After 7 weeks of the quarterly system at Notre Dame, it is important to note that while the safety measures put in place (due to COVID-19) have been effective, some students are struggling with this new schedule.
By | Nina Stofati
With the unfortunate events caused by COVID-19, schools all across British Columbia are adapting to the “new normal” in different ways. Here at Notre Dame, the administration has introduced a quarterly system intended to expose staff and students to fewer people and not overwhelm them with work in the rare event where an online system would once more be in place. Although this system has been implemented for the health and safety of the school community, it has not necessarily benefitted the academic well being and growth of certain students.
It seems like a good idea on paper to have only two courses for ten weeks but the challenges associated with this sort of schedule heavily outweigh the benefits. Personally, my main concerns are associated with content-heavy courses such as Maths and Sciences. For people such as myself who have difficulty in STEM-related subjects, sitting through two and a half hours of these courses (even with breaks) would be quite exhausting.
Another concern I have with such a schedule is the idea of learning a month’s worth of material in one week. This system is only manageable for certain courses but is otherwise quite heavy.
An alternative that I believe would relieve some of the stress associated with the quarterly system would be a slightly different version of the linear system. This would mean that after semester two is over, the school could possibly consider implementing the four-course system once more. For the next half of the year, we would have blocks E, F, G, and H every day for an hour and a half as opposed to two, two, and a half-hour courses every day for ten weeks.
This would allow students more time to prepare for tests, ask for help on specific concepts without risking falling behind, and most importantly, it would not be as difficult to catch up on course work if a student was sick for one day given that there is a week worth of content taught in one day with the original quarterly system.
While this quarterly system is logical given the current situation we are in, it does not quite help many of us academically, or socially. If it can be implemented safely, a linear system would be preferred, and it might actually benefit the academic growth of many students. Although we will be exposed to several more people, the risk of transmission would remain quite low.
One can conclude that the academic ramifications of this quarterly system would be far more grave than the risk of transmission or exposure within the school community. Therefore, a linear system after semester two should strongly be taken into consideration.