Jason Soul / Staff Reporter

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there have been many things that students must have adjusted to. As society adapted to these new conditions, secondary students faced various struggles such as social distancing rules and new quarter systems. It has been a tough month for students with an enormous change to their daily lives, and it is time to hear students’ voices on what can be done to stay safe and content.

The new system is to divide a school year into four quarters, with two to three classes per quarter. Students will have a morning block and an afternoon block. Depending on their schedule, they might have an additional X or Y block. Every other month, a hybrid system will happen. Students will be changing their learning cohorts between the morning class and the afternoon class, shifting either from a learning group into a blended group or from a blended group into a learning group. 

Although this new quarter system seems like it is beneficial for students academically since it allows them to focus on a subject deeply without having to worry about other classes, some students feel like it has had the opposite effect. Many students feel like it is hard to stay concentrated for two hour-long lectures, which ruins the idea of focusing on a subject more deeply. Also, it has occurred to some students that it is quite boring and tedious to not have a diversity of classes in a quarter.  

“I think having four divided quarters makes a lot of sense,” said Martin Santomin, grade 11, when he was asked for his thoughts on the new quarter system. “But also, it is quite boring to have to take the same classes every day for a month.”  

Among all the other concerns throughout the students other than adjusting to the new system, the most popular one is having to socially distance with peers and teachers in school. It became difficult to have an ordinary conversation with friends. They must be six feet apart, with half of their faces covered by a mask. Although it is required for them due to their safety, it can be hard for teenagers to not be able to interact with companions. 

“I’ve noticed that social distancing has led to a lot of lineups because it takes up a lot of space to be six feet apart from everyone,” said Matt Lee, grade 11. “Social distancing takes patience and can be annoying sometimes, but it’s necessary for the time being.” 

For a normal next year, students must follow the current rules and take responsibilities. The students need to fight back this pandemic by safely social distancing and keeping their hands clean to gain back the sports events, interactions with people, eating in the cafeteria, and many other things that the students have lost due to COVID-19.

“Although I am sad that we cannot continue to play sports and have social gatherings like we used to,” said Lee. “I think it’s better to keep it this way rather than to go to these social events and risk getting the virus and potentially harm the people around me.”