The Acorn Newsmagazine is a publication of Royal Oak High School

The Acorn Newsmagazine class offers students opportunities to develop their abilities as global thinkers and ethical reporters as they research, report, and publish articles on local, national, and world issues for a monthly news publication in magazine format.

Articles in the magazine focus on connecting readers to their school, community, nation, and the larger world. As members of the magazine staff, students employ journalistic principles and skills to write stories that reflect the truth, credibility, balanced reporting, and a more global worldview. Students use InDesign and Photoshop software to design the news magazine, which is written, funded, and published by students and supervised by a faculty adviser. 

The magazine is registered with the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (based at Michigan State University) and is submitted for review and evaluation by professional journalists every year. The Acorn has earned the distinction of the MIPA Spartan Award (most recently in 2018), and seven of its editors have been honored with the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award for Journalism.

Recent Issues:

Senior Wills - June 2021

April 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

November 2020

June 2020 
A number of seniors participated and contributed some very thoughtful reflections in this June 2020 edition of the Acorn. There are student pictures, reflections on favorite moments in school, special shout-outs to friends and staff members, and more.

 

The Acorn is produced by students taking the following elective course:

 WRITING FOR THE SCHOOL NEWSMAGAZINE 1 & 2
Journalist Writing preferred, but not required.  Student must apply for membership.

Course Description:

Students will develop their abilities as global thinkers and ethical reporters as they research, report, and publish articles on local, national, and world issues for a monthly news publication in magazine format. Articles in the magazine will focus on connecting readers to their school, community, nation, and the larger world. As members of the magazine staff, students will employ the principles and skills learned in the journalistic writing course to write stories that reflect the truth, credibility, balanced reporting, and a more global worldview. Students will use InDesign and Photoshop software to design the news magazine, which is written, funded, and published by students and supervised by a faculty adviser.  The magazine is registered with the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (based at Michigan State University) and is submitted for review and evaluation by professional journalists every year. The ROHS news magazine will feature in-depth news and feature stories, as well as editorials, sports stories, and columns.  Members of ROHS and the Royal Oak community will be interviewed for their perspectives.

Royal Oak High School Publication wins highest Statewide Award

April 2018

Acorn, Royal Oak High School’s quarterly, student-led magazine, was recently presented with the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s highest rating, the Spartan Award, for the first time in nine years.

The rating was awarded based on the publication’s news and sports coverage; writing and editing; design; photography and graphics; and editorial content. Three issues of Acorn were also critiqued by national journalism leaders and returned to the publication’s 27-person staff with the award.

Ann Maudlin, English Language Arts teacher and adviser for Acorn, said it is particularly special for students at ROHS to be recognized for journalism. 

“There were goals set at the beginning of the year,” she said. “We were going to enter this contest, we were going to make the changes that we outlined in the fall, and the students followed through.”

Editors-in-chief Megan Shaffer, senior, and Lindsey Vaitkevicius, senior, spent the summer combing through last year’s submission and developing an improvement plan.

“Last year, our class as a whole was more focused on the design aspect of the magazine,” Shaffer said. “This year we really put the focus on writing good quality stories, and keeping the layouts a little more simple, while still keeping them up to par.”

Made up of sophomores, juniors, and seniors, Acorn, covers a variety of topics, like school news and broader news pieces that are localized for the ROHS population. 

“I think the mission of the publication has evolved,” Maudlin said. “Ultimately, we hope to honor our readers, encourage a variety of voices and opinions, and devote ourselves to the pursuit of truth.”

According to MIPA’s website, the organization is a nonprofit “composed of scholastic journalism teachers and publications advisers and their students. MIPA is committed to promoting and recognizing excellence in scholastic journalism at all levels through education, training, and support of student journalists and their advisers.”