From the Editors: Sandy’s rage need not extend to February

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Mayor Bloomberg closed down all NYC Public Schools from October 29 to November 5. Students were kept on their toes throughout the week, constantly anticipating Bloomberg’s next public announcements. After an entire week in educational limbo, students returned anxiously to school, unaware of what to expect. With community members slowly transitioning back to their normal lives, they realize that a week off from school, though a blessing for some, was a curse for most.

You’d be surprised how much academic damage was done by this week off; with a majority of students experiencing power or Internet outages, teachers had no way of communicating with their students. Tests and assignments were pushed back, changing the course syllabi. A majority of the senior class stressed over the upcoming Early Action and Decision deadlines for college applications. The Election Simulation was cut during its most important time, the final week, with the pivotal debates being cancelled. SING was postponed, and the Track Team’s NERF game was pushed back as well.

Any Townsend Harris student knows that when you miss one day of school, you miss a lot. With 5 days pulled out from under us without any prior notice, what would happen to the curriculum?  Well, according to Bloomberg, these days need to be made up. Chancellor Denis Walcott recently issued changes to the school calender, stating, “All schools will hold full-day sessions from Wednesday, February 20, through Friday, February 22. These days were previously scheduled as part of mid-winter recess.”

Will interrupting our February break by three days really make up for the trouble that one week put the faculty and students through? Alterations have already been made to scheduling, so why the redundancy? Students and teachers directly impacted by the storm are still coping and struggling. What’s Walcott’s scheduling solution for that? Cutting the Easter/Passover break in half perhaps? This change is yet another inconvenience to the students and faculty alike.  The February break always seemed kind of redundant coming so soon after the December holidays, but after what many have experienced over the past few weeks (both those directly affected by the storm and those who’ve just managed to get back to their normal school routine), we all really need a break.

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