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Full-time in-person education is back for 2,000 MCVTS students

Full-time in-person education is back for 2,000 MCVTS students
 
Two-thousand students have returned to the five campuses of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, and they were excited to be back to full-time in-person education.
 
Two new career majors were available to freshmen as the school year began, both on the Piscataway Campus: finance, and physical therapy and exercise science.
“Finance has a concentration on banking and investing,” said Sean McDonald, MCVTS director of career and technical education.
 
“We’re developing the curriculum as we go, so we’re starting with ninth-graders this year.”
 
The physical therapy and exercise science major might lead to careers in rehabilitation, athletic training or personal training.
“There are many pathways to careers,” McDonald said. “We are excited about these programs.”
 
The physical therapy/exercise instructor, Angela Kontos, has a doctorate in physical therapy, while the finance teacher, Valerie Echols-Gardner, has experience in both industry and teaching at the college level.
 
McDonald said articulation agreements with Middlesex College, Rutgers University and the College of New Jersey are being negotiated so that students will be able to receive college credits later in their high school careers. Industry representatives are also being approached to be on advisory committees.
 
“A big part of these programs will be mentorships in senior year to get workplace experience as well as to acquire necessary certifications,” McDonald said. “The students will be prepared for post-secondary education or to go right into the workforce.”
 
MCVTS now offers 36 career majors.
 
"We are thrilled to have our students back in their buildings,” said Robert Mooney, interim superintendent of schools. “We are following all state and CDC guidelines. The safety of our students and staff, as always, is paramount."
 
“When the school opened, I was excited to be back to continue my work in my career major,” said Gillian Walker, a senior architecture technology major on the East Brunswick Campus. “Walking in, the school felt very clean and very organized. Starting classes in person after a year and a half of virtual learning was very tiring, but all of the teachers were very understanding.”
 
“The first few days of school were slightly hectic compared to last year when only about 30 kids were in-person, but overall I feel very safe and content,” said Suhaani Gupta, a 10th-grader at the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison. “It’s been fun to see all my friends I haven’t seen in a while and I’m excited for the rest of the year!”
 
“I am really happy with the start of the 2021-22 school year, as there are sufficient COVID precautions but we are still able to attend school in person,” said Edison Academy sophomore Namit Agrawal. “It is nice to have a full class again, and overall I am looking forward to the rest of the year.”
 
“So far, this school has been much friendlier than I expected,” said Kevin Malone, a junior electronics student, who transferred to the Perth Amboy Campus for the new school year.
 
“Everybody has been very nice and everything was very welcoming and organized,” he added. “Even though I entered this school as a junior, and that’s not usual, everything has been seamless with very few hiccups. So far the teachers and students have been great, so it’s been a wonderful experience.”
 
Perth Amboy Campus sophomore Zeniiah Moscoso, who was fully remote for 2020-2021 said “returning to school was really wonderful. It was different because we could finally see everyone again, unlike last year. I am more of a ‘right in front of your face’ learner, so it’s better for me to be in person, watching and listening to the teacher and students. I am happy to be back.”
 
“I thought it was very organized, even though we are still going through a difficult time,” said Perth Amboy sophomore Analia Jimenez. “We (students) got our stuff together and we did great. I am excited to be back to school.”
 
“I feel like this is the best school that I have ever attended,” said Perth Amboy freshman Christian Torres. “It’s a great school community with nice teachers and students. The school work is fun. The teachers make it fun for us, so it’s not stressful. They are really nice people to be around, and I am happy I chose to be here.”
 
"It's better to be in school, because in person I can focus more," said Maseera Maryam, a freshman on the Piscataway Campus.
 
"It is so much better than online because online I wasn't getting the real learning experience,” said Piscataway 11th-grader Saniya Sainvilus. “I like the hands-on type of learning, especially for culinary. I'm looking forward to cooking and eating!"
 
"It feels complete; it feels back to normal. It feels great to be back with friends and teachers,” said 11th-grader Aileen Zarate.
 
9/22/21