Sebastian Rangel Ortega / Staff reporter 

The quarter system is poorly received by students, despite changes on schedule being made for student’s health and safety.  

All the secondary schools in SD43 have decided to replace the semester system to a quarter system, where students will mainly focus on two courses at a time as supposed to four. One face to face every day, and the other “blended,” where students take the class both face to face and online. The courses are now more condensed and faster-paced than in the semester system.

New guidelines brought about by the school district seem to have one key idea in common – the less students are exposed to other students the less they are at risk of contracting the virus. Classes are now taken in small groups, called cohorts, that prevent students from being in contact with each other, lowering the risk of the COVID-19 virus to spread. Students are now expected to social distance two meters with other students outside their cohorts, and to wash or sanitize their hands every time they walk inside class.  

“A weekend for me is not a weekend anymore. It feels like every day is a school day. I don’t have any time to put my mind off things, [pause] and rest,” said Sophie Jun, grade 12, when asked about what aspect of school she dislikes the most, and how a normal day for her looks like. 

“Not eating in class comfortably or talking to my friends at school. It’s our last year of school, right? We might not even see each other after this school year ends.”  

While talking to talking to Aryan Basi, grade 12, he also seems to be concerned about how relationships with friends would be affected, so he chooses to break the guidelines to see friend in other cohorts at lunch. When asked if concerned about COVID-19, he replied,  

“Little bit, but not scared enough to not talk to my friends like normal at lunch.”  

Unlike Basi, Jun’s lunch time looks drastically different, 

“My parents are very concerned about COVID. At lunch time I don’t get to eat with my friends; they would pick me up in the parking lot and make me eat in the car.” 

New time periods like “Flex time” and Block X and Y also tend to be more confusing to students. While discussing the quarter system, Basi commented,

“I liked school in June. It was easier. When everything was online and I didn’t have to come to school.” 

Despite struggle with new school guidelines, Wendy Yu, principal, asks students to be empathetic. 

“We know things will seem strict, but we’re relying on you to not only keep yourself safe, but to extend that kindness and keep others safe as well.”