Toronto

Toronto high school students to learn under 'modified semester' after pushback over quadmesters

After pushback from students and parents, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) says it is doing away with the previous “quadmester” model in schools and bringing in a modified semester model this fall.

TDSB says it heard concerns from community members including staff, students and families

When Toronto District School Board students head back to class this fall, it will be for a 'modified semester' instead of a quadmester, the board announced Wednesday. (CBC)

After pushback from students and parents, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) says it is doing away with the previous "quadmester" model in schools and bringing in a modified semester model this fall.

In a letter being sent to parents Wednesday, the board said that following its decision from May to continue with a quadmester model, it heard concerns from many community members including staff, students and families.

"We have worked with both the Ministry of Education and Toronto Public Health and, as a result of the declining COVID-19 cases and the increasing vaccination rates of students aged 12 and older, we have received approval that we can move forward with a modified semester model in secondary schools for the 2021-2022 school year," the letter reads.

In this model, students will take four courses — two each during alternating weeks. Students will still continue to be in cohorts, the TDSB says, but will now be part of four cohorts, with one in each class.

Class sizes will go back to normal dependent on grade, level and subject, the board says, and learning will be either fully in-person or fully virtual, depending the selection families make in August.

"The modified semester offers more face-to-face time between students and teachers, encouraging an opportunity to build relationships and support an increased sense of belonging in class," the letter reads. "It also offers a slower pace by learning over a longer period of time than the quadmester model."

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