Edison Jr. High School students are getting a lesson on the fourth estate by creating their own publication.
Since last year, gifted students in the Response to Intervention (RTI) program have been publishing the “Paw Prints” newspaper each month featuring pertinent issues on the local to national scale. Teacher Angela Arbogast said her 27 students developed issues for the first time in 2017 and printed the first official edition of the new school year this month. The five-page, printed edition is read by 250 students and about 20 teachers and includes a mix of world news, student and teacher interviews, school events, shout outs, teachers’ goals for monthly lessons, information on school clubs, birthdays and sports schedules. Arbogast said students enjoy participating in the “Paw Print” project since it began.
“The junior high gifted RTI began the ‘Paw Print’ under the direction of teacher Diane Mason last year. This year, they are running the project completely on their own,” Arbogast added. “I am the current junior high gifted RTI teacher, but the coordinating, undertaking, writing and distributing is done 100-percent by the students.”
She explained that RTI is a multi-tiered approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. At Edison, RTI is conducted in the morning during a half-hour homeroom period and students who struggle with a particular subject and have not succeeded on end-of-year testing required for graduation are grouped together and spend time preparing to retake the exam. Likewise, gifted students are grouped together to complete higher level thinking projects during RTI.
Editor Dylan Barker said he asked Arbogast about continuing the publication after participating in the project last year.
“It was something different,” he explained. “I asked Mrs. Arbogast if we could be able to do a newspaper again and she asked if we were willing. We have groups of students who work on each section and there are new people.”
The student staff includes many eighth-graders as well as some new seventh-grade participants.
“I love being able to keep it going. We started it last year and it’s nice to be able to see it going again,” Barker said.