Writer, Parker Zhang
The quarter system allows us to form learning bubbles, mitigating the spread of COVID-19. But if we were to take a closer look. How is it working during quarantine? Should we consider this as an alternative after the pandemic, and is it effective at all?
During the lockdown of 2020, staff and some students were asked about their thoughts on a quarter system. This was to mitigate transmission. However, the theory sounded much better than in practice. The quarter system had its flaws. It tried to schedule as many classes multiple students had together. This had the effect of assigning unwanted electives, frustrating many students who had been looking forward to their elective classes.
Other students, however, had much more positive views of the quarter system which, “…allows us to complete subjects in 10 weeks” said Grade 9 Sienna Harder.
Some like “how fast it feels” and, “don’t mind it”.
Another says, “with covid taken into account, it seems necessary”.
While the quarter system is fast-paced and subject-oriented, students are bound to be left behind. In subjects such as Math or Languages, pupils rely on constant repetition and practice. As soon as the quarter ends, support and resources vanish. Without it, they quickly lose knowledge and momentum. It is until the next school year when they must start from scratch again.
The quarter system is the lesser of two evils in a time like this. We have it to thank for limiting the spread of COVID-19. But it is not a sustainable alternative to the year-round format. Having to sit through more than two hours of a class, every day, for the next ten weeks.
Burnout is another concern. If you aren’t particularly fond of a course, you are bound not to try as hard.
Communication has been more important than ever. Shy students are forced to interact and express confusion. And managing your time, just to stay on top of assignments.
COVID-19 has made us have to be the best in ourselves, trying our hardest, and making sure those around us are safe, too. I have full trust that the administration of WGSS will be looking out for us gators when deliberating on what schedule to use for next year. They will take into account our well-being as well as public health concerns. Let us hope that, next year, our electives and honours classes are not cancelled.
For now, though, keep that gator spirit high and try as hard to get through your next quarter!
Quotes (in order of use): Sienna Harder, Connie Song, Aiden Noh-Fingler
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