In-person classes have resumed on all five campuses of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.
Since April 19, both academic and career-education classes have been held in person, although students still have the option of virtual education.
Since September, career-education classes had been held in person five days a week, while academic classes were virtual. Students now are attending half-day sessions five days a week on the East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway campuses for both career and academic classes. They are dismissed at noon and, after a break for lunch, have one more virtual class in the afternoon, according to information provided by the school district.
“MCVTS welcomes our students to in-person education,” Superintendent of Schools Dianne Veilleux said in the statement. “This pandemic has reminded us of the crucial role of the interaction between teachers and students. Our students and staff have worked relentlessly to continue public education and have done tremendously creative and amazing things over the past year.
“Restoring our school community with all its joys and adventures has been a work of love for all of us here,” she added. “High school students working collaboratively can make miracles happen in our schools. Career technical education relies on experiential learning, and it has persisted and thrived throughout this most challenging year.”
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Bicsko said all state guidelines regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing are being followed.
At the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison students are attending all-day sessions, with the help of space provided by Middlesex College to promote social distancing.
Students at the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge are attending full sessions in a hybrid program of in-person and virtual classes.
The spring sports – baseball, softball and tennis – are in full swing, while other extracurricular activities are still virtual.
All five campuses will have a prom for seniors, using an outdoor dance floor.
Plans are under way for in-person outdoor graduations, similar to those held last June.
“The schools have a pulse again,” Bicsko said in the statement. “It’s nice to see the students and the teachers reacting to getting somewhat back to normal. Our staff has been so supportive and dedicated in adjusting to the demands of the pandemic.”
“I’m glad, as a teacher – it’s so hard to teach to a screen,” East Brunswick Campus graphic design teacher Jamie Sobolewski said in the statement. “I love class participation. Face-to-face instruction is very important. When the students are here, they are happy.”
Several of her students agreed.
“I’m very excited,” said Annabelle Medina, a junior from Edison. “It’s good to have some normalcy after all the restrictions.”
“I missed seeing my friends,” said Bethany Trimble, a sophomore from Metuchen. “Now that we’re back, I can talk to my friends every day.”
“I missed the routine,” said Jay Berlin-Langston, a junior from Highland Park. “I missed having a set schedule every day.”
“When you’re at school, you tend to get things done better,” said Navia Carpio of Old Bridge.
Online applications are being accepted for eighth-graders to attend the East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway campuses in the fall. More information is available at www.mcvts.net
The incoming classes of both the Edison and Woodbridge campuses are filled.