Welcome to the land of Journalism, home of The Oracle, shsoracle.org, and Study Hall  in Room 120-the best room in the building. Here is where the sky is the limit as to what you can achieve.



Welcome to the Journalism World in Room 120. I am so excited to start this, my 37th year at Stratford High School. There is never a dull moment around here and there is always something new for all of us to achieve, to learn together, and to produce. The Oracle, the official school newspaper of Stratford High School is created in this room. We come out approximately once a month. The publication dates are August 25, September 22, October 27, December 1, February 2, March 9 and May 4. We are totally funded through the sale of ads so if you are looking at this page and might be interested in advertising with us please contact us at thestratfordoracle@gmail.com or by directly calling the room at 713 251 3454. Of course, an email to the adviser at janice.cummons@springbranchisd.com will also get you in touch with an ad staffer. In addition to the print paper we also try to update the online publication at shsoracle.org. Finally, study hall and photojournalism takes place in this room. Students in photojournalism are encouraged to freelance for newspaper or yearbook and to shoot photos that will be published in one of these places. We also have a television in the display case outside of the room, facing the courtyard. Student photos are placed in a looping movie for all to see. 



Students in this program have the ability to attend and record virtually every single event that happens on this campus or where Spartans may be competing. They represent the eyes and ears of the student body as they record, for history, the actions and excitement that surrounds this community.  Therefore, it is run like a business. Every person has a job, tailored to their skills at that particular moment. They are mentored, nurtured, led to the next level and eventually they become the mentors for the next generation. There is a deadline calendar posted on the drafting table at the front of the room right where they sign in at the beginning of each class. The photojournalism class has their own deadline calendar and together we make magic.

Photo Here

Basic Information


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About Me

I have been teaching in the journalism department at Stratford High School for the past 37 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 Phtojournalism 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:

Class Assignments & Homework


1st period: Study Hall

3rd period: Conference 

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

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

2nd period: Photojournalism, Independent Study Journalism I,II

4th period: Newspaper I,II,III

6th period: Conference

8th period ISS

Issue publication dates are as follows:

August 25, September 22, October 27, December 1, February 2, March 9, and May 4.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.org.

Janice Cummons



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.org

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.

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. I am here early every single morning and available most afternoons. 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.  Photojournalism 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 Photojournalism 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.