Around Bosco: Mixed Emotions About The Quarter System Spark Debates On The Future of Bosco Bell Schedule

by Ryan Tavera

As the Bosco community transitions into the final quarter of the school year, both students and faculty alike weighed in on surveys to share their thoughts on how the quarter system has positively and negatively affected education during online learning. 

Academics - St. John Bosco High School

One thing many teachers have had to adjust to is the eight-week period as opposed to the previous 16 weeks per semester. Teachers have had to adjust while planning out their lessons or assignments in order to fit them into the shorter schedule. Mr. Flaherty, for instance, has resorted to projects rather than tests and quizzes. 

“One thing I have fallen back on, especially during remote learning, is doing a lot of project based lessons, rather than a quiz or a test my students will work on bigger projects that might take longer but overall the assessment of their learning becomes a little more obvious,” said Mr. Flaherty.

On the other hand some teachers are still trying to find that balance when assigning projects, classwork or tests, which is no easy task especially when behind a screen. 

“You don’t really know if it’s too much; it’s hard to get a sense of that. You’re trying to teach the same things but you don’t know whether it’s too much or how much everyone can handle,” said Ms. Tracy.

From a student’s perspective, the overall workload is varied depending on the student and classes. Some feel the workload has been the easiest it’s ever been and others feel it significantly amps up at certain points during the semester.  

Nicholas Galeana, a Junior in the Computer Science Pathway, feels the workload in his classes has been fairy balanced and manageable. 

“My teachers gave me a fair amount of work, nothing too much to stress me. I definitely think it is getting easier to adjust to because we have been online for a while now,” said Nicholas. 

Other students have found the workload to be difficult and even overwhelming at times, especially those who participate in extracurricular activities outside of school.

“When we first started, I found myself struggling at times during the quarter especially when I missed a few days for a wrestling tournament. It seemed almost impossible to catch up again since I had missed a couple of days” said senior and Varsity wrestler Jasper Centeno. 

Another issue that has sparked some controversy among the Bosco community is the idea of continuity between classes. While seeing the same teachers everyday has its pluses it does not come without a few drawbacks.

“It’s a plus seeing the guys everyday cause there’s some continuity and it’s a challenge because to be dynamic it takes a lot of energy,” said Mr. Cordero.

However, with the removal of a tumbling schedule from previous years it means students aren’t able to rotate between classes and have to wait until the next quarter in order to be in that class again. 

“The challenge for some students might be the continuity or the lack of continuity for certain subjects. History for example, we left off in the 1900’s the Gilded Age at Christmas so I haven’t seen those guys for about three months. So that lack of continuity is definitely something that I think that gets broken up a little bit,” said Mr. Cordero 

This issue becomes especially apparent in certain subjects such as a language class since there is such a long period of time until students take the class again. 

As the Bosco community transitions into its last quarter of the year fatigue and certain challenges such as lack of a break have been apparent in the community. 

“I think going from third to fourth quarter you definitely sense that everyone is kinda tired and trying to get that energy up to start all over again is a little more challenging,” said Ms. Tracy.

While most students and teachers share this experience of feeling burnt out after the last quarter. Others feel differently and support the fast transition from third to fourth quarter. 

“I think having an extended break can cause some issues because you kind of lose that momentum,” said Mr. Flaherty. 

Ultimately it is hard to get a firm grasp on the communities feelings about the quarter system especially during online learning. 

Only time will tell how the Bosco community welcomes the quarter system when in person learning is resumed. Until then students and teachers are doing their best to adapt to the new circumstances.

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