While classes are being let out across the five boroughs Wednesday, some teachers in Queens say today's focus was not on having time off, but rather keeping their jobs. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
With her resume and portfolio in hand, Aida Zilelian-Silak is pounding the pavement looking for work. But it won't be easy for this former English teacher whose 12-year career at Long Island City High School came to an abrupt end this week.
"I didn't even get a phone call," she said. "I received an e-mail that said 'We are not asking you to come back.'"
The high school, which has a C rating from the city's Department of Education, is slated to close and reopen in the fall as a brand new high school with a new faculty. Half of the staff was fired and the other half was told to re-apply for their jobs. Silak's application was denied.
"I have great recommendations," she said. "I have great observations. My students love me. They won't tell me why but they are not taking me back."
On Wednesday, she brought a grievance letter to the school after finding out she is slated to become a substitute teacher for the city.
"The market is flooded now so it's going to be a little tough but I'm definitely going to get out there and do my best," she said.
Some students weren't part of the usual celebration of the last day of school as one might expect. That's because many are heading to summer school because of bad grades.
As a result, the students we spoke with had mixed reactions about the changes that lie ahead.
"The kids are crazy. It's like a jungle in there. Like a jungle," said one student. "You see people in the hallway sitting down. Even sometimes you smell, like, cigarettes."
"I don't like it at all," said another. "I like most of the teachers that are here."
"It really isn't going to do much of a difference because the students are the same," said a third.
The city says it will. Long Island City High School will become Global Scholars Academies of Long Island City, even though the school is located in Astoria. It's one of 24 schools to be shut down and then re-opened by the city.
As for Silak, she's trying to find another permanent teaching position. The last day of school was her last day.