Tartan Yearbook adapts to pandemic

Photo courtesy of Natalia Garcia. The 2019-2020 Tartan yearbook staff poses on campus.

By Jennifer Liyanage

Even with the world in shambles and society seemingly on the edge of collapse, Granada Hills Charter (GHC) students never fail to impress. Clubs, tutoring, and other teams that were dependent on physical interactions with students, have been operating in a virtual environment for some months now. One group that has been seriously affected by this pandemic is the GHC Tartan Yearbook Committee. 

The yearbook staff’s usual goals to fill their pages with pictures of live events, activities on campus, and beyond are now compromised by online learning. Much of the student body is wondering whether or not they should pre-order the yearbook because they have no idea what content is going to be included. The only content guaranteed is senior pictures and quotations, along with the standard student pictures in each of the other grade levels. 

To adapt to their current circumstances, the yearbook class has been working closely together to pick a theme and create ideas to fill the blank pages that used to include live events. A rough solution discussed by the class is to have socially distanced photo shoots where members of Yearbook would safely meet and photograph other students to highlight certain events happening this year. Another idea which has happened in previous years is to allow photo submissions through Google Forms. 

With these changes, the price of the yearbook has lowered from $110 to $99. However, because the yearbooks are purchased from the Jostens company, there is no guarantee it will be lowered any more. 

“Our prices are based on our publishing plant. Usually in the summertime, the yearbook is $100, then in the beginning of the year it’s $110, but the highest it goes is $120 around the end of fall semester. The pricing is also based on how many pages we produce. We were able to cut down the price this year because we took out 50 pages since we can’t cover the events that were supposed to be in those pages,” senior and Editor-in-Chief Danielle Anz said. 

The class continues to work on the Jostens website where they can design multiple pages at a time and work interactively. With access to InDesign and Photoshop on their Chromebooks, the committee is working tirelessly to produce respectable outcomes. Through Zoom, they engage in team bonding and general preparation, actively collecting new ideas for this year’s unique yearbook. 

“Still having a space to work as a team and be creative is such a blessing. Because we are virtual, I feel like we are forced to be ten times more creative than before which is stressful and challenging, but also way more rewarding,” senior and Editor-in-Chief Lesley Kim said. 

Many ideas are limited because Yearbook cannot work together in person, making it much more difficult and time consuming to complete. Even with some great ideas, it takes a lot of time to contact GHC’s administration virtually and have them look over all the work, which is one more obstacle the committee has to face. On top of that, older yearbook members have to virtually train more than half of the new members on how to use the equipment and technology to create the yearbook.

“It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to go back to school to make the yearbook in person with the wonderful team we have this year. However, with the circumstances we are all in, the best part of yearbook and being online this year is how we’re able to stay so connected and close with each other as a family. As Danielle, Lesley, and I have been given the opportunity to lead yearbook’s team as the Editors-in-Chief, we always look forward to seeing our yearbookers each class period, being able to talk about our ideas with the class, and have the most memorable conversations with everyone creating a close bond digitally. This year will be one to remember, and I cannot wait to see this year’s book come to life with everyone’s collaborative ideas,” senior and Editor-in-Chief Natalia Garcia said.

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