As the first day of school aproaches, I am trying to brainstorm ideas for coverage. We will most likely do one wrap-up story of the whole day.
We thought about visiting different schools and doing little vignettes or finding one student to follow on his/her first day of high school todo a more profile type story.
Any good ideas for fresh angles on first day of (k-12) school coverage?
Tracey, are there any brand-new principals starting their first assignment? Perhaps you could shadow one for a few days leading up to the start of school?
How about a photo feature? Does your district have a central kitchen that might be working the day before the first day to put together lunches?
I've also had good results doing "Student on the Street" interviews in the high school parking lot on the first morning, asking kids what they hope to get out of the year.
Yeah, all good ideas! At this point I think I'm going to try to shadow one student on the first day and do a profile type story.
U.S. News & World Report wrote a back to school story on daily deals sites selling discounted goods aimed at students returning to the classroom: http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2012/08/10/de...
There is a lot of effort to smooth the transition between 12th grade and college. P-20 Councils look at this.
But what about the tremendous transition between early ed and kindergarten?
Kids coming into kindergarten may be coming from any number of learning environments: from being babysat
at home by an older sibling to an accredited child care center to a family-based day care center to the more formal
Head Start programs (my guess is Head Start might be MOST in sync with kindergarten readiness standards).
How does a kindergarten teacher on her/his first day handle this tremendous range? -- from a student who's never ever been in a formal learning environment to a child who's been in Head Start and knows the ropes and routines already?
It's a chance to talk about that disconnect between the 0-5 years, and the start of K-12, public schooling of children.- Sarah
School started yesterday in my district, and this year I wanted to focus on narrative vignettes to capture transitional moments readers could relate to. We also tried to capture each level and public/private school mix to reflect our community.
The important thing for me was focusing on the students. It's there big day! I got a lot of compliments on the package that ultimately ran, because readers -- whether or not they have kids -- could relate to the moments we captured:
- Being the new kid (elementary school)
- Finding your way between classes the first day (middle school)
- Finally reaching the "top" as a senior (high school)
- Parents perspetive: Growing up so fast (private school)
I'm new to education reporting/commentary -- only since May 2012! -- so I'll likely tend to suggest topics that may be off-track. That said, here goes...
o Perhaps a different type of story each day about the challenges -- & triumphs -- of first day of school/returning/starting school?
-- How about one of those stories focusing on shopping for clothes (or perhaps school supplies, given the tough economy) -- Deciding on that first outfit for the first day of school is key to the "re-immersion" or "immersion" process for students! A new way of dressing may well signal a new persona, new way of being, way of announcing a "new you"! What's the clothing shopping/decision-making like in September 2012? And, what dramas unfold in the age-old challenge between what parents vs what high school/middle school/elementary school students think is appropriate, important? Maybe some parents -- and/or even teachers -- might dig out their own back-to-school photos of first-day of school outfits! Might be good to post & generate discussion! What about those "good-luck" outfits or accessories? The week leading up to the first day of school might just bring all kinds of insight! How tough is it to go from carefree summer clothing to that school uniform? And, who ends up in the principal's office for clothing choice? or with a teacher's note home?
The New York Times today described a study that found a correlation between state school nutrition rules and child obesity. States that have restrictions on sugary drinks and snacks saw overweight children lose some weight, or were more likely to do so than in states where weak rules were in place. Perhaps a story on child nutrition and how schools can influence a childhood fitness and health, then?