Normally, at the start of the year, students would go with their personalization classes to get their photos taken for the yearbook in the auditorium. However, picture day looked a lot different this year. To follow social distancing guidelines, yearbook photos will be taken at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, on Saturday, Sept. 19.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, students across the world have turned to remote online learning to start the 2020-2021 school year. As a result of the suspension of in-person schooling, which was enforced by the Broward County Public Schools board, activities that would have occurred during the first few weeks of school have been adjusted. The Homecoming dance is up in the air as to whether or not it will happen, sports have been postponed, curriculum night was held online, clubs have been meeting through video platforms, and yearbook photos aren’t taken in school.
To sign up for photo taking, students and parents must visit the school’s online website announcement, where they can then choose which day to go in and take their yearbook photo.
To schedule their appointment time, parents will click the link provided by Strawbridge Studios, the photography company in charge of this year’s pictures. Each slot is 5 minute periods between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m on each of the dates. Parents will then receive an email confirming their picture package choice and the date/time slot. It is recommended to pick a time slot earlier in the day and to get there 5 minutes before your appointment.
“Choosing an earlier time was definitely better and definitely not busy whatsoever,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School junior Giselle Hinsen said.
Once you arrive at Parkridge Church, the entrance is located on the side of the building along North 52 St., where students can park or be dropped off. After walking through an outside hallway, the student will get in line where the Parkridge Church employees ensure you are at least 6 feet apart from others at all times.
Once the students reach the front of the line they head inside to one of the two photography stations that are on separate ends of the auditorium. Once the students are seated they are permitted to take their mask off for the picture and put it right back on after. The students are able to approve the photo and must exit using the door to the left of the one used to enter.
“We walked in, waited a few minutes [in line], then we went through the door, and took the picture,” junior Logan Andrews said.
Parents are allowed to walk in with their kids or wait outside in their car. They are not able to stand in the hallway outside the auditorium because this can form a crowd and break CDC regulations of social distancing.
“Given the current situation of the county I think it was planned very efficiently, my daughter was in and out in under five minutes,” MSD parent Kimberly Alvarez said.
Safety-wise, there was one police officer and one Parkridge Church employee in the hallway at all times to make sure students and parents know where to go and stay at the recommended 6 feet apart. Right by the entrance/exit of the auditorium, there is a hand sanitizing station for individuals to use when leaving and entering the church.
All photographers stay 6 feet away from the student and remain masked the entire time, allowing the student to remove their own mask for the picture. If parents choose to enter the auditorium with the student they must stand off to the side and never remove their mask.
Although this yearbook photo process may not be ideal for some, during the current conditions of the county MSD must make do with what they can. Parkridge Church offered up their facilities to the school for yearbook photos.