SCA finds virtual solution to morning announcements


County News Network is the newest addition to our school’s morning announcements. The network, created by SCA, provides daily video announcements to students.

County News Network is the newest addition to our school’s morning announcements. The network, created by SCA, provides daily video announcements to students.

School bells buzz as the PA system clicks on overhead. The familiar sound of SCA’s morning announcements fills the hallways as students prepare for the day ahead. While this would be a normal scene for any other school year, it has been discarded by one lone factor: distance learning. Instead of kids filling the classroom, the rooms are now close to empty, with only teachers and a few students filling the chairs. So how do you provide morning announcements for a virtual student body? The answer is simple: pre-recorded video announcements.

“The videos started with Mr. Prince, and then we all took it on and started brainstorming ideas,” senior communication director Jackson Chinn said. Chinn, who works alongside fellow communication director Safa Saad, supervises the process of putting together and editing the morning announcements.

The managing assistants collect information and put it into a Google form based on a specific day; afterward, they work to outline and organize the information. Once outlined, the SCA anchors divide the topics amongst themselves, and begin filming each portion of the announcements.  “We pre-determine what day will cover each topic, usually each day has its own specialized thing, like the word of the day is Tuesday, and the lame joke of the week is on Friday,” Chinn said.

Once each section is complete, Chinn and Saad work to edit and put the announcements together the night before they air. “Mr. Prince, Safa, and I, the communication team, we just go over jobs and who’s doing what. If something is missing or we need something, we then try and organize that to get the videos in on time,” Chinn said.

Each announcement video has a process of about a week or so to put together, and the virtual aspect of the process has added a new level of difficulties to deal with. “Technology has definitely been an issue,” SCA advisor Matthew Prince said.

“The hardest part of the announcements is definitely putting it all together,” Chinn said. “The editing is definitely the most time-consuming part that wouldn’t be there if we were in person,”. Besides the editing process, basic communication has also proved to be an issue at times. “Communication issues have come up, mostly with people being occupied or times where videos haven’t been sent through, it’s just all a part of the process,” he said.

“Although I’m not that in tune with filling out the information, I know that emailing teachers and garnering information, that’s definitely time-consuming as well, especially getting stuff approved,” Chinn said.

Despite the challenges, SCA has found ways to come together and tackle obstacles as a team. “Everyone’s input has made the process a little easier as we’ve gone through it,” said Prince.

Sean Rombach gave us the idea to do the weather, and Stella Celentano came up with the word of the day.”

“It’s been a great team effort, and Jackson has done an amazing job of taking over a good lead of it. He and Safa have really created something together that’s pretty special, and I think students enjoy it much more than the normal announcements,” Prince said.

As for the announcements, Prince indicated that they hope to continue doing the videos for the foreseeable future. “Hopefully this is the beginning of a new tradition,” he said.