Friday Notes is a weekly e-newsletter that is published on behalf of the Superintendent every Friday by the Communications Department. It currently has more than 75,000 subscribers, including all district employees as well as parents, students, community members and business partners. Non-district subscribers can be added at any time by going to the Subscribe Now link in Friday Notes. Non-employee subscribers can also “Unsubscribe” at any time; district employees are automatically subscribed and cannot unsubscribe.
The items posted in Friday Notes are intended to provide district and school news and information that are relevant to both internal and external readers. (Employee-only items should be submitted for Newsline at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
To submit an item for Friday Notes, departments and school sites should follow these guidelines:
Each item should be 150-300 words. Be sure to include a contact name, phone number and email address.
Keep information concise, accurate and clear to all. Remember the news-story requirements: who, what, when, where, why and how.
Spell out acronyms.
Assume your audience is in the seventh grade and knows nothing about your subject.
Be sure to include all the who-what-where-why and how facts in your item. Please don't start your article with the date of the event. Give readers an interesting "hook" that will interest them in reading the article.
Please write the items in a journalistic-news style, using the “inverted pyramid.” The lead sentence should be a concise, interesting summary of the story that lists the most important information and will draw the reader into the rest of the item.
We use Associated Press (AP) style, which determines punctuation, some grammar and helps keep our writing consistent. Here's a good summary of AP style, but purchasing an AP Stylebook is recommended. Why use AP Style? It tells you, for example, whether "grey" or "gray" is correct. Read more»
Give us an interesting headline. As we also use Friday Notes items as the basis for the district’s Facebook and Twitter pages, the headline is an important hook for readers.
Yes, we like to say thanks to adults for their hard work in making an event happen, but the primary purpose of these news items is to inform the public, our families and our community on innovative ways our students are learning and preparing for tomorrow.
Above, a good action photo. It tells a story about our kids. Below, please avoid "giant check" photos and lines of people smiling at the camera.
Action photos are encouraged. Show our students learning.
Group shots where everyone is looking into the camera are discouraged. They're great keepsakes, but aren't appropriate for Friday Notes.
When submitting a photo, remember the optimum is a close-up shot with 2-3 people (watch for inappropriate gestures/facial expressions) in high resolution.
Photos eligible for the front of the district website must be horizontal and a minimum 960 x 390 pixels. The bottom one-third of the photo should have minimal importance as it will be covered by the headline and caption.
All students in photos must have a signed media release on file with the school. Make sure to identify and provide the names of individuals in a photo.
Please send us the original photo files; don't include them in a Microsoft Word document.
The submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the week before publication.
During the week before they appear in Friday Notes, many items will appear on the front of the district website in the “Latest Headlines” section and in the “District News” section on the front of school websites.
Do's and Don'ts
DO! Tell us about what our students did, what they learned, what makes this unique and interesting for our students!
DON'T just tell us about the place they visited or competition they participated in.
Following the guidelines will better ensure that articles will be included. Final edits will be made by the Communications Department. Every effort is made to publish submitted items in Friday Notes and on the district website. However, some submitted items may not be published.
If you have questions or need additional information, please e-mail Linda Zintz, director of communications, at email@example.com.