Milton High School welcomed students back from the break Monday and returned to the fully virtual instructional model.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, MHS will return to the Blended/Cohort model, with students on site for the A/B days.

In an email to parents this week, Principal Jeremy Bilhorn said the high school and district leadership teams reflected on what did and did not work well with the original cohort model during the first trimester.

In response MHS is making significant changes when students return on Jan. 19.

He wrote:

• Students will still be in their A or B cohorts based on their last name. Those students who chose “Fully Virtual” for the second trimester will attend with their last name cohort and NOT Cohort B, as they did during the first trimester.

• The big change will be that ALL students will be in attendance every day (either in person or virtually). For example:

  • January 19 is a “B” day.

— Cohort B (last names L-Z), whether in person or virtual, will join class for the full school day, from 7:35 a.m.-2:55 p.m.

— Students in Cohort A (last names A-K) will join virtually during the morning sessions and be available to join if needed for the afternoon sessions.

  • Jan. 20 is an “A” day.

— Cohort A (last names A-K), whether in person or virtual, will join class for the full school day, from 7:35 a.m.-2:55 p.m.

— Students in Cohort B (last names L-Z) will join virtually during the morning sessions and be available to join if needed for the afternoon sessions.

Why are we making this change?

We learned the following during the first trimester:

• Students benefit more from seeing their teachers on a daily, consistent basis — even if that is virtually. The “off-site” days that did not include synchronous instruction were not working. Many students did not complete the learning activities that were assigned that day.

• We saw a significant benefit for students who attended “every day” during our fully virtual schedule. Therefore, we are adopting a version of that bell schedule into our cohort model. 

• Many students had difficulty with virtual instruction for the longer class periods. While we will return to 68-minute class periods when we are out of the pandemic — spending that much consistent time in front of a screen during virtual learning was challenging for many. While before, only those choosing Fully Virtual had this longer screen time, this new model has every student joining virtually on their off-site days. The breaking up of the day into morning and afternoon sessions should help.

Bilhorn concluded by saying, “While the ultimate goal is to get back to fully in person learning – we are likely going to be in the Blended/Cohort model for a while. We wanted to make sure that it is as good as we can make it.”

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