By Tess Silverman of JerEcho
Election Day has always been a non-instructional day for Jericho students, but this year it will be a remote learning day. Jericho School District Superintendent Henry Grishman explained the reason behind this decision. New York State mandates 180 school days, but the Jericho Board of Education has historically required a 186-day year. Grishman said, “If we didn’t count Election Day, we would’ve had to come back the Friday before we started school.”
Many Jericho students were frustrated with this decision. Sophomore Harly F. said, “A day off would be nice. Every other school gets off besides us.”
This is not exactly true. The JerEcho investigated the websites of all Nassau County districts, finding that 10 out of the 56 districts are having school in some form, whether as a remote day, an in-person half day, or a regular full day of instruction.
When Jericho students were polled about coming back to school earlier or having the remote day, the majority were in favor of this year’s change. According to the results of a JerEcho survey, 52 percent of respondents stated they would rather have a remote day.
After being remote during quarantine, many students agreed that this type of instruction makes it hard to focus and that they don’t learn the information as well as they do in person. Sophomore Sadie K. said, “
Nearly 47 percent of Jericho students find remote learning days to be ineffective Freshman Hudson G. feels that a remote day is pointless. He said, “Nothing goes on during a remote day anyway. Everyone is going to skip and cut.” However, according to the survey, fewer than 10 percent of respondents said that they would not attend their classes on Election Day.
Sixty-nine point six percent of respondents said that they would attend classes on Election Day. Vice president of the Jericho teachers’ union and social studies teacher Kakounis did not have a strong opinion on this topic. She said, “Honestly, there hasn’t been that much talk about it. I just feel like our employer asked us to work, so we’re working.”
Science teacher Ciasulli believes that Election Day should be a regular in-person school day. She said, “I don’t know how a remote day benefits anyone because I will still be teaching a full lesson like I would on a regular day.”
Many students who expressed dissatisfaction that Election Day was changed compared this decision to the new snow day policy. Last year, it was stated that snow days will now be remote unless there are power outages. Freshman Charlie D. said, “They are going to take away snow days from us, so what’s the point of making another remote day? Every year before this we have had off.”
Superintendent Grishman clarified the district policy on snow days. He explained that snow days will be a day of no instruction if there is a big snow storm and people lose power. However, if there is minimal snow there will be a remote day.
Whether due to snow or voting, it seems the majority of Jericho students reluctantly accept that they will now have some remote days of instruction each school year.