Classes canceled for a week, teachers make changes to curriculum


Max Stith

Classes were canceled for a week due to Winter Storm Uri.

Arjun Maitra, Lillian Poag, and Mia Hong

With most teachers and students out of power and water, assignments were the least of their concerns. When the school opened back up after a week of chaos, the teachers worked hard to get their classes back on track academically.

Alice Fogler, who teaches Geometry-Trigonometry (H), Algebra II-Precalculus (H) and AP Calculus BC, prioritized certain parts of her curriculum over others. 

“If the students don’t learn certain things now, their foundations in math will be greatly affected,” Fogler said. “We are definitely focusing on what they will need for the future over what we want to teach.”

With the upcoming AP Calculus BC exam scheduled for May 4, Fogler has less flexibility to accommodate the hard deadline. 

“There is a set AP curriculum, so it’s a little bit harder to decide what concepts to cut,” Fogler said. “We want to cover everything but will end up prioritizing the concepts that are more likely to be present on the AP exam.”

We are definitely focusing on what they will need for the future over what we want to teach.

— Alice Fogler

U.S. History teacher Joseph Soliman plans on teaching the same sequence of material, despite having to shift everything back a week.  

“For History of the United States Honors, we ended up canceling a test because with one week gone, we weren’t going to be able to cover the necessary material in time for an assessment,” he said.  “We decided we wouldn’t push it back to the following week because other classes had already scheduled major assignments.”

Instead of rushing through the topics planned for the canceled week of school, the science department decided to continue teaching the pre-set curriculum right where they left off before the winter storm. 

“The kids are already stressed, and some people still don’t have water or are having other problems,”  biology teacher Neha Mathur said. “We didn’t want to add to that, [so] we just decided to move everything back a week and we are still in a very good place.” 

While teachers tried to support their students as best as possible, students still faced academic struggles during and after the snowstorm. 

“I get information on all my assignments from the online assignment portal, so when my laptop died I was unable to see them,” junior Liv Rubenstein said. “I also could not get emails from my teachers until we got power back.” 

Rubenstein says that catching up on assignments was not too overwhelming since teachers were flexible with work deadlines and generous with extensions the week after the storm. 

In the event of a similar future natural disaster, Rubenstein hopes to be more prepared by taking screenshots of her assignments and backing up her email beforehand. Throughout the snowstorm, she also realized how important school was to her.

“It was kind of fun to not have school,” she said, “but at some point I just was really excited to come back.”

Faculty are optimistic that their schedule can return to normal.

“This is definitely not what we expected,” Mathur said, “but hopefully we will get back on track and fit the rest of our curriculum into the remaining weeks of school.”