SLS Grapples With Lost School Days

On late Monday evening, students logged onto Facebook and Twitter to discover the very status updates they dreaded: school would resume on Tuesday, November 6th. Dismay engulfed social media- students became enraged at the fact that their unexpected vacation had come to an end.

Outraged students, such as Emma O’ Brien ‘14, made various appeals to their Twitter followers on how to extend the vacation. “About 2 go cut electrical wires @ SLS. Who’s with me?” O’Brien jokingly tweeted at her 154 followers. Yet O’Brien’s plan may have nothing except  cause more turmoil on the Hilltop. Students had already missed six entire days of classes due to Hurricane Sandy- and both teachers and students knew they could not afford to miss any more.

A somber sentiment filled the hallways on Tuesday morning when students returned from their six day break. Some, still without power, looked drained and exhausted from Sandy’s beating. Tunde Johnson ‘14 was one of those students, “I felt like it was the first day of school,” she told the Sentinel, “It was almost surreal.”

Enter Guy Bailey. Mr. Bailey, as Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning, is often known as the “backbone of St. Luke’s.” As students moaned and groaned about the hardships of a resumed school year, Mr. Bailey was squirreled away in his office faced with the most daunting problem of all: making up the missed school days. “What will he do?” O’ Brien once again tweeted. “How is making up all of these days possible?” The thought of extending school into late June, or a cutting days from spring or winter break sounded absolutely awful. Yet these options were necessary for consideration in the office of Mr. Bailey (with, perhaps, a tiny bit of input from department heads and other VIPs).

But what did the students want? The Sentinel took to the halls of St. Luke’s to poll the rowdy Sandy victims:

Fortunately, all students polled got a little bit of what they hoped for. Bailey’s decision, which was revealed in an email to parents, was a mosh-pit of all ideas. The email that contained the final decision stated as follows:

 1) The first day back in school, November 6, became an All Classes Day to allow students to touch base with all of their teachers.

2) The half days on Friday, 12/7 and Friday, 2/8 will become full day All Classes Days.

3) The Upper School Service Symposium has been postponed, allowing Tuesday, 11/13 to be an All Classes Day. The Middle School will have 4 classes in the morning and community service activities in the afternoon.

4) A number of Wednesdays in December, January, and February will become All Classes Days, starting at 8:00 a.m., and adding two periods to each of these days.  The specific Wednesdays that will change will be made available next week.

The verdict was meet with a bittersweet reaction. Students sighed with relief as their winter, spring, and summer breaks were safe- so far- even while they regreted the loss of an hour in which to sleep in on Wednesdays.

However, many on the Hilltop community are worried for the days to come. Unfortunately, a wrathful winter is projected by meteorologists everywhere. Students, parents and faculty alike are holding their breath, hoping these predictions are wrong,all dreading the idea of having to make up more school days lost to storms.

Contrary to her infamous wire-cutting tweet, O’ Brien hopes for a promising year on the Hilltop. “I just hope this school year will not be too interrupted,” she told The Sentinel. Many agree with her and hope that this sobering email from Mr. Bailey will be the last.

— Drew Lord and Jessy Quindlen, Staff Writers

Posted by on November 12, 2012. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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