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Developing a presentation for your school board


Students will work together in small groups to decide when it is appropriate to make a presentation to their school board, why they are making such a presentation (what they hope to accomplish) and the specifics that they need to include in their presentation. It’s important in the journalism world that we promote ourselves as frequently as possible without becoming overbearing.  Developing a strong working relationship with your administration and school board is an essential element necessary for your program to grow.


  • Students will decide why they want to give a presentation to their school board.
  • Students will complete research to support their proposal.
  • Students will develop a presentation and present them to the school board or administrators.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Three 50-minute classes and additional time outside of class to actually give presentation to school board members or administrators.


Internet access

Examples: Sample presentations from other schools

Rubric: School board presentation 

Lesson step-by-step

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Explain to students that many successful student groups develop presentations to give to their administration or school board members for multiple reasons.  We will decide as a class why we might want to do a presentation to our school board and then we will begin researching some of the ways the groups around the country develop presentations for their administrations and school boards.

2. Group discussion — 20 minutes

As an entire class, we will brainstorm why we want to give a presentation to our school board.  Have someone take notes on the white board or using document camera so that the entire class can see.

Questions to enhance brainstorming might include:

  • Why do we want to give a presentation to our school board?
  • Do we want something from them?  If so, what?
    • Increase in budget amount that they provide (Use FOIA request to obtain a sample of your school’s budget or a sample from other school systems’)
    •  Increase in stipend for adviser
    • Permission to attend a state, regional, national convention
  • Do we want to make them aware of what we’ve been doing? If so, why?
    • Show copies of print publication, broadcast, online website
    • Show them a slideshow with an overview of a trip they helped fund
    • Show them samples of individual student work that has placed in competition
    • Show them a visual of how your publication room work?
  • Do we need to plead with them to keep a program alive? If so, why?
    • Show them parent testimonials
    • Show them student/alumni testimonials
    • Show them research that backs up journalism kids performing better in a multitude of ways (suggested resources Journalism Kids Do Better by Jack Dvorak and follow-up research conducted by the Newspaper Association of America Foundation – NAAF)

3. Research — 20 minutes and continued for homework

Students will use the Internet to research active media programs around the country and how the students have made similar presentations to school boards in other areas. They will develop a list of questions they would like to use in an interview when they contact an adviser or student editor of the program that they find.

Questions could include:

– What type of presentations have you made to school board members or administrators before?

– In what ways were the presentations successful? What do we need to be careful about?

– How long were your presentations?

– What happened as a result of your presentation?

– What tips do you have as far as giving this presentation?

3. Creating Presentations —  50 minutes

In small groups of three or four, students will create slideshows and scripts that will help them prepare to give their presentation to the class and possibly to the school board:

– Slideshows should not be extremely long (suggest 10-15 slides)

– Keep text to a minimum

– Strive for interactivity. Plan for internet connection, but have a back-up plan in case you don’t have it or it fails

– Decide which person in each group will be speaking during which slide and exactly what will be said.  Make sure someone introduces the topic and someone finishes the topic strongly.  If you’re asking for something, be clear and specific.

4. Presentations to class — 50 minutes

Each group will present their powerpoint they have developed for the school board or administration to the class.  As an introduction, students should elaborate what they have learned in their research from the staffs around the country.

As an entire class, you should decide which presentations were strongest.  If you would like to combine parts of any of the presentations together, decide which parts and then plan who will present the finished product to the school board or administration.  Make an appointment to get on the agenda of the school board meeting or make an appointment to meet with your administration. Be clear about how much time you’d like and stick with it.  Practice, practice, practice until you’re comfortable and at ease. Make sure the students are the ones creating and doing the presentation itself.