Fox Chapel seniors can now get yearbook photos taken in school
Fox Chapel Area High School adjusted its senior yearbook photo policy to give seniors more than one option to get their photos in the yearbook.
Some district parents had questioned the policy that required seniors to schedule a photo sitting at Hill’s Studio in Aspinwall and pay a $25 fee to secure a spot in the yearbook. Submitted senior pictures were not permitted.
Last school year, 55 of Fox Chapel’s 329 seniors — about 17% of the class — were absent from the yearbook, according to district spokeswoman Bonnie Berzonski.
Hill’s Studio worked with the district to add a campus visit Friday and offer a reduced price of $15 for photo sittings at the high school for seniors who have yet to have their photo taken.
Only Fox Chapel and Kiski Area school districts require seniors to book a senior photo setting off-campus.
All other Alle-Kiski Valley school districts permit seniors to have free photos taken during regularly scheduled picture days in the schools.
“This (issue) has shed some light on the fact that not all students can make it to our studio. We’ll probably do this annually so students won’t be left out of the yearbook,” Hill’s studio owner Mike Lloyd said.
The $15 sitting fee includes a shorter sitting and photo retouching for blemishes, stray hairs, teeth and shine.
The FC Helping FC Fund, funded through donations from district staff members, is available to cover sitting fee costs for seniors who can’t afford them. Students requiring financial assistance are asked to notify the school counseling office and the fee will be waived.
The district notified seniors and parents and guardians about the change in an email. Seniors needing a photo were asked to sign up for a photo timeslot in the high school counseling office.
“The bottom line … we want you in the 2020 yearbook!” the email stated.
Berzonski said Hill’s Studio has been the high school’s photographer since the 2016-17 school year. In addition to senior photos taken at its Aspinwall studio, Hill’s photographs students in grades 9-11 on campus at Fox Chapel.
The issue surfaced in mid-September on the Fox Chapel Community Lounge, a private Facebook group with more than 3,000 members.
District parent Peri Unligil raised the issue in a Sept. 17 post to the group, questioning the fairness of seniors having only one option to get their photos in the yearbook.
Unligil said she is pleased to hear the news of a studio campus visit.
“I think it’s terrific that they were able to make arrangements in time for this year’s yearbook, and I hope any seniors who don’t have yearbook pictures yet take advantage of Hill’s visit to the school,” Unligil said.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.