Olivia Sunderlik ‘21: On January 25th, the Romeo Board of Education hosted a meeting in order to look over many important topics in the district. Of these issues, the board focused most of the discussion on the state of the cohorts and virtual Wednesdays. In the next few weeks and months, the Board expects many modifications to the Romeo High School COVID-19 plan.

A key issue discussed at the meeting involves the replacement of virtual Wednesdays with in-person learning. On online Wednesdays, students attend each of their 8 classes for 41 minutes. With this change, the current schedule returns to an alternating red day/white day schedule. Students visit only four classes each day, operating as a normal school day. This alteration provides students with more in-person learning, resulting in a small yet beneficial change.

“I am happy about the removal of the virtual Wednesday because any day in person is better. It’s hard to pay attention from home, and I know how hard it is to go through all 8 classes in one day,” Angelle Gilbert ‘21 said. 

The modification to the Wednesday schedule yields relief from students like Gilbert. The Board expects this change to commence beginning on February 17th. Until then, the virtual Wednesdays continue.

In addition to the Wednesday schedule, the Board discussed some drastic changes concerning the combination of Cohorts A and B. This update delivers excitement to anticipating students.

“As a senior, I miss being able to see my friends and the rest of my graduating class from the other cohort,” Jalyn Dustman ‘21 said.

Dustman, a member of Cohort A, longs for the opportunity to see her cohort B friends. For Dustman and other students, March of 2020 marks the last time she saw many members of her class. While she remains grateful for hybrid in-person schooling, she feels excitement for the new updates.

Before the Board officially decides, members plan to examine case numbers for a few more weeks. The Romeo board expects to vote on this matter on February 22nd. If they vote “yes”, Cohort A and B combine starting March 15th. Cohort C remains online. This drastic change contributes to a very big transition for students, teachers, and the whole community.

“I think if we were to combine cohorts, it would definitely be a transition that everyone will have to get used to, but I definitely think it’s possible. I feel that continuing to make sure everyone is wearing masks, keeping distance, and sanitizing everything around us is very important when combining cohorts,” Dustman said.

While the transition produces a lot of discussion and possible challenges, the board keeps the best interest of the students in mind. Student learning and emotional well-being marks the administration’s top priority. Each alteration increases the amount of in-person instruction and safe social interactions between students and their peers. This increase provides students with a valuable change.

 “I find it hard to stay engaged from home. I think the teachers are doing a great job with their virtual lessons, but I personally find it hard to learn from home,” Gilbert said. 

As Romeo Community Schools discuss these modifications, students and the community experience many new and exciting possibilities. The replacement of online Wednesdays and the possible combination of Cohorts A and B provide a new normal for Romeo students. As the board continues these discussions, students and parents should stay tuned for new updates.

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