Welcome to the land of Journalism, home of The Oracle, shsoracle.com, Journalism I, and Study Hall  in Room 120-the best room in the building.



Costa Rica's Natural Wonders

The journalism department is on the move again. This time we are going to Costa Rica departing June 5, 2017 and returning June 11, 2017

There is a parent information meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. in Room 120. You also can log on to eftours.com and enter tour number 1847104XZ for more information. We will be gone for 7 days and will visit Guanacaste, Arenal Region and visit Buena Vista Lodge and Adventure, go horseback riding, snorkeling, enjoying a boat tour of a wildlife refuge, tour a coffee plantation and visit La Fortuna Waterfall. It only costs $99 to enroll and convenient payment plans can be set up. The cost of the tour covers all transportation, airfare, hotel, meals and excursions.

Photo Here

Basic Information


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Contact Information

About Me

I have been teaching in the journalism department at Stratford High School for the past 36 years. I love teaching journalism, and advising the newspaper as much now as I did in the first year.

In addition to teaching  desktop publishing, independent study journalism and Journalism I and Study Hall. I advise The Oracle, the school newspaper, a 16 page publication which comes out 7 times a year.

Students in this program are held back only by whatever restrictions they place upon themselves. Just as good writers are good readers, good photographers look at other photographer's works. Students are encouraged to watch the news, to look at magazines, junk mail, any printed material to show them the trends in graphic design that are out there.

Photographers are expected to bring their cameras to class every day. There are plenty of opportunities for students to contribute to the publications before they are on staff. Every event that goes on in school should be photographed. Every student in this program represents another set of eyes and ears  that were not in the program before. Thank you for sharing your student with me.




 Journalism Education Association

University Interscholastic Press Association

National Scholastic Press Association

American Scholastic Press Association


Scan here to read the Oracle Newspaper:

Janice Cummons


Journalism Trips:

Costa Rica June 12-19, 2017

This all inclusive trip includes round trip flights on major carriers, comfortable motor coach, 6 overnight stays in hotels with private bathrooms, 3 meals daily and all excursion costs. It also includes a dedicated tour director throughout the entire trip, security guard for our group  in the hotel and all transfers. We are planning to tour Thermal Springs, go on a Canopy tour, visit a local school, go to Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge boat tour, the La Fortuna Waterfall, tour a coffee plantation and go snorkeling. Students will need a passport for this trip. We will also be attending a cooking class. 

For more information please log on to EFExploreAmerica.com/Enroll and enter tour number 1847104XZ Or call 1888.333.9756, or email me at janice.cummons@springbranchisd.com. Once you have registered you may set up  a payment planned log into a giving page that allows family and friends to donate to your trip.

Bring your camera, tell your friends who go to school at Statford and sign up for this amazing adventure. This trip is open to everyone so hope to see you on the plane on June 12.


The Oracle is online. We are updating it daily and will be posting the daily announcements on here as well. Check us out at http://shsoracle.com/

Everyone on staff has a job to do and everyone is encouraged to pitch their ideas on a regular basis. There is a regular print edition that needs to be "fed", as well as the online Oracle, the Twitter account, the Instagram account and the mobile app. Again, students are held back only by whatever restrictions they place upon themselves. If you know of a webdesigner, graphic artists, professional photographer, public relations person, or anyone else in the field that could come speak to the class please let me know. I want to have these students as prepared as possible, aware of all of the possibilites out there, and ready to take on the world. Thanks again for sharing your child with me.

Journalism I: Starting with basic interviewing and news writing and ending with newspaper and yearbook design this class will cover every aspect of journalism. This is the class where most of the future editors come from and where the students get to explore every facet of the field. Writers, graphic designers, photographers, computer people, ad salesmen, and online afficienados find their niche in here. 

Staff applications for the next year will be passed out in early March.

Feel free to contact me at janice.cummons@springbranchisd.com

Thank you for sharing your child with me. We are always looking for guest speakers to come to the room so the students can practice their interviewing skills. Feel free to call or email me if you have any suggestions. 



 Students should arrange a time with the instructor to make up in class assignments. Most of the assignments for these classes are posted on the deadline calendar in the room, on its learning, or on the dummy pages so students should never need to wonder what are we doing on any given day. Students will be given as much time as dictated by district policy. However, please keep in mind that newspaper is a mini business and students who miss an assignment in there- a photo shoot of an athletic event for instance- should arrange for another photographer to take their place. Unlike other classes, students who miss completing their assignment put an extra work load on the rest of the staff.  Journalism I is a feeder class for staff positions so eventually, it also, is run like a small business.



Tutorials are available Tuesday and Thursday after school from 3 p.m. To 3:45 p.m. and by appointment most any other afternoon.  Students also may come in before school for extra help or to lock their camera in the cage as I get to school usually by 7 a.m. depending on traffic.

Online communication for Journalism I will be through its learning  and Newspaper,Independent Study and the photography staff all have mailboxes in the front of the room and utilize their own methods of communication. Newspaper is run like a small business so they communicate via sections.

Class Assignments & Homework


1st period: Conference

3rd period: Newspaper I,II,III, Independent Study Journalism

5th period: Newspaper I,II,III, Independent Study Journalism

7th period:Newspaper I,II,III, Independent Study Journalism

2nd period: Journalism

4th period: Newspaper I,II,III, Independent Study Journalism

6th period: Study Hall

8th period: Conference

Issue publication dates are as follows:

August 26, September 23, October 28, December 2, February 3, March 10, and May 5.Ad staff is responsible for selling and designing the ads necessary to pay the printing bill.Please feel free to send us any ad contact ideas as we have to sell enough ads to fund the publication of the paper. You may contact us by either emailing me, or the staff at thestratfordoracle@gmail.com.  We also would love to be able to connect these students with professionals out in the field so if you have any ideas of possible guest speakers please send those on to us at either one of the emails listed above.

We also are online so please check us out at shsoracle.com