The Semester System is Supreme

 Portraits By Addie Lewis ’25 and Kelly Janssen ’23.
 Comics By Addie Lewis ’25 and Kelly Janssen ’23.

 As the new school year starts, it is important to leave the past behind—whether that be poor grades, graduated seniors or the schedule plan. Last year’s schedule was more manageable and easy, but it was only a short-term fix; the module system was inefficient and did not prepare students for the upcoming year. The COVID-19 precautionary schedule involved much thought, yet the administration did not consider the upcoming school year. The semester schedule is the better calendar option for Western Reserve Academy students.

Starting the 2020-2021 academic year, students were assigned a schedule with only four classes to manage at once. They saw all four classes every day at the same time in two out of four quarters in the year. Since students attended classes every day instead of two or three times a week, they were able to cover a semester’s worth of material in half the time.

Last year, students had to finish homework for all of the same classes every night. Now students are given two days in between classes to finish their work, which is better for retaining the information that was learned in class. Students all have more time to complete homework, projects and study for quizzes and tests. The old schedule, although easy, arguably was not ideal for high school students in a new, fast-paced atmosphere.

Last year was a mixed bag with the world events that transpired in such a short period. The simplicity of maintaining fewer classes made the year slightly more manageable for everybody. However, the semester system is much easier because all of the core classes span the whole year, instead of having periodic breaks to switch the quarter. This makes it easier to remember the information learned, as there are no long breaks in the curriculum. The module system did not allow students to consistently know their class’s material throughout the year. Not only was retention challenging, but the two-month period we went without seeing that class made tests and review difficult as well. 

The previous year, students were often tasked with having to reach out to teachers at the beginning of every module to catch up. With the new semester schedule, students are given an extra free period on Tuesday and Thursday to talk to teachers and ask for help when needed. Along with that, there are more open times for teachers because they aren’t teaching as many tracks, so they have more time to meet with students.

 Having days off between classes makes it easier to keep track of all the workload. There is more time to finish work and study, but there are more subjects to study for which has made it more difficult for students who are here for their second year, as they were taught with the much easier quarter schedule. 

 The new green/white system is the exact opposite of last year when students attended the same class every day at the same time. Now students attend different classes everyday, and at different times in the day. This idea was beneficial at the time to simplify our days as well as limit exposure to other people, but it was not beneficial to our academic success. The current schedule changes the classes each day, but it also changes the order of the classes each week. The variation allows for students to experience classes in both the morning and the afternoon. Ultimately, this means teachers can have more attentive classes.


 The semester schedule gives students more time to complete homework, projects and study for tests and quizzes. Additionally, having multiple days in between classes makes it easier to retain information for students. 


  With the semester schedule, there are a lot more options for elective classes. Last year students could only have an elective a quarter, but with the semester schedule, there are more tracks for students to pursue topics they are interested in. The current schedule is better for the future. This system is consistent, interesting and full of variation. The schedule will set us up for success in the upcoming years as well with the current semester schedule.

 Although the module system made it easier for students and teachers to work through the tornado of events we had every day, the semester system is the most beneficial system moving forward here at WRA, and it is the right way to get back to normal.

– Mira Zamarro ’24

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