The student news site of Day Creek Intermediate School

The Day Creek Howl

The student news site of Day Creek Intermediate School

The Day Creek Howl

The student news site of Day Creek Intermediate School

The Day Creek Howl


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Howl team achieves Distinguished Site Award

The 2023-2024 Howl journalism team.

Credit: Mr. Gossage
The 2023-2024 Howl journalism team. Credit: Mr. Gossage

270 days, 17 hours, and 378 minutes of work. And it paid off on Friday, April 26, 2024, when Day Creek’s online newspaper program, The Howl,for the first time in SNO and Day Creek history.   

SNO stands for School Newspapers Online. This program was created to support journalism organizations nationwide. To become a distinguished SNO site, programs must complete a series of challenges within six categories, resulting in six badges. Badges range in complexity and difficulty, and require months of work for each distinct honor. The Howl had earned each of the six badges throughout its publishing history, but never all six in one year. 

“In the previous year, our team managed to earn four of the six badges. This [was frustrating] for us because we put so much hard work and effort into getting these awards. This year, we accomplished our goal of earning all six. But it wasn’t easy. We looked over our mistakes from last year, and we tried our absolute hardest to fix them and do what no other middle school news site had done,” said editor-in-chief, Sage P. 

With leadership and guidance from its 8th-grade editors, this year’s team was finally able to work through all six badges. After a little detective work from the Howl’s adviser, Mr. Gossage, and SNO’s Kyle Phillips, the Howl was able to confirm that this was the first time a junior high school had achieved this honor. 

“After looking back through our previous newsletters, and checking with SNO’s founders, there appears to be no record or recollection of a middle school earning Distinguished Site status before. So, it looks like Day Creek has a spot in SNO history! Congratulations!” said Kyle Phillips.

One badge that the team struggled with the most was the Multimedia badge. On its site, SNO explains: “To earn this badge, a news staff must publish at least three videos and three slideshows that meet standards of excellence in multimedia production.” 

The badge was tedious to attain due to complications with podcasting software and initial district restrictions. 

“Our district takes student online safety pretty seriously. Accessing what the Howl needed took a little work, but we’ve got some great support at the district. The tech wizards worked to find a way after Christmas, so here we are,” said Mr. Gossage, the Howl’s adviser. 

Video production produced another challenge for the team. Every member of the Howl is new each year, as the elective only exists for 7th grade students. This requires that each former writer and creator trains a replacement who may have their own unique way of producing what is required for the media badge. 

“I like CapCut because it’s easy to use and it provides all the basic skills needed to complete a video. Once the three videos were done, I felt confident that they’d accept it for a badge. The videos weren’t like anything before. I was ecstatic once I found out that we got accepted,” said  Derek C. 

One of the easier parts of the badge was the writing. Teams created memorable stories, opinions pieces and reviews over the 2023-2024 school year. 

“It’s a lot of work to get a SNO. You have to build up your articles and research a lot. My first SNO article took us a very long time, and we were behind because we had to make sure everything was accurate. I was happy and it was a wonderful feeling because your work pays off and gets recognized,” said journalism writer, Plum C. 

After earning each of the badges, the Howl staff received a congratulatory plaque and press release from SNO. The team is also scheduled to receive recognition from the Etiwanda School District board on May 30 at the district office.  

Congratulations to the 2023-2024 Howl journalism team! 

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