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How 2 Advisers Are Handling COVID-19 Closures and Coverage

How 2 Advisers Are Handling COVID-19 Closures and Coverage

By Nicole Hammond, Professional Development Trainer
March 23, 2020

Unprecedented. Pandemic. Shelter-in-place. Social distancing. Coronavirus.

The world is a scary place this spring, and not only do we as adults need to allay our students’ fears (as well as our own), but we need to provide a sense of normalcy in what is decidedly NOT normal times. So, while schools are closed and everyone is staying at home, completing your yearbook using Creator Studio will help keep campus momentum going, as well as help you and your team stay in touch, work toward a goal, and share a routine.  

We are here to help you with this in any way we can, but we also know that there is nothing like hearing from the people who are in the trenches with you! We recently spoke with two of our fabulous advisers who not only shared their own COVID-19 coverage ideas, but also encouraged other schools to work with their staff to complete the school year, and their yearbooks!

Charlotte Walden – High School Adviser from Troy, Alabama

  1. What are the demographics of your group (number in your school or co-op, on your staff, approximate number of books)

My staff serves a student body of around 500 in grades 9-12 and we sell an average of around 130 books per year. The majority of our sales come from the senior class each year. We are a small staff of less than 10.

  1. How long have you been an adviser? 

This is my 5th year as yearbook adviser and I have been fortunate to add a co-sponsor (Sharon Rhodes) this year who has been invaluable to our team!

  1. Where did you get your inspiration for coverage on the virus/quarantine?

In the midst of deciding what/if we needed to delete pages, my lead senior editor had the idea to create a spread that would justify these omissions to the reader. He wanted this spread to be at the beginning of the book so it would be one of the first pages seen to help explain our modified book.

  1. Is your school community embracing this coverage?

I truly believe the recipients of this year’s edition of The Trojan will be excited to see coverage for all of the great things that did get to happen this school year. While there will be some limited information and images of all of the spring sports and events that didn’t happen, my staff is doing a great job of covering and stretching what they can to make this yearbook the best they possibly can. 

  1. If the quarantine lasts longer (a couple of months) what else will you be doing/trying to ensure that your are able to complete your yearbook?

Thankfully, the online platform is allowing students to work remotely which is something they are already accustomed to. The yearbook staff were some of the last students on our school’s campus the day we were forced to leave which shows their dedication to making the best of this unfortunate situation. 

  1. What advice can you give to the other advisers in this situation?

We are all in this same predicament together and everyone understands that content may be modified and shortened. My best advice is to put together a book that showcases the best of all the great things that did happen and really focus on that. Consider having your staff reach out to various students via email or social media platforms to see how they are spending their time during the “break” and how it is effecting them. Do feature stories on these students to fill pages that may have otherwise had to be deleted. 

downloadCharlotte and her staff created this great spread on the virus and have very graciously allowed us to add a version to our editor so that ALL schools can use it if they want! Look for this to be added as a background by mid-April. Thank you Charlotte and the yearbook staff at Charles Henderson High School!

 



Trish Haun
– Co-op Adviser from Texas

  1. What are the demographics of your group (number in your school or co-op, on your staff, approximate number of books)

Our co-op consists of just under 100 families, with approximately 230-240 students. I have six high school students on staff and we sell about 100 books.

  1. How long have you been an adviser? 

This is my second year as sole adviser, but I was a co-adviser three years ago.

  1. Where did you get your inspiration for coverage on the virus/quarantine?

A friend in the co-op suggested I document the virus/quarantine and I felt I’d be remiss if I didn’t. As I contemplated creating survey questions for our group, I knew I wanted to focus on the positive side of all of this. At about the same time, our director asked our group to share “a blessing that has come out of this crisis,” and people immediately started contributing short vignettes. 

Though we are accustomed to having our kids with us all day and managing their schooling, we also tend to stay very busy with outside activities. In our coop, many of the moms work and our kids are involved in every type of sport, musical pursuit, acting, debate, scouts, teen court, civil air patrol—you name it. I immediately felt a sense of relief from not having to run hither and tither and I knew others would feel the same. 

  1. Is your community embracing this coverage?

I like to keep the contents of the yearbook a surprise, but people know I pull a lot of photos and ideas from our private Facebook group page. I am proud of the positive attitude that everyone has, and, despite the crisis, I think we will all look back on this as a time of stretching and growth. 

  1. If the quarantine lasts longer (a couple of months ) what else will you be doing/trying to ensure that you are able to complete your yearbook?

This won’t be an issue because we usually complete our book by early April so it can be ordered and distributed by the end of April. We have a shortened spring semester because most families use the time we are not meeting to catch up on or pursue other schooling.

  1. What advice can you give to the other advisers in this situation?

We too feel the disappointment of not having prom, graduation, field trips, and numerous other activities. We are concerned for those vulnerable to illness and those things that are out of our control. To me, it feels like being positive is the only option. Regardless of the type of school you are in, this will be a time that all of us will remember well. We can always look up all the negative outcomes, but I want to remember the ways we made the best of it.

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Got ideas? We’d love to hear them. Please reach out to us at marketing@picabooyearbooks.com if you have been exploring ways to cover this pandemic in your yearbook.

Get inspired with more story ideas here.

 

Posted in: Coverage, COVID-19.