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Semesters to Trimesters Essay

At the high school level trimesters are more effective than semesters. So why do most high schools use a semester four quarter system rather than a trimester system? The teachers seemed to be the most concerned about this at Pineview High School, and they are trying to make the switch. The reason that trimesters are more effective is that it allows more time to the class period so teachers can get into detail about the topic. With a four quarter semester system, the classes are short and there are two more classes in one school day. This argument occurs all over the place where high schools are trying to switch from semesters to trimesters.

Currently Pineview High, in Chewelah is using a semester system with quarter terms and is trying to change the system to trimesters, in which a block schedule would then be used. The good side to this would be that it would change a forty-five minute class to a seventy minute class. This would allow the teachers plenty of time to go in depth on a topic and plenty of time to fully explain. The lengthening of classes would mean that classes would be cut so instead of seven periods the students would have five blocked periods. In a short class period teachers have a hard time getting the attention of the students and then when they finally do the class is over. Then they have to start all over again. With longer class periods it would allow the teacher to get the attention of the student and then have their attention for a longer period of time. Trimesters seem to be better than semesters and the switch would be rather appropriate because of these reasoning’s.

After researching this topic, I found that the changing of semesters to trimesters is happening all over the USA. So this would show that maybe trimesters are a little more effective than semesters. I researched that a high school in Portland had recently changed systems and that it took about five years of discussion before the change was made. The article stated “That the teachers and administrators thought the new schedule would reduce the assembly-line feel of the current school day. In the event students shuttle from class to class, absorbing disconnected lessons in history,¬†foreign language, literature, math, and science.”(The Oregonian) This would be a good thing and be more effective for the students. At this school instead of two, eighteen week semesters, the school year would be split into three twelve week trimesters. Another article stated how the change would allow students to earn more credits.

The problem with most districts is that some teachers and administrators do not want to change the system. In the research studied I found that some teachers argued the idea, saying that other schedules provide less class time and make it harder for students to retain what they learn.(The Oregonian) People do disagree with this but in reality more and more school districts are switching to trimesters to benefit students.

All of this shows why trimesters are better than semesters, and if a school district is thinking about switching systems then it would appropriate to do so because it is proven to be more effective. If a school district is concerned about the academics of the students then it would be smart to switch systems as well. It will ensure that the students will get the best out of their education and that is what is most important.

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