8 story ideas and features for your back-to-school coverage

Students will start going back to school in early August so now is a great time to begin planning your coverage with helpful information for parents, as well as considering good trend stories that help your audience understand what’s happening in education in your community.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Districts putting big money into data management

This story looks into how schools are using data to help with things like driving teaching in the classroom and staffing. However, finding data scientists and other high-tech people, hasn’t been easy. Look at how districts are utilizing data and for what and how recruiting for those roles has been going.

2. School shooting preparations

As school shootings continue to be a real concern for school districts, what is your district doing for the next school year? Medal detectors, school resource officers? Outline what has been done in the last year and what’s on the table this year. Consider looking at a nearby district that has done something innovative or different and have your own district comment on the options. Another neat way to approach this story based on what your district is doing is to lay out all of the options that could be done and have the district rank their priorities or even poll each of the school board members.

3. Athletes that are promoting themselves

Are there student athletes who seek out the press because they need the publicity to get scholarships? Look into how athletes promote themselves and tools they use to get word out in the name of landing scholarships. Are there others besides athletes who did this in other activities?

4. The value of good teachers and finding more of those

Studies show — and this post does a nice job of outlining it — the value that good teachers have on students. So, how is your school district hiring these good teachers and what is the kind of teacher they are trying to hire today from a skillset perspective?

5. Should animals come on college campuses?

Should students who struggle with issues like anxiety and depression be able to bring “emotional support animals” on college campuses? What policies would need to be enacted and what would it disrupt the learning experience?

6. Back-to-school shopping then and now

This is an interesting look back at how much back-to-school shopping has changed over the years. This is an interesting story to do going back in the archives to show what it cost and how the list of needed items has evolved. This is an excellent Facebook call to action.

7. Showcase back to school photos

This gallery from a TV station features photos from staff of their school age photos. This is fun to do with your staff as well as opening it up in the community.

8. What questions parents should ask

In this story, the report poses 18 questions parents should ask on back to school night. Many schools have teachers stop by to introduce themselves before school starts. A list of questions for them to ask would be useful, too.