'Quadmester' approach proposed for returning TVDSB secondary students
LONDON, ONT. -- Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) trustees are reviewing a plan on Wednesday that details how secondary schools in the region will operate for the coming school year.
The plan calls for what is being described as a Quadmester approach. In a Quadmester, students will take two courses at a time for a 10-week period.
Quad 1 will take place between Sept. 8 and Nov. 11.
A school day will start with two 60-minute blocks covering the same subject. A 40- to 60-minute lunch break would follow, and then an additional 120 minutes of the second subject would be broken again into two blocks in the afternoon. A 60-minute study hall would conclude the day.
The study hall block of the day will provide an opportunity for the classroom teacher to connect with students during their at-home learning.
Students are assigned into groups, either Cohort ‘A’ or Cohort ‘B,’ and each cohort will have approximately 15 students.
Each week, one cohort will be in class for three days and the other for two day, alternating weeks.
Parents like Sheri Noakes are still conflicted because of what’s not clearly addressed in the plan.
“I would personally like not to send her, but she’s really wanting to go back to school. She wants to be with her friends. I know some of her friends their parents have signed them up, but she has different medical needs than some of the other students.”
Noakes’ daughter is going into Grade 9, but there is an issue, “My daughter has asthma, and we’ve been told, masks are mandatory even for gym class unless they are outside, but that doesn’t really work for my child.”
Middlesex-London Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie believes the plan will work, but concedes there will be a need to adapt.
“We’re all working together, we’re all putting the safety of students and staff as the top priority, and we’ll also have to adjust things as we go. So I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to handle about as well as anyone. Given the leadership we have at the school boards”
But according to Western University Professor Prachi Srivastava, the plan still faces challenges.
“Little time, little resources, this is not going to be a strategy for success. This is a stop-gap measure, which the boards are trying to do the best that they can in the very difficult circumstances that they’re in.”
Parents hope that once trustees debate the plans for both elementary and secondary students’ return to school, more clarification will be available before they must decide whether to send their kids to school or keep them at home.