Students React to Merging the Cohorts


By Sam Baghal, International News Editor

As the third marking period approaches, WHHS is preparing to make adjustments to the current hybrid-learning schedule, merging the three rotating cohorts into two. 

After Martin Luther King Day next week, students in cohorts A and B1 will return to school together in-person on Tuesday and Thursday. Wednesdays will remain all-virtual but adhere to the typical block schedule rotation as opposed to the previous 9:00-2:00 virtual schedule. Then, cohorts B2 and C will attend school collectively that Friday through the following Tuesday. 

In essence, these newly merged cohorts will operate on a four-day cycle, with Wednesdays remaining all virtual. The Board of Education has approved the plan and is confident that we are ready to take this next step, however, the majority of the student body disagrees. 

The Patriot Press has recently put forth a poll, asking for opinions on how our school district should respond to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Out of 419 voters, 72 percent think that we should adopt an all-virtual schedule rather than proceeding to merge the cohorts. Only 16 percent voted in favor of combining the cohorts which are coming into effect next week, and 13% are content with keeping the current hybrid plan. 

“The post-holiday surge of covid cases makes this an unsafe time to return to school, especially under these new circumstances where cohorts will be combined,” said senior Elise Kosoy . “I think it’s best to stay virtual for the time being and wait for the numbers in New Jersey to go back down.”

On the other hand, some insist that no matter the current coronavirus conditions, it is imperative that students return to school.

“As long as we maintain our social distancing and sanitization protocol, I think that we can move forward with merging the cohorts,” said senior Jamie Hamalainen. “If there are students who don’t feel comfortable with this plan, they should switch to all virtual classes themselves, but having the entire district remain remote is not necessary.”