What Will the Yearbook Look Like for the Class of 2021?


A 2021 yearbook staff meeting over Zoom

The yearbook committee is facing the major setback of the pandemic but they have not let it strain their creativity. They’ve managed to push all obstacles aside to ensure the graduating class of 2021 will have a worthy yearbook for their unforgettable senior year. Even if that means working extra hard remotely to put the contents of the book together for the seniors. 

“I am just amazed by the cover, the cover is amazing,” Ms. Apale says. “They’re so creative and they really put a lot of work into it and all the features are amazing. Yes, the seniors are submitting their own photos, but the level of creativity and the layout on the spread, it’s really worth it. It’s coming out as a quality yearbook and I’m just so amazed at what the kids can do in spite of the pandemic.” 

Previous years consisted of taking photos in the building, but this year, the committee has created a Google Classroom for the graduating class to submit their own photos, based on different themes. Ms. Apale is the teacher in charge of the yearbook committee and handles the Google Classroom to make it possible for students to participate. Since Francis Lewis is not having school events, the yearbook staff had to create other ways to get photos of students to fill the book.

 “It’s different because we had all these events such as the pep rally, spirit week, and the holiday assembly. Those were already in place and all we needed to do is send our photographers to take those photos of seniors and we don’t have that this year,” Ms. Apale said. “So it has become quite a challenge and we are now thinking out of the box and sending out these yearbook initiatives to ask seniors to support us by submitting their own photos. Most of them are themed and we’ve been heavily advertising.” 

Some seniors are concerned that the yearbook will not meet their expectations on account of the conditions we are facing this school year, leaving many questioning whether or not they should purchase the book, afraid that it won’t be worth it. 

“I understand that some students may be concerned due to the circumstances we’re in, where they think the yearbook will have less content,” Katherine Chau, Editor in Chief of the Yearbook Committee, said. “However, with what the senior class is contributing and the pictures that our photographers have taken, our content this year is unique and differs from previous years.”

The communication between the Yearbook Committee and the senior class has expanded since they are utilizing social media and other online platforms for students to send featured photos of themselves for the book.

In addition to the Google Classroom, the committee has also created an Instagram account to promote students to send in pictures of themselves. Superlative winner for “most likely to become a movie star,” Brendan Sandhovel, thinks this is a great idea for submitting photos. 

“I think the aspect of submitting photos that we took ourselves is unique and almost makes it more personalized as to what we want our yearbook to look like,” Sandhovel said. “The kind of senior year we’re having is nothing like any class has experienced before and I imagine that when we read over our yearbooks in a few decades from now, it’s gonna make it even more interesting to look back on these times.” 

Prior to the school shutdown, the yearbook staff was able to profile students at school and schedule photoshoots with students. In addition to these photos, they are also including photos from our previous three years in Francis Lewis. Despite this, students are still having concerns about purchasing the yearbook. Muskaan Bisal won the superlative for “best couple” and shared her opinion on why students might not purchase the book this year. 

“The pandemic completely messed up the senior experience for our class and I know a lot of kids are struggling with keeping their heads up,” Bisal said. “The final year of high school is always supposed to be the fun one but now it’s the one where students feel the most trapped. School spirit as a whole is at an all time low, especially for seniors who were ready for a year of activities and fun.”

This is the first time that a senior class is having the experience of a fully remote school year and no one is happy about it. Nevertheless, seniors should not let this sole year dictate their high school experience as a whole. The yearbook will contain your memories from 2017 through 2021 and it is important to keep this in mind when asking yourself if you should purchase the book. 

“I’d say that the committee is doing a great job creating a keepsake for the seniors,” says Chau. “To those who are not buying it, I’m sure they’re going to regret it when everyone else receives their book; they will be amazed by the book we were able to produce to capture the memories of all.”

Many students want the opportunity to look back and remember the good times they had in high school. Many are just looking for reassurance that their yearbook will be filled with memories rather than the dull moments of online schooling. 

“I think having the opportunity when you’re older to look back on these times, with your kids and other family members, is worth the money that you spend on it,” Sandhovel said. “At the end of the day, you’re more likely to regret not buying a yearbook that you’ll have forever, than you are to regret spending a few dollars for it.”