How do you create a high-school yearbook when nothing happened at school?

For the entire school year, Glendale High like most other schools, has been off-limits to students because of the COVID-19 crisis.
GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- In a year compressed, confined and consumed by the coronavirus pandemic, some local high school students find themselves facing a problem that could haunt them for the rest of their lives: How do you put together a yearbook when hardly anything happened at your school?

"It has been a real challenge," said Glendale High School's yearbook advisor Jon Livingston. "The kids have just been amazing, and they've just done such incredible work."

For the entire school year so far, Glendale High like most other schools, has been off-limits to students because of the COVID-19 crisis. There have been no football games, no rallies, no in-person classes, just a daily blur of Zoom meetings.

"None of our kids have set foot on campus this year," said Livingston. "This will be the first time in the more than 100-year history of our school that we are creating a yearbook completely online without any on-campus events, or for that matter, any off-campus events."

Making the process even harder, Livingston and his student staff only meet via Zoom. And even though the school didn't hold any homecoming activities, the students still voted on a homecoming court. The yearbook photographers dropped by their homes to snap pictures of the high school royalty.

But because of the dearth of activities, Livingston and his yearbook staff have decided to put together a book that tries to document how students coped with the pandemic.

"We tackled the yearbook more as a history book," Livingston said. "I think 10 years from now the kids are going to have a hard time wrapping their head around this, about what happened...and we really wanted to capture that."

"I really miss being on campus," said Glendale senior Shadia Moran. "There's like, so much that I lost."

Moran is on the yearbook staff and is frustrated with how students have reacted to efforts to collect material for the annual. The editors have been practically begging for students to send in quotes and pictures of how they're dealing with such an odd school year. But the photos aren't exactly pouring in.

"A lot of people are kind of bummed the way it's turning out, but I mean, it's so difficult because there's only so many resources that we have."

Despite the challenges, the Glendale High yearbook will come to life. A standard hardcover edition, with not-so-standard content, should be ready for students to pick up in May.
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