Now is the time to enter your school’s 2009 yearbook in the All-Kansas Critique and Ratings service.
The critique service — provided by award-winning yearbook advisers from around the United States — allows your staff to see what made the 2009 book so successful and how this year’s staff can do even better.
Yearbook adviser Linda Drake and her staff from Chase County High School have had great success with the yearbook critique, creating 17 All-Kansas yearbooks.
“I believe that critiques offer students a new perspective on their work,” said Drake, who also serves as national secretary of the Journalism Education Association. “My staff is always looking for ways to improve on last year’s book.”
Yearbooks are sent out of state to be critiqued in five categories: Theme, Coverage, Reporting, Photography, and Design. Judges — who are culled from among the best yearbook advisers in the nation — then rate each category on the following scale:
- Award of Merit
- Award of Commendation, and
The yearbook must receive an All-Kansas rating on three out of the five categories to be awarded an overall All-Kansas Yearbook.
Claflin High School Yearbook Adviser, Lisa Crites, also uses the All-Kansas yearbook critique to provide her staff with feedback.
“Our staff uses the critique to help identify weaknesses in the publication and then we strive to correct those areas in the next yearbook,” said Crites.
Both Drake and Crites agreed to take the judges’ comments constructively.
“What we must do is balance what a judge, who may not know much about our school, and what our student body wants,” said Drake. “It may not always be the same thing.”
“We have learned to filter what is applicable and worthy of review from what would not work for our school,” said Crites.
Yearbooks that receive an All-Kansas rating will be recognized at the Kansas Scholastic Press Association State Contest in May.
“Overall the process is quite beneficial. I believe that it has helped us continually make improvements to our yearbook,” said Crites.
The ratings service is a way for your book to earn a prestigious All-Kansas ranking.
Simply download the All-Kansas Yearbook Critique Form and send a check or school purchase order along with a copy of your yearbook to the address on the form by October 2, and your book will be forwarded to the judge. (You may also bring the book and payment to any of the Fall Conferences – Hays on Sept. 21, Manhattan on Sept. 22, Lawrence on Sept. 23 – and hand them to Jeff Browne, KSPA’s executive director.
The judge will use the evaluation criteria found in the All-Kansas Yearbook Evaluation Guide to make his/her judgments.