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The end of a chapter? Perham school leaders discuss whether to keep publishing yearbooks

The yearbook, an annual staple for Perham High School, may be evolving with the times. During the Nov. 15th school board meeting, Principle Ehren Zimmerman discussed the validity of the yearbook and its future within the school district. The deba...

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A yearbook can be an important tool for remembering days long past. Michael Denny/Perham Focus

The yearbook, an annual staple for Perham High School, may be evolving with the times.

During the Nov. 15th school board meeting, Principle Ehren Zimmerman discussed the validity of the yearbook and its future within the school district. The debate was prompted by the school board possibly selecting a yearbook advisor.

Zimmerman openly discussed the books not selling well and also commented on the steep cost of publishing yearbooks that usually requires a minimum publishing order. The school board briefly discussed exploring digital options for the yearbook in addition to a limited print run.

"The yearbooks is an important archival tool," said Zimmerman during the discussion. Yearbooks to tend to serve as a time capsule, summarizing events that took place throughout the school year. Having a historical record seems to be of great value to Zimmerman and his staff. Some members of the board had just recently used previous yearbooks as information gathering resources.

The board went on to discuss the lack of enthusiasm for the books, citing social media as being an ever popular format for sharing school memories, sports victories and academic achievement. "Yearbook signing parties? Do they even still have those?" remarked one board member when Facebook and other social media platforms were brought up as a pseudo replacement for the long standing yearbook tradition.

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The board still considers the yearbook an important part of school history. Throughout the years the yearbook has shifted between being a course and and an extracurricular activity. Currently it is a class. Zimmerman stressed that the success and overall quality of the yearbook would hinge on passionate students who enjoy working on such a project.

An agreement was reached to continue the year book but to research local printers that could produce the books more inexpensively.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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