Class info

  • Meets Gold Days, period 8
  • Room 143/145
  • Senior English Writing Elective (must be taken all year)

The Skyline Sun is the voice of the Skyline High School community. It is a self-supporting student newspaper produced primarily by the Skyline newspaper class. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are those of the independent staff and do not represent the views of the administration or the student body of Skyline High School.

Friday, 5/16

We spent class today wrapping up the Web site and the CHSPA sweepstakes awards.

Wednesday, 5/14

Today we worked on finalizing the awards entries for next fall’s Sweepstakes Awards. We also worked on putting the rest of this year’s issues online and invoicing all of our advertisers.

Monday, 5/12

Today we de-briefed from our last issue of the year. We also started assembling nominations and materials for the CHSPA Sweepstakes Awards at next October’s Journalism Day at CSU. We will finish up the awards stuff and do some other end-of-year wrap-up on Wednesday.

Thursday, 5/8

Today we finished Issue 8, the last issue of the year. Distribution will happen Monday morning at the end of 5th period.

Tuesday, 5/6

Today was final draft day for Issue 8. If your draft was not completed, it will probably not run in the paper (and you will likely receive no credit for it). Production is Wednesday evening, and we will put the paper to bed on Thursday afternoon.

Friday, 5/2

Last day for reporting and writing before next Tuesday, which is final draft deadline. Students can also be selling ads!

Wednesday, 4/30

Work continues on Issue 8. God help us all.

Monday, 4/28

Today was the rough draft deadline for Issue 8. If your rough draft wasn’t in during class, it will not be published, which will have dire consequences for your grade.

Final draft deadline is next Tuesday, May 6. Production will be the following evening after school.

Thursday, 4/24

Interviews and writing should be going on through Monday, when rough drafts are due. No story will be published (or continue past Monday) if I do not see a rough draft and get to conference that draft with the reporter.

Tuesday, 4/22

Today I finished up my conferences with students about the last issue and the end of the year. Work continues on Issue 8. Rough draft deadline (which must be met) is next Monday.

Friday, 4/18

Today I had conversations with most of you regarding what needs to be done to end the semester successfully. Interview questions are due on Tuesday, and rough draft deadline is not too far away.

Wednesday, 4/16

As previously announced, I was absent today. Students should have finalized story assignments (and editors e-mailed those to me), begun interview questions, invoiced advertisers, begun section layouts for Issue 8, worked on putting Issues 6 and 7 online, and begun advertising calls for next year. We will continue all of this on Friday, and I will also conference your end-of-year checklist with you that day too — if you haven’t completed this yet, please do so by Friday’s class.

Monday, 4/14

Today we reviewed Issue 7 and started talking about Issue 8, the last of the year. I gave everyone a checklist, which you will have to review with me, this week if you want to pass the class. I also handed out the calendar for Issue 8:

Must have story assignment — Wednesday, April 16

Interview questions due — Friday, April 18

Rough draft deadline — Monday, April 28

Ad deadline — Friday, May 2

Final draft deadline — Tuesday, May 6

Publication night — Wednesday, May 7

Publication — Monday, May 12

Thursday, 4/10

Issue 7 was completed today. We will publish/distribute on Monday, 4/14, at the start of 6th period (9:22 a.m.). This is a change from our normal distribution to accommodate the prom assembly between 5th and 6th periods.

Tuesday, 4/8

Issue 7 production is this week (tomorrow night, in fact). Final draft deadline was supposed to be today, though many stories are still ongoing. Layout is supposedly mostly done, though, so we’ll see how it goes this time finishing up the stories by Thursday. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, 3/28

Trying to finish up Issue 7 stuff before break. Final draft deadline is the Tuesday we get back! Should be exciting.

Wednesday, 3/26

More reporting and writing for Issue 7. Remember, final draft deadline is the first class day after we return from spring break!

Monday, 3/24

Today was rough draft deadline. Before getting down to writing, we discussed headlines as a class — pointing out good and bad headlines in some local papers and discussing what made them good. In general, good headlines must be a complete sentence, containing a subject and a verb, and a strong active verb is best. They need to try and tell the whole story in just a few words. They need to fit a specific (and often incompatible) space requirement. And it helps if they’re punchy — rhyming, alliteration, puns can all work, but are tough to pull off well. I’d be happy if we could pull off the complete sentence/active verb part more consistently.

All rough drafts had to have headlines with them. We’ll continue working on headlines with the stories this issue to see if it helps the overall headlines situation in the paper. This means they are the responsibility of everyone — from reporter up to editors in chief.

Thursday, 3/20

Today we continued work on Issue 7 with interview questions and a few beginning interviews. Rough draft deadline is next week.

Wednesday, 3/19

Today we continued work on Issue 7, including planning and layout.

Friday, 3/14

I was absent today. The sub was supposed to have you work on the following things:

  • Students need to finalize the list of stories for Issue 7. 
  • Advertising invoices need to be completed and mailed out. Copies of Issue 6 are in one of the cupboards.
  • The morgue needs copies of Issue 6.
  • The Web site needs to be updated.
  • Students should begin making lists of their interview questions.
  • Editors need to begin blocking out their layouts for Issue 7.

We will pick up here on Wednesday, 3/19.

Monday, 3/10

Issue 6 dropped today, and it should be online by the end of the week. We already did our storyboard session for Issue 7; the calendar is immediately below:

Must have story assignment — Friday, March 14

Interview questions due — Wednesday, March 19

Rough draft deadline — Monday, March 24

Ad deadline — Friday, March 28

Final draft deadline — Tuesday, April 8

Publication night — Wednesday, April 9

Publication — Monday, April, 14

For the last two issues of the year, a few changes will be implemented. Page layout will begin immediately, so editors and reporters have a better sense of where stories will fit and what art will be needed. I’m hoping this also means fewer design errors and inconsistencies, something we’ve really been unable to improve this year. Also, all students will be encouraged to write two stories per issue. The requirement is still one, but if you write a second, you are exempt from the blog. This should allow us to comfortably run 12 (or even 16 pages), which will also help design become much easier.

Tuesday, 3/4

Today was the final draft deadline for Issue 6. Production will be Wednesday night, and the paper goes to bed Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, 2/28

Today we continued work on Issue 6 stories and also brainstormed ideas for the cover. Next week is final draft deadline (Tuesday) and production night (Wednesday).

Tuesday, 2/26

Rough draft deadline was today — rough drafts were due at the end of class. If your story didn’t make it in on time, it may get cut. There’s also a new blog posting on the continuing saga of the quest for mediocrity at the CU Campus Press: check it out.

Final draft deadline will be next Tuesday, 3/11.

Friday, 2/22

Today was a work day. Rough draft deadline is next Tuesday, the next day we meet.

Wednesday, 2/20

Today I checked in with everyone on the progress of his or her stories. I also assigned a new blog entry for this week — read about it here (hint: it’s about a member of the CU family whose message is lost for all of the noise and lack of actual insight/ability and is not Ward Churchill).

Rough draft deadline is next Tuesday.

Friday, 2/15

Interview questions for Issue 6 stories are due today. Everyone should already have a story assignment for Issue 6.

Wednesday, 2/13

Issue 6 calendar came out today:

Must have story assignment — TODAY (Feb 13)

Interview questions due — Friday, Feb 15

Rough draft deadline — Tuesday, Feb 26

Ad deadline — Thursday, Feb 28

Final draft deadline — Monday, March 3

Publication night — Wednesday, March 5

Publication — Monday, March 10

We’ll take a week off the blog this week, but we’ll start up again next week.

Monday, 2/11

Issue 5 is finally out, and should be online soon as well. Today in class we critiqued the issue, worked on the online version, and developed story ideas for Issue 6. Stories will be solidified on Wednesday, at which time I’ll also have an issue calendar — this will be compressed due to the one-week delay in the publishing of Issue 5.

Thursday, 2/7

We wrapped up production on Issue 5 today, along with a little deadline reporting on the fire. We will distribute Issue 5 on Monday morning at the end of 5th period. Please be in my room (775) at about 8:45.

Tuesday, 2/5

Deadline, take 2. Writing and editing for Issue 5 mostly wrapped up today in class. Editors (and others) will be working after school Wednesday to finish layout and production. We’ll try to do a comprehensive last edit of the paper in class on Thursday.

Don’t forget — blog entries are due now at the end of this week.

Friday, 2/1

Work continued on Issue 5 today. The plan is still to do production in class, finish it up Wednesday afternoon/evening while I have conferences, and then publish the following Monday (2/11). I’ve given everyone an extra week for blog entries. Please have those finished up by the end of next week.

Wednesday, 1/30

Today the students worked to try and get things pulled together for an on-time Issue 5 — thanks especially to those of you who picked up extra stories this afternoon to try and make it work. Unfortunately, because of several missing and incomplete stories, a dearth of photos for most stories that were in, and the complete lack of a viable front page, Issue 5 will be delayed till next week.

Monday, 1/28

Today was the final draft deadline for Issue 5. Several students were absent, and more than a few students who were present did not have stories done for the start of the period. Even by the end of the class, things didn’t look good for Issue 5 being done on time. Production is still scheduled for Wednesday after school, but if we don’t have enough stuff to fill the paper, it might be a short evening.

I did publish an extra-credit/alternate blog posting this afternoon for students who are behind or would like to get an extra post in this month.

Thursday, 1/24

Students worked on their blog postings for the week and also received feedback on their rough drafts for Issue 5.

Homework: Issue 5 final drafts are due on Monday.

Tuesday, 1/22

Today begins week three of three for this month’s blog posting. To review once again, you must post at least once a week, and each post must have two components (or, you may post twice a week, once for each component). You must respond to each week's prompt, as provided by me, and you must also provide a story of your choosing, with your own commentary. As next week is production week, there will be no required blog posts, but you will want to use that time to catch up if you are behind for the month. My post for this week can be found here, and it concerns the Tim Masters case in Fort Collins.

As for the newspaper, rough drafts were due at the start of class today. A few of you were absent, and a few more neglected to turn in a rough draft even if you were present. Final draft deadline is next Monday, 1/28.

Thursday, 1/17

Today students should have been working on their Issue 5 stories. Rough drafts are due next Tuesday, which is the next day class meets.

Tuesday, 1/15

On the blog: 

Breaking news today — Bryan Grove sentenced to 40  years for the slaying of his grisly slaying of his girlfriend's mother last year. See the Daily Camera for more (the Post has a short blurb too). And then sound off.

(There will likely be more coverage later today/tomorrow, and links in these stories to the new coverage. Likewise, you should be able to find older stories about this murder dating back to about this time last year.)

This is your story to comment on for this week. Please make sure you also contribute a second story that you've read this week, and include a link so others can click through to it!

For the paper:

Rough draft deadline is next Tuesday. Be ready!

Friday, 1/11

Today students completed interview worksheets for Issue 5 and turned them in to me before the end of class. Students also worked on finishing up their blog postings for this week.

Wednesday, 1/9

Okay, we're going to try something new on the blog. First, this is like really required now. If you don't complete at least three blog posts each month, your grade will drop a full letter grade. Second, new year, new rules. I'm planning to give you at least one story to read every week (probably not deadline week) for you to respond to. In addition, you should also find one of your own to comment on. Let's begin.

This week, I have two stories for you, both on the same issue. One is from Monday's Denver Post, and the other is from Tuesday's Rocky Mountain News. East High school in Denver has lobbied the Board of Denver Public Schools for a more formal policy on maternity leave for pregnant high school girls. As it happens, a source quoted in both stories is a friend of mine — Nicole Head, who's a counseling intern at East right now (like a student teacher, but for counseling). She was also interviewed on talk radio (630 AM) and was solicited for an on-camera interview on CNN, which she declined. 

Your assignment: read both stories, comment on the issue, and compare the coverage in each story. Which one is better? Why? Then, I want you to also find a story on your own and post on that. This must be done by the end of class on Friday, but today is a great time to get it out of the way.

Monday, 1/7

Today we discussed story ideas for Issue 5, a beat system, and recruiting for next year. I also passed out the deadline schedule for Issue 5:

Must have story assignment — Wednesday, January 9
Interview questions due — Friday, January 11
Rough draft deadline — Tuesday, January 22
Ad deadline — Thursday, January 24
Final draft deadline — Monday, January 28
Publication night — Wednesday, January 30
Publication — Monday, February 4

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