The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Policies

The Purpose of Westwood Student Press

  • The purpose of the WestwoodHorizon.com (news) is to inform, educate and incite thought and debate regarding school, local, and national issues.
  • The purpose of the Heritage (yearbook) is to provide an accurate record of the events of the school year. It is a historical document, reference book and picture book.
  • Both publications serve as an educational tool for students, providing real-world experience in a high school setting.

Forum for Public Expression

  • The news and the yearbook are produced by students in advanced journalism classes at Westwood HS. The publications are open forums for public expression intended for the free and uninhibited exchange of ideas among the students, staff, and community.
  • All stories are written in a way that maintains journalistic integrity. The views published in student media do not necessarily reflect the views of the advisers, staffs, school communities or RRISD.

Story Decisions & Policies

  • Story and content decisions are student-driven; advisers and administrators do not decide what stories and topics students should cover. With students making the decisions, high school publications are forums for public expression and fall under the legal guidelines established by the Supreme Court in 1988 from Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier.
  • Under Hazelwood, students make all story and content decisions. Administrators may not control content prior to publication. However, they may offer advice on sensitive issues and criticism on coverage after publication. They may only request changes for stories that would cause a disruption to the educational process.
  • The staffs follow the Code of Ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists. The four main principles include Seek Truth and Report It, Minimize Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable.
  • As part of SPJ’s Code of Ethics to Act Independently, student journalists avoid conflicts of interest and deny favored treatment to special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage. Under this policy, stories, pages and other content may not be reviewed by those outside the staff.

 

Errors

  • All student media products are not professional publications; they are publications created by high school students. Every effort is made to produce a quality, accurate account of the year, but some errors are bound to occur.
  • If errors occur in online news, corrections will be made as soon as possible when the staff learns of the error.
  • In a printed publication, it is not possible to correct any mistakes after printing. There are no refunds or reprints for errors. Students and parents are encouraged to focus on all the positive things the yearbook has to offer.

Advertisement

  • RRISD policy does not allow us to sell advertising on our news site.
  • At this time we are not selling business ads in the yearbook; however we do sell Senior Ads (details below).

Deaths

  • In the event of a student or faculty death, prior to the yearbook’s publication (mid-March), the yearbook staff will create a memorial ad that will include the student’s photo, birth and death dates and the words, “In Memory.” The ad will run in the current year’s yearbook.
  • Any deaths that occur after the final publication deadline will be included in the online news.

Yearbook Sales

  • Only a limited quantity of yearbooks is ordered. Because the books are printed in one press run, it is not possible to order additional books. Students and parents are encouraged to order early and keep a record of their order to guarantee a copy.
  • The price of the yearbook increases throughout the school year. The lowest price will be offered in August, with an increase in January and another after delivery.
  • Additional books are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at a higher price. There is no guarantee additional books will be available after final pre-sales date has passed.

Free Books

  • Since the yearbook is a business that must cover its publication costs, the staff does not offer free books.
  • A complimentary book will be given to the campus principal. Any additional books for school or district personnel must be purchased.

 

Refunds

  • Yearbooks are a custom product printed in one press run based on the school’s pre-sales. Therefore, there are no refunds.
  • Refunds on duplicate yearbook orders are not guaranteed.

 

Club & Team Photographs

  • Club photographs are taken on a set day pre-determined by the adviser. The date (usually in January) will be e-mailed to club sponsors. There are no retakes or make-ups of this day.
  • Groups that have professional photos taken may submit a copy to the yearbook staff instead.
  • Team photographs are scheduled by their respective coaches. It is the coach’s responsibility to have a copy of the team photo sent to the yearbook staff.
  • Coaches and sponsors are responsible for providing rosters with correctly spelled names and offices held.

Underclassman pictures

  • All students and personnel must be photographed by the official photographers from Lifetouch in order to have their portrait in the yearbook. Photos may not be submitted from other photographers, and images from previous years will not be used.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to take a school picture on the scheduled picture day or the retake day. Dates are posted all over the school, announced, and emailed to students and teachers. Please check with the school, adviser or school website for the specific dates.
  • If a student misses all picture opportunities or enrolls after the scheduled dates, the student may contact Lifetouch at 512-251-5558 to set up a portrait at the studio.
  • Because of publication deadlines, the yearbook staff will not run school pictures taken after the portrait deadline. Please contact the adviser for the final portrait deadline.
  • Proofs of portraits are posted for one week and all students are asked to check their portrait and name for accuracy. It is the student’s responsibility to verify their information. Any changes must be requested in person in the newsroom. Changes cannot be made after the posted deadline (usually in December).
  • Purchase of a yearbook does not guarantee the purchaser’s photo will appear in the book. Students should verify their portraits and information as stated above.

 

Senior portraits

  • The school has an exclusive photography contract with Prestige. Only senior portraits taken by Prestige will be used in the people section of the yearbook.
  • Most seniors will be contacted by Prestige in May. However, students who are new to Westwood or who have recently moved may not receive such messages. It is the student’s responsibility to contact Prestige and schedule a senior portrait session early in the summer. It is recommended that students schedule early, as appointments do fill up.
  • It is each student’s responsibility to take their portrait by the high school’s portrait deadline. November 1 is the deadline for having the senior portrait taken.
  • Because of publication deadlines, the yearbooks may not run senior portraits taken after the portrait deadline.
  • A sitting fee is charged to cover the cost of shooting and processing portraits. This fee allows the staff to put your portrait in the yearbook even if you choose not to purchase any prints from Prestige.
  • Senior portraits are posted online by Prestige and a link is sent to each subject so that the yearbook pose may be selected. If a pose is not selected by the published deadline, an appropriate pose will be selected by Prestige or the yearbook adviser.
  • Please note that yearbook poses must be head and shoulders only, and must be an outdoor portrait in the student’s own clothes (no cap-and-gown).  The goal of this policy is to show each student’s individuality while maintaining consistency for the portrait section.
  • Once received by the yearbook staff, proofs of portraits are posted for one week and all students are asked to check their portrait and name for accuracy. Any changes must be requested in person in the newsroom. Changes cannot be made after the posted deadline.

Senior Ads

  • Detailed information for each year’s senior ads is available on the Senior Ad form, available under Yearbook Info on the news site.
  • Senior ads may be purchased online with a credit card or on campus with a check or cash.
  • Senior ads must adhere to the picture and word limits set in the contract. The yearbook staff has the right to edit, remove or delete pictures and messages if the limits are exceeded.
  • Proofs of all ads are provided via e-mail. Recipients have 48 hours to respond with any changes. Parents are encouraged to review ads carefully because the staff is not responsible for errors once the ad is approved. Parents have one opportunity to ask for revisions. Additional revisions or photo changes will not be accepted. Any ads not reviewed will run as is.
  • Photos should be school appropriate. Photos featuring nudity, suggestive clothing or poses, illegal activities, and the like will not be published.
  • Because of copyright law, poems and song lyrics are limited to one or two lines.
  • Beware of photographers offering to design your senior ad for a fee. Pre-d­esigned ads, collages, or PDFs of ads are not accepted. All ads will be designed by the yearbook students and designed to follow yearbook design standards and be consistent with the rest of the book’s design.
  • Photos and text may be submitted online when paying for the ad, uploaded later, emailed directly to [email protected], or brought to the newsroom in person. All ad content must be received by the posted deadline in order to be included. Deadlines will be advertised and may be obtained from the news site or by calling the newsroom at 512-428-3286.
  • A discount is available for ads that are complete (paid in full and all content submitted) by October 31. In order to get the discount, this transaction must be made in person in the newsroom, and payment must be made by cash or check. This discount is not available online. We cannot make refunds once a purchase has been made online. Please plan accordingly.
  • Ad content for ads must be received by December 31 to guarantee publication. Failure to submit content by this date constitutes forfeiture of the space and payment.
  • Every effort will be made to please the customer; however, parents should understand that the yearbook staff will adhere to policies and guidelines regarding design and content. Some parent requests cannot be honored. We ask that you respect our judgment regarding the design and content of our publication.

Senior Superlatives

  • Senior class favorites are voted on by the senior class. Every effort is made to promote the voting so that every senior has the opportunity to vote. In the event that a student wins more than one category, he or she is awarded the category in which he or she earned the most votes; the other category is awarded to the next runner-up. No student will be awarded multiple categories.

 

Restriction Forms & Directory Information

  • The school district gives all parents an opportunity to restrict their students’ directory information. If this option is chosen, by law the newspaper and yearbook are not allowed to run the student’s name, picture or any reference to the student.
  • The yearbook adviser may or not contact parents about this restriction. Parents are encouraged to review forms carefully, so as not to unintentionally exclude their children from the yearbook.
  • If the student wishes to use a different name in the yearbook than what is in the official school records, the request must be made in person in the newsroom. Such requests must be made for each school year, no later than September 30. It may not be possible to make the change after that.

 

The above policies have been approved by the Westwood High School administration.