The TST BOCES Regional Alternative School (RAS) is offering a journalism class to its students for the second year.
Students in the class are responsible for producing the school’s newsletter, the “RAS Reporter.” Stories and photographs are written and collected by journalism class members.
Originally RAS principal Michelle Nolan’s conception, the Journalism class is part of a broader effort to develop RAS as a community that students feel at home in and can be proud of. By working to put together the RAS Reporter, students have a chance to practice working collaboratively. The class, which fulfills an English credit, also provides students with a creative project to work on and get personally engaged with.
“The students have really taken to the journalism class,” said journalism teacher Travis Getzke. “While it is still a struggle at times to get them to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), the flexibility of newsletter topics allows the students to research and report on topics that interest them. Several of the students have really shown a real aptitude for photojournalism and often volunteer to take the camera to capture events that are happening in our school community.”
Getzke built the class around established and current print journalism curriculum, including material from the Newspaper Association of America Foundation. The class emphasizes the guidelines of writing fundamental to good journalism, including objectivity, accuracy, media literacy and avoiding plagiarism.
Journalism students design and lay out each edition using Google Slides. The RAS Reporter comes out every five weeks. It is printed and sent home to families along with report cards and progress reports. The newsletter is also distributed via email to TST BOCES administration and component districts’ boards of education. To find copies of the RAS Reporter click here.