Design. Photograph. Edit. Create a keepsake.
In the Yearbook class, students manage a 14-month project to create a 400-page book for the Upper School, a treasure that most students will keep for their entire lives. It’s a photo album, a piece of journalism, a keepsake and a historical document. Students learn and practice skills involving visual design, photography, writing and project management. Students can grow into leadership positions in which they oversee the production of the book and gain experience in supervising their peers.
Yearbook: Publication Design I
Students in this course are part of the yearbook staff. They collaborate with students in the Yearbook Club and any students doing independent studies to create a gorgeous 400-page book each year. New staff members learn about visual design, photography, image editing, and using software for graphic design. Because the book depends on students to create it, the staff must be productive, but the atmosphere in class is casual. It’s a fun change of pace from the usual daily schedule. -Students who go on from Publications I to Publications II can earn a University of California visual arts credit, as well as their Menlo Arts credit. Watch a video overview of this course here.
Yearbook: Publication Design II
In this course, students take part in designing the form and content of the annual book. This class receives both a Menlo Arts credit and a UC Visual Arts credit.
Students will learn more about the central principles of design: shape, line, color, repetition and balance. They also dive more deeply into what makes good photography and why in yearbook photography we emphasize faces, action, context and emotion. And they practice shooting and choosing photos to create strong page layouts.
Prerequisite: Publication Design I
Yearbook: Publication Design Leadership
In this third-year class students build on everything they learned in the first two years and add to that the challenge of managing peers, leading the staff through a year-long trek to create our book. These publications veterans make decisions for the designs for pages and the book overall. It is their responsibility to incorporate all that they have learned about design in their first two years in an aesthetically pleasing and very practical creation.
Open to juniors and seniors.
“Yearbook provided our daughter Kerry with skills that helped her excel in college and gave her an early boost in her career. Yearbook offers students experience in things few young people do prior to their first (or second) post-college career job: being an individual contributor and supervising the work of others. Deadlines have serious consequences in this class (losing money, omitting pages from the yearbook), just as they do in real life. Students also get to practice being both assertive and tactful, especially when dealing with unhappy customers or uncooperative individuals. Teamwork is a key to success in this class, just as it is in most jobs. Kerry’s employers have noticed that she meets deadlines and commitments much more consistently than others her age; we give the Yearbook class much of the credit.”
— Jamie and Joe Wang, parents
Tripp Robbins’ career path started in journalism then serendipitously zigged into teaching high school students in 1985, and he’s been loving teaching ever since. He earned an MA from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. He has taught journalism and publications, English, history, theater, digital media, and moviemaking. In 2021, he created a new class in stage combat. He’s a member of the Journalism Education Association and sits on the board of the Journalism Education Association of Northern California and on the Scholastic Press Law Committee.