“Zooming” from School: Catalina’s On-Campus Cohorts

Lauren Dunlap
February 17, 2021

School has been far from normal this year, and many students are ready to return to in-person learning. Although Monterey County’s inclusion in the most restrictive tier of California’s graduated reopening framework prevents high schools from resuming in-person learning, the state’s cohorting regulations allow schools to offer support services to stable groups of no more than fourteen students. Thanks to this opportunity, some Catalina students have the opportunity to feel a small sense of normality with on-campus learning cohorts.

Cohorts began on January 11, when about twenty freshmen, divided into two groups, stepped onto campus for the first time this school year and attended Zoom classes from the library. Since then, learning cohorts have continued five school days a week. Unfortunately, currently, only freshman day students can participate, but the student body anticipates that sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be included in the near future. 

Freshmen must use the Safety App, a smartphone survey program that allows them to attest to their health and receive a “safety pass” to access campus. Ms. Edson also performs a daily temperature check on freshmen before they exit their cars. These precautions and more allow students to safely interact while mitigating the risk of transmitting COVID-19. In the meantime, students continue to hope that a change in Monterey County’s tier status will allow the rest of the school to resume in-person classes soon.

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