The Yearbook staff is bringing us closer in a year of distance

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Casey Critz, Staff Writer

Due to the pandemic, most in-person events have been canceled and the majority of our student body is learning from home. This has made the process of making the yearbook harder, with Krop’s 19-student yearbook staff, only two of which attend school physically, working relentlessly to put out a top-tier yearbook.

In a normal school year, the yearbook staff’s work is full of face to face communication.  Staff would spend their school hours interviewing students during lunch and collecting content by going to classrooms in search of quotes and photos. Student portraits and club pictures were set up in the auditorium, with Fox-Mar, the school photographer, spending the day photographing students.

However, the pandemic eliminated the staff’s usual ways of communication.  Most students were stuck online, with no way for staff to approach them as they usually would – they had to get creative.  To start, the staff created a Google Form that was sent out through the English department.  They were able to collect over 900 students’ social media, contact information and interests.  This made it possible for the staff to reach out to students for pictures, quotes and interesting hobbies they could feature in the yearbook. 

“We rely on things like social media and email to a degree I never thought we would need to,” Clubs editor, junior Kayla Brito said. “I never thought that the communication we had with students in previous years would be changed in a way that Covid has caused.  I’m honestly just proud of how the staff has been able to adapt.”

This year, the staff has had to adjust the usual plans of the yearbook, not having enough events and campus activities to complete the usual student life sections and club pictures. Instead, they chose to focus on aspects of students’ lives that take place regardless of covid. For example, there are spreads on fashion, having a job, food drives and more. The yearbook will still discuss Covid-19, focusing on the emotions, struggles and changes due to the pandemic, such as the pros of online learning or the struggles teachers and students are facing.

As for pictures, things might look a little different. Club pictures won’t be the usual group photos taken on the gym bleachers, as the yearbook staff had to follow social distancing rules.  Instead, club board members submitted individual pictures, and a list of club members was included underneath. For student portraits, there were two days where students could drive up to the school and have their picture taken by a Fox-Mar photographer. If students were not able to come to the school for their photo, the yearbook staff used their photo from last school year.

For communication between the staff themselves, they were not able to have their usual after school meetings in Adviser Natalie Bilbao’s room anymore. Instead, they relied on Zoom meetings and the occasional socially distanced group trip to Panera or Starbucks.

“Our yearbook staff is a family and this year has been harder to keep that relationship up,” editor-in-chief, senior Antonella Sira said. “We used to have parties, celebrate and communicate in class, but because of the pandemic we aren’t able to.” 

Sira was a My School Online (MSO) student and had to manage the class from home, struggling to find the motivation and time to complete the yearbook.

“I’ve been in yearbook for three years and have always been motivated to work on the book, but this year working from home and learning how to do that while being productive was hard, but I found my way,” Sira said. “We are making it happen.”

The books are scheduled to arrive May 26, and will be distributed during first and second lunch in front of the auditorium. The yearbook can be purchased for $95 at the Yearbook table during lunch, online at www.yearbookordercenter.com or through OSP on the Dadeschools portal.

“This process has been challenging, with something new to deal with everyday, but we all work hard to make sure the book is very good and everybody gets the recognition they deserve,” Sports editor, senior Stacy Williams said.