By Alex Tomalski
Due to a plethora of reasons, students at New Hyde Park Memorial High School have had three straight incomplete weeks of schooling. This occurrence includes holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Columbus Day. These holidays are religious, cultural or historically commemorative days that the Sewanhaka School District recognizes by giving students off from school.
Many students argue a shorter school week allows them to focus better; perhaps a shorter school week is what students need to be more energized during the time they are in school.
“Personally, I feel that students can receive an adequate education by having four-day school weeks," sophomore Sahir Bhatia said. "A shorter week and longer weekends allow students more time to relax and focus on themselves, something which is often overlooked in today’s society. It’s extremely important to balance one’s own mental health with their academics in order to truly become the best version of themselves."
Artwork by Saffah Azeem
Students and faculty have conflicting opinions regarding the continuous days off, stating that they either hinder their ability to work or provide a break.
Despite this, many teachers, and even some students, oppose this viewpoint and believe students are missing out on critical time to learn and further their education. There is still a quota every public school must meet regarding days in school. A shorter school week may help students in the short-term, but it prolongs the school year just as much.
“I believe that these shortened weeks have hindered my ability to succeed academically... Several other students are given limited opportunities within these weeks to practice and prepare for exams and assessments,” sophomore Aayan Ahmed said. “Also, I believe that given shortened weeks, I, as a student, tend to forget many important aspects of the curriculum when given a break consisting of a few days or even sometimes longer. The shortened weeks are a motivator for lazy behavior and becoming more disengaged from learning.”
Teachers have expressed varying opinions about how the lack of full weeks in school has influenced their lesson planning and their students. Some teachers felt it did not significantly impact their lesson planning, while others felt as though it made it more difficult for students to learn.
“The consecutive short weeks did not affect my planning significantly, as it was still the beginning of the school year. Some consideration was given towards assessment days. I tried to avoid giving them immediately after the four-day break,” math teacher Mr. Romano said.
“Not having consecutive weeks of school made it difficult for students to remember and keep track of what they were learning. It made the days drag on, making the units feel longer and it made the kids lose motivation,” science teacher Ms. Lombardo said.
While some might find the inconsistency of school days inconvenient, others may find it to be beneficial because it provides a break from everyday life. After three shortened school weeks, students and faculty will be returning to a normal schedule of consistent school days.