• Mr. Ditmore’s Yearbook Classroom Procedures & Syllabus

    Course Description

    Welcome to Yearbook!  Being in Yearbook at Water Valley is a very special opportunity to grow as a student that no other class allows for in the same way.  Yearbook, in a nutshell, is a student-run business.  Being in Yearbook allows students expansive experience in photography, computer design, personnel management, money management, advertising experience, sales/distribution, layout and design, writing, and editing that come together to form a book that captures the spirit and emotion of Water Valley ISD.  This class is different from any other class offered in high school and comes with more responsibility than any other class.  Please take the time to read through every section of this “Syllabus” and sign required section. Much self-motivation is required for this class.

    Background Info

    Yearbook is a class like no other. Some days may be filled with lots of work, others may seem to drag on forever. But realize that yes, we will have a yearbook finished by the first week of June, so that it may be delivered in August.


    My only yearbook rule is: If you say you’re going to do something, do it on time and do it the right way. If you don’t know the right way, ask.  Our purpose is to produce a quality yearbook that reflects on the successes of the school year!  This is more than just your grade; your participation is Vital in ensuring a Quality Yearbook!

     Yearbook Stats

    Yearbook Company: Lifetouch

    Computer Software: Volumes

    Pages: 200

    Copies Sold: 176

    All Color

    Grading Policy

    My grading policy is simple. Do what I ask and you’ll do well. Play around and produce little work and you will be graded accordingly.

    Items you will be graded on include: photography, page designs, meeting deadlines, selling ads, and other assignments deemed necessary as you learn the yearbook process.

    Generally, major assignments include page designs & photography assignments. These are given a test grade. Weekly grades are given as daily grades if you’re on task and moving at an adequate speed to meet your deadline.

     50% Tests                                            50% Daily

    Yearbook Timeline

    • First, we’ll learn all about advertising, which is what pays for our yearbook.
    • Then we’ll start exploring on the computers with the software system so you can get comfortable with it before pages’ start being due.
    • Then, we’ll decide a theme and cover for this yearbook by brainstorming and looking online.
    • Next, we’ll learn to take pictures, download them, and then scan them.
    • Then, we’ll decide who wants to do what spreads. A spread includes an even and odd page or the left and right. Everyone will do the same amount of work.
        • Work for pages includes taking pictures, downloading the pictures to the computer, placing the pictures on the pages along with names, arranging for group pictures along with names, and any other ideas deemed necessary.
    • After deciding who will do what pages, we’ll actually start trying to figure out what you want your page to look like. I have lots of samples and tons of old yearbooks to look at.
    • Finally, we’ll start designing your pages on the computer and submitting them.
    • We will receive proofs which we will review for mistakes and resubmit.
    • Fall pictures will be taken in September/October.
    • Senior pictures will be taken in the Summer and Fall.
    • Class favorites pictures will be voted on in January and photos will be taken then.
    • Spring pictures will be taken in February.
    • After the yearbook is complete in the spring, you will have a large project to complete in class.


    Pages will be due periodically throughout the year. DO NOT FALL BEHIND!

    Yearbook Budget

    The yearbook costs approximately $12,000 to produce. We sell approximately 141 yearbooks each year. By doing simple math and dividing $12,000 by 141, you can see that each book costs approximately $85. We try to sell our yearbooks at $35 which means we have a lot of money to raise in order to cut the price in half. Hence we do a lot of advertising sales.


    We sell two types of ads: business and senior ads. Both generate a lot of revenue for the yearbook. Both types of ads are generally sold and designed within the first semester and the first deadline.

    We sell approximately $11,000 in business/senior ads. The bulk of our money does come from ads, which we really must push for. You will soon receive an advertising folder with tons of materials in it.

    Ads are sold three primary ways. First, start calling on your cell phones every day during class. Second, if your family or friends own a business, sell to them. It never hurts to ask. Third, some businesses want you to come by and visit with them before they will buy an ad.  If you can’t get by to see them, let me know and I will do it.

    Remember that ads are the backbone of our yearbook. Without them, we have to cut back. Even if you can just convince them to buy a business ad, it’s going to help us. The majority of our ads are business size.

    Senior ads are sold through Facebook, WVISD Website, and we will hand out a Senior Ad Contract out to every senior to take home and they are due usually by the November deadline.


    Spreads take a lot of work. They include a multitude of items.

    First, I suggest picking spreads that you aren’t a part of. Why might you ask? Number one, it’ll look bad if you put lots of pictures of yourself on your spread. Number two, you’re responsible for taking the pictures for your spread. How can you take Varsity Basketball pictures if you’re on the floor? It’s your responsibility, not mine. I will not be taking pictures for pages, but instead, you will be taking the pictures. Therefore, you have to take them to earn your grade. Do I really care when you take pictures? No, but I suggest going to several events so you have variety in your pictures. This will also be graded down upon if all our pictures come from the same event. Plus, you would hate to have only blurry pictures from one game to put on your page. This will also affect your grade. 

    Also, every single picture will have a name and grade on it, whether they are elementary, middle, or high school. This may seem easy for high school, but believe me, it is difficult. You will be graded down for missing names.

    As you work on your spread, periodically print them for me, the editors, and yourself to see. I will make suggestions; which I advise you do in order to bring your grade higher.

    I’m not a fan of waiting to the last minute. Please make every effort to work in class if you have a deadline approaching. You may come in during other classes to work if you are quiet.  If you wait until the last minute and produce an awful page with little thought and creativity, I have to go behind you to clean it up. Your grade will be adjusted accordingly.

    Finally, think of our theme as you do your spread. How can you tie the theme into your page? In the past, students have struggled with this. However, I am giving ample brainstorming time this year for you and your classmates to work together with your creative juices flowing.

    Computer Use

    Yes, we will use computers daily in here. Sometimes, we will have yearbook stuff to work and sometimes we may have down time. We will use the Internet. However, you may not download anything, or watch HUDL. Violation of this rule will suspend any Internet Usage.


    Air Conditioning

    I recommend bringing a jacket or sweater to class. I keep my room extremely cold throughout the year. The thermostat is only to be touched by the teacher in the classroom. No one else!

    Seating Chart

    There is no formal seating chart. However, please pick a seat within the first week and stay there!

    Cell Phones

    You are permitted to use your cell phones for Ad calling, nothing else!  I know this class is more laid back than others, but do not take advantage of it!


    I am only an email or phone call away should you have any questions about an assignment. This also applies throughout the year.

    Email: james.ditmore@wvisd.net

    Telephone: (325) 234-3124 no calls after 10pm please!


    Please try to take care of your business during breaks. I realize emergencies happen, but they usually don’t occur every day or several times a week. Please don’t take advantage of this policy or no one will be allowed to use the bathroom facilities.



    I have read these procedures with my son/daughter and we both wholeheartedly agree to them. Returning this the next day to the teacher will result in a free 100 daily grade.




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