By virtue of the fact that the yearbook is a publication conceived, planned, and produced by students, as well as the product of an academic elective program, certain guidelines must be put into practice ethically and legally. Journalistic in nature, the yearbook attempts to inform and entertain its audience in a broad, fair, and accurate manner on all subjects that affect readers in the areas of student life, academics, clubs, and sports. The yearbook staff will endeavor to feature each student at Clark at least twice in the book, though this is not guaranteed. Students can ensure inclusion in the book by having their class picture taken and by submitting photos when the yearbook staff solicits them.
The entire student body of prospective readers constitutes the target audience for the book, with secondary audiences including school personnel, community members, and scholastic journalism groups. Content focuses on coverage that will meet the needs of the majority of Clark students. While the staff not only allows, but also encourages, constructive criticism of any part of the book, before or after distribution, final authority for content of the volume rests solely in the hands of publications class students and their adviser. No material, opinionated or otherwise, will be printed which is libelous, irresponsible, advocates an illegal activity, or which the Editorial Board and/or adviser deem in poor journalistic taste or style.
The Editorial Board is the decision-making body. Members include the managing editors, business manager(s), photo editor(s), and section editors / team leaders. The board meets at least weekly, on a date determined at the beginning of the semester. The adviser or managing editors may also call unscheduled meetings if special problems or issues arise. Attendance to all board meetings is mandatory, unless a valid excuse is provided. Habitual unexcused absences are grounds for dismissal. Meetings of the board are open to all staff and administration.
Board members are subject to review by the Editorial Board if they fail to fulfill their duties. The board may dismiss a member with a majority vote, but the managing editors in consultation with the adviser may also dismiss an editor. The board is responsible for recommending a replacement for a vacated position, and the adviser must approve the replacement. All board members vote on policy-making decisions when the need arises. A majority vote determines the decision. The adviser will not vote, but may disagree and make suggestions or comments.
Concerning the publication of controversial issues, the Editorial Board will discuss and vote on the approach to be taken. A majority vote will be the deciding factor. The adviser may veto the decision only if the proposed publication/material does not follow standard journalistic practices or contradicts state or local school board policies.
Portrait and Photo Policy
All students and school personnel must have their portraits made with the official school portrait photographer in order to be included in the current volume of the yearbook. All senior portraits must be taken by an official photography studio chosen by the school and publications class. There is a sitting fee for those seniors taking senior portraits. All senior portraits should be head and shoulder shots with no hands showing.
All students and faculty/staff will be afforded at least two opportunities to have their portraits taken or retaken if the need presents itself. As long as students and staff make their scheduled appointment(s), the yearbook staff will include the students’ and staff photos in the yearbook. The yearbook staff is not responsible for making sure students and staff show up for individual or group photo appointments. The staff may on occasion solicit photos from students and/or staff. While the staff will endeavor to return all submitted photos, the yearbook staff is not responsible for any photos lost in the production of the yearbook. Therefore, students and staff should not submit any photo they consider irreplaceable. All photos taken by yearbook staff are property of the yearbook and Publications class. Because all photos the staff takes are digital, we do not make print copies of any photo. As a general policy, the yearbook staff also does not loan or give to the student body or staff photo negatives or copies of digital photos that may be considered for publication.
Should a student or school staff member die during the current coverage period, the staff will treat the death in a tasteful, respectful manner. The portrait of that person will appear as it would under normal circumstances, but the name of the person and the date of birth and death will be set off in a 10 percent black screen (or some other like treatment). This treatment will provide adequate memory of the individual for those closely associated, while not overemphasizing the death for other readers.
Book Sales Policy
Yearbooks are sold throughout the year, beginning in September. Prices generally begin below the yearbook’s actual cost and rise up to $40 beyond the base price once yearbooks arrive in May. Only those who pre-order yearbooks are guaranteed a copy. Those who purchase yearbooks must have a receipt or valid ID to pick up the yearbook during distribution. Yearbook sales are final. No refunds except in the case of a printing error involving the student who purchased the book. Exchanges can be made for books with minor flaws if no writing has been done in the book. If a book has been written in, then no exchange can be made unless adviser deems the book’s flaw to be major (e.g., pages missing, pages upside-down).
All advertising accepted by the staff must meet the same guidelines as editorial content. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement by the school, the staff as a whole, or individual staff members. Proofs of personal or business ads may be shown to the purchaser upon request. The yearbook staff reserves the right to alter content in business or personal ads if the content is deemed inappropriate for a high school audience. If the staff makes any substantive changes to an advertisement, the staff must inform the ad purchaser of the change and offer a full refund for the ad if the ad purchaser wishes to withdraw the ad. Advertising program and rates are set each year by the yearbook staff and are specifically detailed in the contract for businesses and individuals. A letter is mailed home to parents of seniors during the first semester outlining requirements and prices for senior personal ads. Ad prices are also available on the school website.
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