Prevent Ossining High School From Having Substitutes During Teacher Absences

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It has come to our attention as the student body of Ossining High School, that as of Monday, February 12th 2018 a new rule will be put in place at our school, which revokes upperclassmen from receiving off periods when their teachers are not present. We as the student body understand the concern that students do not use this additional time wisely, however having substitute teachers instead will not solve this dilemma. Many students, though admittedly not all, use off periods to study, complete work assigned by their absent teacher or get started on the plethora of homework they receive each day. Additionally, students without a lunch period can have the rare chance to eat at a reasonable time during the day.

As students we do not see additional off periods as a reward, we do not celebrate that class may be cancelled, we see it as an opportunity to continue to learn, simply just not in a classroom.

However, the biggest concern we have is that substitute teacher implementation will take away this chance, and further, the work we do when a substitute is present is sub par and not satisfactory to both ourselves and our teacher. Many of us students take AP, SUNY and other advanced courses that require teaching from only our teachers, teachers that understand how difficult course work is, and how best to help us understand.  Furthermore, if our teachers do leave sub work, we do not have the opportunity to ask questions or get help, as substitute teachers do not necessarily specialize in the field they are subbing for. The material we learn with substitutes are often not well understood and will mitigate the teachers ability to move on is our lessons.

It is also vital we acknowledge why substitutes were removed from all upperclassmen classes years ago. In order to better redistribute the money in the High School, substitutes were removed, allowing for other departments and causes to receive much needed and deserved funds. One must question where the money to reinstate substitutes came from. If the funds to do this are from hard working tax paying families, it would be only fair that the families and students of Ossining be involved in this decision. As far as the students of OHS know, we weren't involved and neither were our parents. This leads us to wonder what true motives support this decision, and if there were steps to pass this rule, this mistake would never have occurred.

Therefore, it would be much more beneficial for our education if the rules in our school remained the same, that if our teacher is absent, class would be cancelled. This leaves it up to the teacher to assign work, and for the students to do that work to the best of their ability outside of a classroom. Allow us as growing students to study, work and be treated like adults without this new rule.

We appreciate your concerns that additional off periods are detrimental to our education, but giving us substitute teachers every time our teachers are absent, is tremendously worse.

Thank you for listening, we hope you will consider doing what is best for us students.