Article by Hailey Pitcher, ’21:
Kellenberg Firebirds walked into school on a brisk September day, socially distant and with smiles on their faces, eager to get back to in-person learning by adopting the “cohort” classroom structure.
Also offering remote and hybrid learning opportunities, Kellenberg welcomed back in-person learning with socially distant cohorts. The Latin School and grades 9-11 are enrolled in classes with about 25 of their peers. Teachers rotate in and out of classrooms to minimize exposure to COVID-19. Students are allowed time outside of class to socialize, have lunch, and take a breather from their hard work in class.
Students have responded tremendously well to the new environment. They cooperated with protocol and still achieved the same enthusiasm within classes.
“At first, I was nervous that it was so different, but everyone adjusted very quickly,” says freshman Shanik Nunez. “The teachers are great. They’re super friendly and helpful. In a way, the cohorts help us all have a deeper relationship with each other.”
“This year, I’m really enjoying my Spanish class,” exclaims ninth-grader Cole Curtis. “I like everyone in my class, so it’s been easy to meet new people! Right now, I only know around 1% of my peers, but by the end of the year, I hope to know 100%!”
Kellenberg’s seniors are making use of the auditorium, cafeteria, and gymnasium in larger cohorts. As with their underclass counterparts, seniors’ teachers rotate in and out of classes, which are given lecture style. The cohorts are larger, seating about 60 students while still socially distant. Seniors are following safety protocol while also enjoying their final year in the Firebird community.
“In my auditorium cohort, I have the opportunity to learn a subject lecture style from different teachers,” says Meaghan O’Keefe ‘21. “The switching of teachers every day gives me a break from a monotonous routine, but also the privilege of acquiring varying perspectives on the same subject.”
Students are still given the option to switch to remote on days they cannot make it to classes. “If I’m feeling ill or I’m absent someday, I don’t need to worry about falling behind on classwork or quizzes. I can do it all from home.” senior Faith Schwartz remarked.
Overall, the school community is delighted to get back on a routine. With an amazing faculty, eager students, and a positive attitude, the Kellenberg community is ready to handle the current situation with responsibility, perseverance, and, most of all, hope and faith.