Cohort collapse


Students are returning to five day in-person learning; some restrictions are still in place.

Emma Makin

On May 25, 2021, the MCVSD school district returned to five day a week, in-person learning and brought the cohorts together. 

The cohorts decreased the number of students in the classroom in an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission. However, many believe that they also contributed to a lack of the CHS relationships between students. 

Teachers could not see all of their students in the classroom at once; rather, they taught half of the students on the computer via Google Meet and the other half in the classroom.

“I had to create two different lessons, one for the virtual students and one for the in-person people. It was difficult. I missed having everyone in front of me,” Biology and Forensics teacher Leah Morgan said. 

Freshmen also did not have the opportunity to meet all of their classmates, and some say that they had difficulty connecting with their peers.

“It was hard to meet and make friends with other freshmen because we weren’t all together. I didn’t know a lot of the other students in my grade,” said freshman Alex Kinsey of Avon.

 While they did already know their class, CHS seniors also had difficulty talking to classmates resulting from the cohort system.  

“It was hard not being able to have all my friends and the rest of my class together. It wasn’t the same as years before,” Senior Ava Turner of Middletown said. 

Though cohorts divided students, they also strengthened some friendships. New friendships were built in every grade. Students got close with others that they wouldn’t have before. 

“I kept my friends, of course, but the cohorts made me a lot closer with the people in my cohort that maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so close with before,” Turner said, “but I did really miss seeing my friends from the other cohort.” 

With COVID-19 numbers decreasing, as well as 98% of MCVSD staff being vaccinated, according to nurse Dorothy Condon, CHS and the other MCVSD schools were allowed to fully re-open. 

While students continue completing a daily screening form to enter the building and social distancing and masks are required, both Cohort A and B are now allowed to be in the building at the same time. 

“Infection rate has plummeted. It isn’t spreading, [and] New Jersey moved from a red to a yellow on the infection map. Also, the executive order that went from six feet to three feet allowed students to be closer together. The pandemic team evaluated and determined it was safe,” said Principal James Gleason.

Full in-person learning, freshmen students were able to meet the rest of their class for the first time. Freshman Fun Day, headed by English teacher Emily Soto, to make up for the lack of the Thompson Park trip, took place in the back of the school on May 27. 

As the return to normalcy nears, Gleason agrees that things are looking up.

“It is great for me and the teachers and students. We are all thankful to share the end of the school year together,” Gleason said.