Just as the spring introduced new words and phrases into our vocabulary—“social distancing” and “asynchronous learning,” to name two—the fall is bringing additional ones, such as “blended learning,” “cohort,” and “de-densification.”

Medical experts are advising, and government instructions are echoing, that the prudent course for schools is to have fewer students on campus and in classrooms than had been the norm (“de-densification”).

They also recommend students should be organized into groups (“cohorts”) for in-person instruction that stay together throughout the school day and across school days. This minimizes the potential for “crossover infections” that reach from one group into another.

NCS has assigned each student to a cohort. During remote learning, this assignment will not be apparent, as both cohorts will attend class together online. During blended learning, each cohort would come to campus one week and remain off campus the next, staying connected with teachers and classmates through online tools.

Each cohort will engage in a week of in-person instruction as NCS believes it important that, to the extent possible, students be able to work face-to-face with faculty for an extended period of time.

To limit family disruption, NCS has strived to place siblings in different divisions within the same cohort. Otherwise, the specific arrangement of students within each cohort was made to achieve several academic goals. Because of this, requests to switch cohorts cannot be honored.

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