Like most things about the Class of 2020, the yearbooks has a lot of question marks on its pages.
Will there be spring sports to highlight?
Are prom pictures going to be featured?
What will replace the cancelled NHS induction?
No one is sure what the final product will look like, but the closure of Chelsea High and the isolation of its students has not stopped the Yearbook Club from thinking creatively. Knowing that they needed to acknowledge the COVID-19 experience somewhere in the yearbook, they decided to dedicate the first several pages to senior class reflections.
They’re call the section – Quaran-Teens.
“We wanted to do something about what students are doing in the middle of a quarantine,” said Editor Jasmin Jeval. “The idea is to check in with the seniors to see what they’re doing to pass time and write something about their experiences and maybe take a few pictures – showing how they have gotten through this situation.”
The idea is to be funny and goofy, but they are leaving space for some things that might be serious as well.
Lisa Molina said they are the freshman class that came in with the infamous “fly-cation” four years ago – missing a great deal of school in December and January due to an infestation of flies in Chelsea High. Now, they are going out as the COVID Class.
“We were the freshmen during fly-cation,” she said. “Now were dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. The fact both of those things happened to us is kind of a joke for a lot of us at this point. I feel like our class has worked really hard over the years. We’ve done so much fund-raising and fun things. We’re still working on the yearbook and we’re very serious about seeing this thing through.”
Jeval said the staff of the yearbook don’t have access to the software they need to work on the yearbook, so they’ve been drawing up some ideas and sending them to Advisor Matt LaBranche using Google Docs. They also do check-in meetings using Zoom, which has kept the senior class connected in a lot of ways.
They system has been working, but they hope they can get some content from their classmates for the Quaran-Teen section.
“I think it will be the first few pages, but we don’t want it to all reflect this time, because we had a lot of great times that weren’t related to the virus,” said Molina. “We had two full quarters of school before this happened and school closed.”
Supt. Almi Abeyta said she saw the flier for the yearbook section and thought it was a great idea. That said, she wanted to figure out a way to really support the students, who are working so hard despite not being able to physically meet. So, she put it out on her social media handles and on the school website.
“I got a lot of great reactions, but some of my colleagues out of state thought it was for everyone,” she said. “They wanted to submit some things too. So now, there are principals and superintendents from New York, Texas and California who are going to send in some things to me. They thought it was such a great idea and I did too.”
The goal is to have the yearbook done by the time the new graduation date comes around, hopefully in late June. Jeval, Molina and Rebecca Connors said they all have high hopes that they will be able to hand out the yearbook on the day of graduation – Quaran-Teen section and all the rest.
To get involved, CHS seniors can e-mail the staff at [email protected] for more information.