State High Students Unmask for Picture Day

State+High+students+wait+in+an+attempted+socially+distanced+line+for+their+picture+to+be+taken.+

Photo/Jade Castro

State High students wait in an attempted socially distanced line for their picture to be taken.

Natalie Pearson, Staff Writer

State High students began picture day on Tuesday, Sept. 1, but this year they had to face the challenge of COVID-19. The usual routine for picture days involves students walking down with their class, standing in line, and chatting with the people around them. Then, students sit down on a spinning chair or rest their arm on a stack of fake books and have their picture taken. Now, with the added factor of masks, social distancing, and the looming thought of the school shutting down, what did picture day look like this year?

This year, picture day was divided into 4 days, with 2 for each half of the alphabet and afternoons reserved for Virtual Academy and fully remote students. Students were called over the loudspeaker by groups of last names. At least, this was the goal until about midway through Tuesday, when the announcements stopped working and a schedule was put into place through email. 

As students went down by last name, a crowded line was formed in the upper lobby. State High Sophomore Kylie Field confirmed this. “[The teachers] had to yell at us to get us to space properly in the line,” Fields said.

Due to the difference in number of M-Z students at that time, sophomore Allison Norloff didn’t have the same problem. “The line was spaced properly, [probably because] I got there early and not everyone for my time had arrived,” Norloff said.

Removing masks indoors has been a concern shared by both parents and in-person students. Field stated, “I felt good about it [taking off my mask] because when we did, everyone around us had one on.” The photographers and teachers standing at pictures all had masks on and were spaced far away from where the students sat. Norloff also explained that she felt comfortable taking her mask off.

While in-person students like Field and Norloff felt safe, Virtual Academy and remote students had a very different experience. A virtual academy student explained “I felt weird, like I should put my mask on because everyone else had one.” They also stated that “because I came in the morning before pictures had started and everyone was still in the hub, I was uncomfortable seeing everyone from school.”

Despite the new challenges the pandemic posed, picture day managed to go well. There were a few bumps in the road when it came to social distancing and the announcement system, but in the end, things went relatively smoothly. Of course, there are challenges every year, but students push through so that their parents and grandparents can have pictures for their wallets.

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