By Nicolas Stathopoulos
Everything in our world has changed. One of the most significant adjustments that have been made, without a doubt, is our school system. To give a brief summary of the evident change within our school board and specifically Harbord, our school swapped from a non-semester system to a quadmester one. That means students were juggling eight classes over the course of an entire school year. This changed to two classes every nine weeks this year. Now, this is a very drastic change, but after understanding the general consensus of the opinions that Harbord students have regarding the change, it has come down to two different opinions, you either like it, or you don’t. This article will discuss the most common views and provide an overall review of this quadmester system.
Starting off with the positives, the one main benefit that many Harbord students noticed was that focusing on only two classes at a time rather than eight allowed for a deeper understanding of each class. Instead of broadly studying eight courses throughout a whole school year, this new system allowed for a more compact and dense way of teaching that was completely different. This also allowed for a general increase in the overall organization. Again, there are only two major sources of information rather than eight. One final benefit of this system is how it allows for more flexibility for almost every student. With a schedule that involves asynchronous learning, students are able to work in a format that works for them rather than sticking to a more rigorous five-day schedule. By viewing these pros of the quadmester system and by truly feeling the real-life benefits in class, it is clear how many students benefit academically.
Even though many individuals find the system very advantageous, others are more against it due to certain negative aspects it portrays. First of all, teachers need to condense a normal year’s worth of curriculum work into two months; it forces students to complete that workload in two months. This includes projects, in-class evaluations, and tests that are assigned practically every class. In addition to this, social relationships with both teachers and other students have greatly diminished in our quadmester. Not only are students not able to interact with their teachers as much, but they also have either limited or no time to spend with their peers, depending on their schedules. These cons of the quadmester system can play a detrimental role to students who can’t accustom fast enough.
Ultimately, everyone is adapting to the quadmester differently. Certain individuals excelled while others failed to cope with the system. However, the change was primarily implemented with the main priority being kept in mind being safety. The quadmester system was implemented to provide a safer environment for everyone during these difficult times. There are many conflicting circumstances that one must consider with regard to the quadmester system. As long as safety remains the ultimate priority, the quadmester system will remain here to stay for a quantifiable period of time.