The latter half of 2020 was an unconventional semester for Toronto students, as the Ministry of Education scrambled to respond meaningfully to the new COVID lockdown restrictions. While some of the kinks were worked out over the summer, this school year still promises to be a strange and potentially difficult one for students.
Especially among the 2021 graduating class, there’s a palpable sense of concern that the hybrid of in-classroom learning and remote education is stymying their university prospects. Some students also worry that they aren’t going to get the credits they need to earn their OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma.)
Between the stresses of moving their education indoors and the missed school credits from last year, students are right to be concerned. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you or your child can take to optimize their education in 2021, even as the COVID pandemic continues to throw wrenches in the plan. Read further to find out how Toronto students can improve their education during COVID.
Create a Dedicated Study Space at Home
One of the most critical adaptations a student can make is to become comfortable with at-home education. At the time of writing this article, students were still permitted to attend classes in-person (albeit in a changed capacity.) But if this pandemic has taught people anything, it’s that things are liable to change quickly.
To that end, it’s best to be proactive and set up a dedicated study space at home, complete with a workspace setup, computer, and school supplies. That way, you can quickly and effortlessly transition to online learning, should the government announce a return to online learning, or should you decide that in-classroom learning is too risky for you. Set up your study space in a quiet part of the home, if possible, free from distractions.
Enrol in an Online School
Another way to be proactive would be to enrol in an online school in Canada that offers credits toward an OSSD. You don’t have to wait for the government to make an announcement or for you to feel unsafe in your public school environment. There are quality online schools that allow you to register for courses whenever you want, and that have expert teachers on staff to guide you through the course material.
Enrolling in an online high school can also help if you missed certain credits last year. Because online schools are flexible, allowing you to complete courses on your own time, you can do them amid your existing schedule. It’s an easy, helpful way to supplement your credits as you begin to think about university.
Use Your Free Time to Get a Head Start on Applications
Speaking of university, now is the time to ramp up your application process. Ideally, you should have started the application process earlier in the fall, but many universities have a “rolling admissions” process that continues to accept applications. Chances are you have some more free time than usual since COVID has all but eliminated extracurricular activities; you can use that extra time to ensure your university applications are in tip-top shape.
You might be interested in reading, “How to Use Zoom: Etiquette, Tips and Best Practices“.