The Benefits of Our Four Term Structure

For the past 10 years, Blyth Academy high school students have followed a four-term, two course per term structure. When the Ontario Ministry of Education recommended this quadmester timetable as part of the re-opening plan for all Ontario schools, many semestered and non-semestered high schools across the province had to quickly adapt. School boards that usually operate on a traditional two-semester, four course model are now working feverishly to navigate faculty and students through a very different school year.

At Blyth Academy, it’s business as usual.
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HOW OUR FOUR TERM STRUCTURE WORKS

This year, classes began with the same structure they always have — students were grouped into small class sizes and teachers arrived in the classroom with extensive training and years of experience teaching in a four-term structure. Our approach to personalized learning and experiential learning were embraced from day one, as was a pedagogy designed to keep students engaged during longer class times.
With class structure and small class sizes already in place, faculty across our 10 Ontario campuses were able to concentrate on preparing extensive safety and sanitation protocols, as well as teaching both in-school and virtually classes.
 
“The quadmester system has the potential to engage students and create lasting knowledge if done correctly. My worry is that many teacher have been thrown into this model with little or no professional development; teaching a class five days a week for 70 minutes is very different then having your students with you for three hours at once. This is why I trust Blyth Academy. Blyth Academy has been running their high school program in a term structure for over 10 years. Their philosophy of education and the pedagogy of delivery have been developed over time and was designed to be student-centered and experiential.” — Marie, Blyth Academy Parent
 
 
As a result of our well-established model, we are able to offer students the flexibility to switch classes at different points within the academic year as well as choose from a wide range of timetable options that work best for them. Our guidance counsellors work with each student individually each term to encourage them to explore different subject areas in preparation for post secondary school.
 
“Blyth Academy is not in survival mode, they are doing what they do best.”
— Mark, Blyth Academy Parent
 
Our campuses often see increased student success as a result of our four-term model, with students only needing to devote their time to two subjects, as well as only prepare for assessments in two courses at a time. This leaves more time outside of class to focus on extracurriculars and hobbies as well as mental health and overall wellness. In addition, we feel that students are better prepared for post secondary education as our model helps them to improve time management, self-regulation, and responsibility.
 

2020-2021 ACADEMIC SCHEDULE
Term One (Sep 14 to Nov 17)
Term Two (Nov 18 to Feb 5)
Term Three (Feb 8 to Apr 23)
Term Four (Apr 26 to Jun 29)

 

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR TERM TWO

Join us for Term Two from November 18, 2020 to February 5, 2021.

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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