Faces framed in little boxes stare out in the harsh glow of the computer screen. It’s quiet — the little microphones in the corner cut across with a red slash. The new Verde Magazine classroom on Zoom starkly contrasts the bustling, bubbly environment of the past.
Although it took some adjusting, our staff quickly adapted to this virtual environment, conducting over-the-phone interviews, taking photos from a distance with a telephoto lens and designing their stories from their kitchen tables, beds and couches, rather than in the usual lab setting. We are incredibly grateful that this magazine was able to come to fruition through their dedication and flexibility.
As newly appointed editors-in-chief, we are learning to navigate circumstances unlike any in our history — a task we accomplished through experimentation, countless Zoom calls and many organizational spreadsheets.
Because our April issue was canceled, this is our fourth and final issue of the year. For this edition, instead of the usual 64 pages, we reduced the page count to 48 to maintain the quality of the magazine while adjusting to the constantly changing conditions. Beyond just a print issue, we expanded our digital work with increased breaking news coverage and a new series of Verde Vlogs.
We owe this issue to the work of our staff, to our journalism adviser’s endless support, to Adobe for making the district software license available from home and to Folger Graphics whose mailing services allowed us to send this magazine directly to your home.
There are a few stories in particular that embody the spirit of this issue.
Profiles Editor Andie Tetzlaff and Culture Editor Tara Kothari examined the effects of COVID-19 on the local farmers’ market in “Pandemic produce,” where business has been booming during the pandemic.
Beyond the economic implications of the shelter-in-place order, the coronavirus has also stripped seniors of their final semester of high school. Staff writers Kate Milne and Rachel Lit reflect on their unexpected last day of school in their perspective “The last day.”
Finally, staff writer Emma Donelly-Higgins places the spotlight on an often-overlooked group of students — those with Individual Education Programs — in “Taking home an IEP,” exposing the challenges of distance learning for special education students.
We couldn’t be prouder of the end result that we’ve created, and are excited to embark with you, our readers, upon this new chapter of Verde.
On the cover
Palo Alto High School senior Elijah Steiner stares out from behind a mask, his drawn-in cap and gown a ghostly reminder of what could have been. With an abrupt ending to the school year and an indefinite shelter in place, Paly students face a plethora of uncertainties surrounding their future. Using a telephoto lens and abiding by social distancing guidelines, Photo Director Zoë Wong-VanHaren effectively captures the reality of graduation during COVID-19 from a distance and Art Director Samantha Ho highlights what has been lost.