Any student can take the class as an elective, but only seniors will receive English credit,” advisor Cathy Wall said. 

The curriculum for the class will have some small changes next year but will still focus mainly on producing content for the high school newspaper and website as well as the program’s Instagram account. 

“It will be a lot like it is now, although I will probably add some smaller grades in with the production cycle grades,” Wall said.

Other schools already offer an English credit for journalism. 

Alton High School, Carlyle High School, Okawville High School, Meridian High School, Yorkville High School, and Collinsville High School,  Mt Vernon Township High School and Taylorville High School and Oswego High School all give English credits according to the responses I received from their instructors,” Wall said. 

Wall has already been planning for next year’s class, and deciding what she wants to change.

“I will be reinstituting stylebook quizzes and current event quizzes and practice assignments as well as analysis of articles. I am also planning to add some new assignments and bring back others,” Wall said. 

As next year is Wall’s last year teaching, there is still hope for the class to continue now that it is offered as an English credit. 

“Keeping our journalism program alive and healthy will be easier for the person who takes over after I retire. They will be spared the headache of trying to recruit students to take the class,” Wall said. 

There is hope that more students will sign up for the journalism class after they are informed about the class. 

“I will begin talking to my juniors and the juniors in Mrs. (English teacher Heather) Mandrell’s classes as soon as possible. Those students will go to guidance and request a schedule change if they are interested in taking the class,” Wall said. 

With every class there are always standards that teachers expect from the students. 

“I will be very honest with students about the fact that they will be writing for the website each month and for the print edition four times a year,” Wall said. “They need to understand that there is work that has to be done.” 

There are also policies that go into place for each class when the expectations are not met, especially for seniors. 

“There is a disciplinary policy already in my classroom management plan and that won’t change, but the bigger factor for seniors is understanding that this becomes a graduation credit for them,” Wall said. “They cannot graduate without passing just like they would not be able to graduate without  English IV.”