The phone call that Hewlett High School students received from Superintendent Dr. Joyce Bisso on Oct. 28 was not the typical one. In most cases, when school is called off, it is the morning of a snowstorm, not the evening before a superstorm. Initially excited about having one fewer day of school, students were in for a surprise when given seven full days off from school.
The week of Oct. 29 was extremely strange. There may have been an unexpected hiatus from school, but many students were without power, heat, and electricity. The week off from school was a different type of vacation. Instead of being able to go into town with friends to eat dinner, shop, or to see a movie, students bonded with their families in either their homes or in family friends’ homes. However, the original feelings of excitement turned into uncomfortable and worrisome ones. The storm came at a very inopportune time for many Hewlett students. Seniors had been working to finish their college applications for the early deadlines when the storm hit. For those without electricity, the application process was made especially arduous.
Halloween didn’t go exactly as planned. Students couldn’t sport their costumes in the halls, and Key Club’s annual Halloween event didn’t take place. Had there been school, students would have been taking their final tests of the first quarter. Furthermore, various athletic teams were hoping to have successful playoff events, but those didn’t take place on their originally scheduled days, either.
To adapt to the profusion of surprises brought by the storm, both Hewlett High School and other institutions implemented various changes. Certain colleges extended their Nov. 1 deadline, and explained their willingness to accommodate students. Also, the end of the first marking period was extended, which would enable students to finish their exams. The girls’ varsity swimming and diving, boys’ varsity soccer, girls’ varsity volleyball, and varsity football teams’ athletic events were adjourned to this past weekend. The SAT and SAT subject tests, supposed to be administered on Nov. 3 at the high school, were pushed to Nov. 17. This upset seniors who were hoping to finish the exams for their college applications. The cast and crew of this year’s musical, “9 to 5,” were also affected because they weren’t able to practice for the upcoming show.
School reconvened on Nov. 7. It had been over a week that students had sat in their desks, opened their lockers, or seen their peers and teachers. Although classes resumed, it wasn’t the usual school experience. For example, teachers were not allowed to give any homework assignments, quizzes, or tests throughout the week because the school administration understood that many students were still without power. There were also no clubs or afterschool activities, and students were to leave right after the bell rang because of the expected nor’easter. Just when Hewlett students, their parents, and teachers thought there was normalcy, school was called off for Thursday!
Many students who had recently gotten their power restored had lost it again during the snowstorm. Yards just disheveled with fallen trees were transformed into winter wonderlands. But, there was school the following day, and then students enjoyed a long weekend again due to being off for Veterans Day.
It is appropriate to call this past Tuesday another “back to school.” To some students, it feels like there hasn’t been school in months; and therefore, they are eager to enter a routine. With many upcoming events within the high school, it is important that we enjoy them all and make the most of our school moments before given time off for