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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Technical issues with remote logins lead to a mostly asynchronous snow day

The+view+from+outside+the+window+during+a+remote+snow+day.
Jordan Tsao
The view from outside the window during a remote snow day.
HTML tutorial

With a winter storm creating unsafe travel conditions today, the New York City Department of Education canceled in-person classes and directed students to plan for synchronous remote instruction. 

That was the plan anyway. 

As the first official “remote learning snow day” in recent years, technological difficulties left many students unable to access their remote classes. By 9:20AM, Assistant Principal Ellen Fee announced via email that morning classes would be asynchronous due to “technical issues,” and before noon, Ms. Fee emailed that the rest of the day would remain asynchronous.  

Early in the day, the DOE announced that they were facing issues with IBM authentication, a service provided to all students to access online resources through their DOE email accounts.   

Students who had trouble logging in received an error message saying “Service unavailable: the service that you are trying to reach is temporarily unavailable. Our operations team is working to remediate this issue.”

Initially, students looked forward to not having to go to school after hearing that there would be a remote snow day. Freshman Tabassum Mizan said, “I was ecstatic about finally getting a snow day. I looked forward to being able to have classes from the comfort of my home after a long time.” 

However, the technical issues frustrated students throughout the day. Sophomore Aiden Benitez said he struggled with getting on Zoom and “some people [in the class] made it in after a few minutes, while others were just unsuccessful.”

Senior Liam Trimble experienced difficulty attempting to sign into his class. “I was not able to join the Zoom meeting my physics teacher had posted for us,” he explained. “It took me ten minutes to get into the meeting, but it finally worked after I kept refreshing my page. I was afraid that I would be marked absent for official attendance since I was not able to join in time.”

Sophomore Alina Bhuiyan said, “I wasn’t able to join a few of my classes because of technical difficulties. I emailed some teachers saying that I was unable to join, and I did my work after.”

“After I found out that synchronous classes were no longer happening, I just followed the instructions on Google Classroom and completed the assignments posted,” said Junior Kevin Ruiz Ramales. 

Health and Physical Education teacher Jamal Bermudez said, “For the classes that I had academic work to do, I made the due date tomorrow. So, if anybody submits stuff tomorrow, I am not going to penalize them for being late.”

I was not able to join the Zoom meeting my physics teacher had posted for us,” he explained. “It took me ten minutes to get into the meeting, but it finally worked after I kept refreshing my page. I was afraid that I would be marked absent for official attendance since I was not able to join in time.

— Senior Liam Trimble

In addition to impacting students, the technical issues impacted teachers as well, who must sign in for their own attendance with the DOE systems. Mr. Bermudez said, “It impacted my communication with staff. So, we have to check in via this remote link. [I] couldn’t do that. I wasn’t sure what the announcements were.”

Pre-AP World History teacher Guy Martin shared his comparatively smooth experience. He said, “Personally, I did not experience any difficulties with today’s remote learning. I found it useful to refer students to asynchronous tasks that my colleagues and I had already planned, and the attendance-taking process was not too complicated.”

Whether students had technical issues or not, many who had extracurricular plans for after school had to reschedule as a result. 

Junior and Bengali FON Leader Sithi Das said, “I feel like this did hinder our practice dates and is a bit troublesome due to the runthrough being in two days, but it is still a very much needed day off for everyone.”

The DOE posted on X, formerly Twitter, earlier today that schools will be open again starting tomorrow, February 14.  In a press conference, David Banks, the New York City Schools Chancellor said, “We will be doing a full analysis of what happened here because we don’t expect this to be the last remote day that we have. We will work harder to do better next time but the system is back [online] and things are moving along very nicely at this point in time.” 

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About the Contributors
Ayoub Ayoub, Science & Technology Copy Editor
Ayoub is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. He loves playing chess, table tennis, and wrestling. He loves to take care of cats and to travel the world.
Shayra Shoshi, Science & Technology Editor
Shayra is a Junior at Townsend Harris High School. She spends her free time hand-knitting, reading, and journaling. She hopes to study medicine in the future.
Karen Lin, Photography Editor / Social Media Editor
Karen is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. Her passions include graphic design, photography, and fine arts. In her free time, she enjoys reading or capturing moments across her five cameras.
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