Mrs. Maria Baker



Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Maria Baker

Welcome to Orange High School Journalism I

Course Syllabus / Outline

Mrs. Maria Baker -


Course Description:

This course is designed to introduce the student to the fundamental elements of news writing, page layout, and incorporate basic photography.  Students will learn the terms and concepts of journalism, including the history of the field and the ethics of journalism. Students will be collaborating in groups on research projects.  Classes will include discussions, workshops, group and individual meetings, guest speakers, writing, revising, and publishing. Students will read and discuss recently published articles and historical artifacts that have appeared in print or online, and will also read and evaluate examples of creative journalism.  Another topic the class will cover are the effects of social media on journalism.

In addition to the class assignments, students will be producing the Orange High School newspaper.  Since this is an English elective, students should be mindful that the skills honed in English class will also apply to this class, especially grammar and usage.  

Students will be able to find a particular niche within the field of journalism and spend time directing his/her energy toward that area of interest.  For example, they may be more interested in photojournalism than in feature writing, or editorials than sports writing.

Course Outcomes:

To learn about the history of the American Press.  To learn about journalistic ethics, law, and policy.  To discover creating news articles, editorials, reviews, features, profiles, sports articles, and columns in the creation of the online school newspaper: name TBD.  Students will write often and share ideas during class in various modalities. 

Required Supplies:

Notebook, folder, pen, pencil, highlighter, Post-it notes

Grading Policy:

Grades will be based on the completion and performance on all class assignments, tests, quizzes, participation, homework, and projects.  A passing grade in English IV is a graduation requirement.

Authentic Assessment              25%

Classwork                                20%

Quizzes                                   20%

Tests                                        25%

Homework                               10%

Total                                        100%

Academic Dishonesty Policy:

 Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated.  If fraud is suspected, an automatic zero will be granted for the assignment.

Classroom Expectations: 

I am here to teach, and you are here to learn. You are expected to behave in a manner that is conducive to learning.  This behavior includes: 

  • Be polite – be respectful to your teachers, classmates and yourself
  • Be prompt – be on time for class before the bell rings and in your assigned seat
  • Be prepared – arrive to class with all required materials and assignments
  • Be productive – use your precious time efficiently from bell to bell with 100% effort
  • Participate – engage in classroom activities with a positive attitude
  • Cell phone usage is prohibited during class times and rude to teachers; please keep them away

Daily Procedure:

When arriving to class:

  • Enter the classroom in an orderly manner.
  • Be in your assigned seat, have appropriate materials out, and be ready to work.
  • Take out your homework and leave it on your desk.
  • Begin working on the “Do Now” activity.
    • If you are tardy, do not disrupt the class, no discussion is necessary.
    • Enter quietly, sign in on Tardy Log, place pass (if you have one) on my desk and begin daily tasks. 

During class:

  • Wait quietly for the teacher’s instruction.
  • Listen and follow the directions the first time that they are given.
  • Raise your hand and wait to be called on before speaking or leaving your seat.
  • Remain on task and ALWAYS put forth your BEST effort.

At the end of the class:

  • We work bell to bell; I will let you know when to stop working and to start packing up.
  • Make sure you have the homework assignment. 
  • Stay in your seat until you are dismissed.
  • Leave the classroom in a quiet and orderly manner, take any trash and dispose of it properly.

Student Responsibilities:

Homework - Homework is an extension of the classroom and an essential component of learning.  It is expected that you will complete the homework regularly and on-time (meaning ready to hand in or discuss at the beginning of class the next day).

Absences - If you are absent from class for any reason (i.e., illness, vacation, field trip, sporting event, etc.) then it is your responsibility to obtain and make up the assignments missed.

Class Participation/Attentiveness - This is very important. Your effort to make our classroom the best possible learning environment will be rewarded. Questions are essential for learning; if you have one, then please ask politely. They help guide instruction and allow you to become actively involved in the class. Class participation also includes your behavior and attentiveness in classes.

Extra Help - If you are experiencing difficulty in the class or with a specific assignment, please email me at  or see me for additional assistance. 


I believe in your potential; I will help you believe in it and reach it!  Let’s make it an awesome year!


Student progress can be tracked by logging in to the Genesis Parent/Student Portal.  If you do not have access to this portal, please contact the guidance office.  I will gladly discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have when you schedule a meeting or contact me via email or phone.