Yearbook staff works to meet deadline from home

The current quarantine due to COVID-19 has been both an illuminating and trying time for yearbook editor-in-chief Sophi Jacanin (12). With a looming due date of April 13 for the entire yearbook, a complete cancellation of spring sports and social isolation has made finishing certain aspects of the yearbook extremely difficult. Circumstances outside of the virus have also complicated things, Jacanin said.

“Unfortunately, spring sports did end early,” Jacanin said, “and before they ended, we had non-stop rain, so we didn’t get many photos.”

In terms of COVID-19 itself, mandatory quarantine also makes it hard to get the last of the club and school organization photos, meant for the back section of the yearbook.

“Because we don’t actually have all the group pictures, some pictures for the organizations will not be put in, as it’s impossible to actually get group photos now,” Jacanin said.

Yet despite the suddenness of the quarantine and looming deadlines, a support system within the student staff has sprung up quickly and efficiently.

“Mr. Wenger and our editors-in-chief have been extremely helpful when it comes to difficulties like this,” staff member Erica McCann (11) said. “We’ve all been communicating and so if someone can’t complete a task due to technical issues or something, someone else who has access to the software will do the task instead.”

Working diligently with other members of the staff, Jacanin and co-editor-in-chief Kailin Storms (12) have set up Zoom calls and individual FaceTime calls in order to organize what needs to be done. Within the first week of break, the two had met up and figured out issues with the spring sports section.

Despite unpreventable setbacks, such as communication and computer access issues, progress has been steady and the staff has rallied together to try to finish the few sections left. Those who can are taking on unfinished tasks, in order for everything to come together in the end.

“Kailin and I have been taking on others’ responsibilities and just finishing them,” Jacanin said, “so that we can keep on track for our deadline even though it means a bunch more work for us.”

The fact that the yearbook utilizes an on-line publishing software called eDesign, a cloud-based platform easily accessible anywhere, also helps progress immensely. Storage of team photos in Google photos, the implementation of which happened only this year, makes things a lot easier for staff members who need to finish spreads. With tools within reach even at home, tasks that once would have been hard to finish without being at school  can now be done from almost anywhere.

“Before, we could only access the photos we took over the year by working in the hallway or the yearbook room,” Jacanin said. “This year, we can access the photos from anywhere that has internet access and a digital device, making it perfect to work from home or anywhere.”

Overall, this year’s yearbook is right on track, according to McCann. The close due date, while stressful, also means that there was very little left to complete before the final yearbook was meant to be turned in. With only a single chronological spread left, courtesies and pictures from other organizations are being gathered in order to achieve the final product.

Even the spring sports section, despite being constrained in terms of content, is finishing strong, according to Jacanin. With two sports to a spread, all the teams will still be documented, with explanations here and there to address possible photo absences.

In the end, despite the disruption, the quarantine has been a learning experience, according to McCann.

“I feel like it just helped us realize that we needed to trust each other,” McCann said, “And work together cooperatively to step up and finish the yearbook.”

For Jacanin, the quarantine has helped foster closer ties with certain members of the staff. 

“Though COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, myself included,” Jacanin said, “it has brought me closer to some people I never thought I would be close to, and I’m thankful for that.”