In the month of November, the Ramaz Upper School was off on Friday, November 8th as well as Monday, November 11th. Given the school’s academic rigor and students’ constant stress, nobody was complaining. However, it begs the question: why exactly did Ramaz have this elongated weekend?
Many students would argue that the time between Sukkot and Thanksgiving is the longest and most grueling period of the school year. This long weekend gave students an opportunity to rest and catch up on work. Given that the annual Ramaz Open House was held that weekend on Motzei Shabbat, it was a hectic time period for all faculty and students involved. The school was preparing for hundreds of prospective students to visit. Additionally, quarter anecdotal reports were due during this long weekend. This time gave teachers a chance to finish the reports and meet the Saturday night deadline.
Monday, November 11th was not off because of Veterans Day, a national holiday, but rather for a professional development day. Since students had Friday off in preparation for the open house, it was convenient for meetings to be held on Monday and to make it a long weekend. Faculty members were meant to visit other Yeshiva Day Schools to learn ways to enhance their teaching techniques. However, many schools were closed in honor of Veterans Day, so they were unable to do so. As a substitute, there was half a day of in-house meetings for faculty.
Rabbi Stochel said, “Do not expect this every year. This weekend was an opportunity to catch up on valuable learning time because we know how devoted our students are, and since there was no break since Sukkot.” Emma Stonehill ’21 said, “I really needed this weekend to catch up on all my assignments, and it gave me a chance to take a breath in the midst of stressful junior year.” The feeling was shared among all students, especially juniors. This is a much-needed break that many students would appreciate in years to come.