CPHS News’ mission is simple: tell student stories and give students information that matters to them. We want to be the “go to” source for everything Cedar Park High School.
WHO ARE WE
CPHS News, originally known as CPHS-TV, is Cedar Park High School’s premiere broadcast journalism program. Beginning in 2004, CPHS-TV debuted to students across the high school via its flagship program, the Wolfcast.
Since then, CPHS News continues to engage with an audience of more than 2,000 students, teachers and parents through the Wolfcast, the Wolfpack website, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
Consisting of a staff of 23, CPHS News strives to tell the many diverse stories of Cedar Park High School while also providing viewers with relevant and important information they can use. This includes the accomplishment and events of CPHS’ sports teams, clubs and other extra curricular organizations.
RESPONSIBLE NEWS CONSUMER
A key objective of this class is to encourage and foster an attitude of responsible news consumption. As young journalists it is imperative students have an understanding of current events and a discernment of fact versus opinion in news.
To have a wide-range of perspective, a news consumer should stay informed via several sources. Recommended and highly-credible news sources include, but are not limited to, National Public Radio (KUT 90.5), the New York Times, and CBS News.
Beside the first week of class, there will be current events quizzes every week, usually 10 questions. The quizzes will be given promptly at the start of class. The questions will be drawn largely from the New York Times. There will be no make-up sessions for missed quizzes.
ATTENDANCE & DEADLINES
Class will begin promptly as scheduled. Punctuality is essential. Think news. Arriving late for a story could mean missing it. Similarly, deadlines are inherent in the news business. All assignments in this class must be turned in at the beginning of the class session in which they’re due. Missing a deadline is grounds for an “F” on the assignment. Attendance is another must. Leander ISD attendance policies will be strictly enforced.
Preparation and Submission of Assignments
VOSOTS: Two will be required per six weeks and will be graded in two forms. A minor grade will be given for your EP Check and a major grade will be given for the Garcia Check.
PKGS: One will be required per six weeks and will be graded in two forms. A minor grade will be given for your EP Check and a major grade will be given for the Garcia Check.
Deadlines: A major grade will be given with a cumulative assessment of deadlines met for the six weeks. For every deadline missed, ten points will be deducted from the grade and an additional 10 for each day the project is late. Three missed deadlines could be cause for removal from the program.
Pitching: Student should offer at least one story idea—“pitch”—per week. Pitches should be substantive ideas for news packages for the broadcast that win the approval of the leadership team and Mr. Garcia. They should be original and include an interesting angle. Students do not have to cover the stories they pitch, but they can. No pitches can be the same. At times they’ll cover the same topic, but different angles must be taken.
Overtime: There will be four “overtime” opportunities required per six weeks. This includes any activities related to broadcast that happen beyond the school day. Students will document their overtime here. Students will typically be responsible for providing their own transportation to and from overtime activities. Ample opportunities will be provided throughout a six weeks for this opportunities. It is the student's responsibility to sign up for activities and make arrangements to attend. Students are also expected to log their own overtimes by the last day in the six weeks. No additional credit will be awarded for overtime activities logged after 4 p.m. on the last day of the six weeks.
Weekly Accountability Review: Every week students will receive a minor accountability review grade based on their effort in class and will also take into account a student’s production work during the Wolfcast.
PKG and VOSOT deadlines will be set by the executive or associate producer after a story has been assigned and approved by Mr. Garcia.
Stories can involve subjects on or off campus or a mix of both. Metropolitan Austin is a rich news environment. Students will be encouraged to explore the region’s diversity in proposing stories and not limit themselves to the Cedar Park High School campus.
Throughout the school year students will be given other minor assignments based on, but not limited to, story pitches, show performance/involvement and overall class participation.
Taking equipment out of the broadcast area requires a checkout using the correct forms. All equipment must be checked out through Mr. Garcia or the executive producer. Students should also understand cameras and equipment must be returned by the broadcast class period. If a students fails to bring the equipment back by that time, parents are responsible for bringing the camera gear immediately to school. Finally, students should understand that failure to return equipment on time could result in a loss of equipment privileges.
It is the student’s responsibility to care for equipment in the classroom and lab and any gear they sign out. Students will be required to replace or pay for any equipment that is lost, stolen or damaged due to their negligence, regardless of cost.
An equipment agreement will need to be signed and turned in by the second day of school (8/29).
Students are always welcome to come in for extra help or lab time. Morning tutorials will be Monday to Friday starting at 8 a.m. until classes start. Afternoon tutorials are by appointment and can be made via email.
Professional Dress Policy
Reporters are no different from representatives of other organizations. If they are badly or inappropriately dressed, it can affect the impression they make and the results they get. When going on interviews, dress in a manner that fits the situation and shows respect for the interviewee. Flip-flops and scruffy shirts are out. So are revealing necklines and bare midriffs.
Plagiarism, as used above, is defined as taking ideas or writing from another and passing them off as one’s own and is unacceptable. Doing so will result in an automatic failing grade and a discipline referral.