Search Menu


This site is available only to JEA members. Please log in below.

Working with your school board, administration and community


Students will research other media staffs around the country to see how they work to develop positive relationships with their administrators, faculty members, school board members and your local community. They will interview other staff members and compile a list of activities that other schools do to promote positive relationships and the pros and cons from that staff’s point of view. They will then analyze from their own point of view.


  • Students will interview peers from around the country.
  • Students will examine the activities the other staffs around the country do and consider which ones they would like to adopt.
  • Students will select some activities to do that will help build positive relationships with constituencies.

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.9-10.7 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.


Two 50-minute classes and one to two weeks for independent research


Class set: List of the activities you now do to promote positive relationships with faculty, administrators, school board and community members (if you have one)

Access to computers for research (1:1 if possible)

Presentation rubric

Lesson step-by-step

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Explain to students that today they’ll begin a research project to find how other high school media staffs around the country build positive relationships with their faculties, administrators, school boards and communities.  The purpose of doing this research is to see if there are ways of building/fostering positive relationships with constituencies.

Explain that students are going to find another school, make contact with the student editors at that school (possibly through their adviser), interview the student editors and/or advisers, create a list of ways they build positive relationships with their constituencies and report what the editors/advisers you interviewed feel are the pros and cons of those activities.  In a separate analysis, students will evaluate what they feel could work for our staff and what they believe will not work for our staff.

(Hand out copy of relationship-building activities your staff does now. Do all students realize this is the way you operate? What do they think is working well or not working well now?)

2. Think-pair-share — 10 minutes

Next, group students into groups of three. Allow students to pick a task (reader, writer, speaker). Instruct all students to look over the list of relationship-building activities and to write down their individual thoughts as to what is working and what isn’t with your current staff. Then, the group should spend a few minutes discussing their notes. The writer should keep notes on the group’s ideas.  Finally, the group should come to a consensus about what they think is working and what is not working and prepare to present to the entire class.

3. Present — 30 minutes

Have each group explain its pros and cons to the class (the speaker talks – one writer can write on white board or document camera all pros and cons that are suggested.) See what ideas all groups had in common and discuss as a class what they feel is working/not working and why it is important to see what other schools are doing.

4. Independent research — one week

Each student will be responsible for finding another similar publication staff from somewhere else in the country. (Use resources like the publications you exchange with; a list of similar publications that have won awards like Pacemakers, Gold Crowns, Gallup Awards; a list of high school publications found on, etc.)

Students should contact the adviser at the school they choose to make sure they are willing to be interviewed and have time to share info about how the staff builds positive relationships with the constituencies at their school.  Students should also try to get contact information for the editors at the school they choose.

Students should develop a list of interview questions to prepare for their interview and decide how they will conduct the interview. It might be good to conduct a series of interviews so that some rapport can be developed between staff members.

As an end result, each student should compile a list of things each staff does to develop positive relationships. A written report should include how projects are designed and executed.

The written report should also include the pros and cons of the projects they have discovered based on the comments gained in the interviews. Make a distinction between comments of an adviser and those of students.

Finally, the written report should include an analysis by the author of what could work for our staff and what might not work for our staff.

5. Individual presentations to class — 50 minutes

Each student will present his or her research findings to the class by providing us all with a copy of the relationship-building information from the school they researched, describing briefly the results of their interviews, listing the pros and cons as reported by the students/advisers at that school, and then the analysis of their findings and how they might work for our staff.

6. Whole group discussion — 50 minutes

Based on the previous day’s presentations, we will discuss as a class what projects would be most appropriate for our staff to do.

Make sure you consider projects like:

– writing letters to your faculty to explain how your staff will operate throughout the year (interviews, distribution of your product, etc.)

– hosting a faculty, parent, school board, advertiser open house so the constituents can all come in and see the pub room in action

– attending civic group meetings and giving a brief presentation about the activities your students are doing on publication staffs

– calling local professional outlets and getting education reporters to cover activities that are happening in the pub room and outside the pub room

– attending a school board meeting to give a presentation about your publication program

– doing various activities to celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week each February

– doing various activities to celebrate Constitution Day each fall

– setting up a press conference with a principal, coach, local government officials, the superintendent, the school board etc.

– organize a jDay for your school and invite neighboring publication staffs from other schools to participate

– bring in professional speakers from the community to talk to your journalism classes

7. Homework

Each student will create a project to foster positive relationships. Staff members or editorial boards can choose which projects they want to actually do.  The more projects you can do well, the more positive the atmosphere will become in your school and community.