School is extra frustrating now

Madawaska Valley District High School Student
Special to the Gazette

This past week students from the local college, highschool, and elementary schools resumed their academics. Although they went back to the same buildings they had previously attended, it was an entirely new system they were welcomed into. The 2020/2021 school year – as we are all brutally aware – looks drastically different from any of its predecessors.

As a student of Madawaska Valley District High School, the first new procedure I experienced was the return date. At MVDHS we began the academic year with staggered entry. This meant that for me, as a senior student, my already extra long summer was extended until Thursday, September 10. The grade nine students, as well as those in elementary school, had gone back on Tuesday, and the grade tens followed suit on Wednesday. When the rest of us arrived Thursday morning, the students and staff gathered outside of the front entrance (social distancing procedures were practiced of course). Entry to the school was not permitted until the beginning of the school day. The students, still remaining outside, were greeted by the principal, Dean Zadow, who proceeded to touch on the changes to the school environment as well as explain any new rules and precautions that all its members would be required to follow. When the day officially began, whilst keeping two metres apart and wearing face masks, we began to enter the building. At the doors all who entered were required to sanitize their hands. A speech, similar to the one given by the principal, was given in all first period classes.

The next major change was the newly implemented ‘quadmester’ system. This means that the school year will be split into four semesters, unlike previous years which were divided in two. Additionally, the school day itself looks different. In place of the usual four period school day, the students of MV have only two classes a day, which are double the usual length: one in the morning and the other following lunch. This system is the way the school will run for at least the first half of the year. Whether the second half of the school year will follow this structure has yet to be determined.

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