Ever since the pandemic disrupted the school system, many teachers and students were uncertain of the future of education. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the shutdown of schools in March to limit the spread of COVID-19 slowed or put academic learning on hiatus for children. Teachers had to scramble in shifting their lessons and work into online learning platforms in order to recreate the atmosphere of in-class learning, all while students themselves had to cope with the new changes from learning at school with their friends to learning at home. However, with social distancing protocols being implemented and safety measures being enforced, schools were able to reopen for the fall.
Despite schools reopening, there have been many changes that the Ontario Ministry of Education has recommended to all Ontario schools to suit the “new normal” caused by the pandemic – one of them most notably being “quadmesters” or “quadmester Ontario”.
Format of Quadmesters
To ensure that students return to the classroom, whether in-class or online, the government has split the school year into four sections (quadmesters). During each quadmester span of approximately 9 weeks, students receive instruction in two courses, earning a minimum of two credits per quad. The schedule* for the quadmesters has been structured as follows:
- Quad 1: Sept. 17 – Nov. 17 + Exams Nov. 18,19
- Quad 2: Nov. 23 – Feb. 2 + Exams Feb. 3, 4
- Quad 3: Feb. 8 – April 20 + Exams April 21, 22
- Quad 4: April 23 – June 23 + Exams June 24, 25, 28
*Schedule may be varied depending on start of classes for certain schools and regions
With more free time in their spare periods during their school days, students are able to use that time with tutoring sessions, study groups, and any other extracurricular activities made to benefit their learning experience.
Before each quadmester begins, students must choose one of the following school learning models: Adapted In-School Day Model and 100% Remote Learning
Model 1: Adapted In-School Day Model
The Adapted In-School Day Model incorporates both in-class and online learning methods for students during the quadmester. For days in which in-class learning is permitted, each course is limited to 15 students per 1 teacher, in which the students have to be physically distant from one another. After their lunch break at home, students return to their classes with the remote learning model, where they attend a live, online session of schooling. On other days during this quadmester model, students stay home for remote learning lessons, which occur in both synchronous and asynchronous ways.
One of the greatest benefits of following this model for the quadmester format is the in-person factor, as students will be able to interact with their friends, fellow classmates and teachers. In addition to spending time outside of the house, students will have the opportunity to collaborate, share ideas and engage in discussions that increase their social and emotional skills. The quadmester model benefits students who thrive on in-person interaction, as school provides a safe and supportive environment for their learning.
Despite students being able to go back to in-person classrooms, they must abide by the ministry requirement of wearing a mask during school. To limit the spread of the virus, high school students are also not permitted to use lockers, play any organized sports, or eat at their high schools until it is safe enough to do so. Students and educators have to practice physical distancing, as well as health and safety protocols such as regular hand sanitization and daily self-screening (checking for COVID-19 symptoms).
Model 2: 100% Remote Learning
During this choice of learning in a quadmester, students are permitted to stay at home and continue their education there. They will still have to focus on two courses per day, as they will be maintaining their school attendance and work during synchronous and asynchronous learning as the school day progresses. Teachers will mark students absent if they aren’t virtually present in their classes, underscoring the importance of communicating with teachers about Wi-Fi connection issues.
Along with this quadmester model, teachers have to implement a course curriculum that works effectively with online platforms such as Brightspace; an online learning management system often used by educational institutions for online and/or blended learning.However, more students can attend courses in comparison to the 15 student limit in the Adapted In-School Day Model.
In any case, school is an integral part of a child’s growth and development. With these learning models implemented and semesters rerouted into quadmesters, giving children a wholesome education can hopefully still continue as society deals with the pandemic’s impact. To learn more about quadmesters and the new school system, and to book a free assessment, you can call us at 1 (844) 628-4243! For more information on MathProject’s math tutoring programs in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville, visit ‘Our Programs’ page.Book a free assessment
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Return to School – tdsb.on.ca
Quad-mestered System – schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca
WHAT THE TDSB’S BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN MEANS FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS – iheartradio.ca
QUADMESTER EXPLAINED – aia.school
‘Quadmesters’ for teens and no sports: Reopening plans for Toronto public schools revealed – cbc.ca
Reopening Schools Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – ugdsb.ca