OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Catholic School Board is welcoming news secondary school students will shift back to regular semesters in February, with students taking four classes a day instead of two.

The Ontario government announced high schools will be permitted to resume a regular timetabling model of four courses a day, starting in the second semester.

"Recognizing the high rates of immunization among youth in our secondary schools, I'm proud to announce that secondary schools will resume a regular timetable model of four courses a day starting in Term 2," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board have been operating on a quadmester model for the current school year, with students taking two classes daily with five instructional hours per day. Quadmesters were also in place during the 2020-21 school year.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board is on a modified semester system, with two subjects one week and two different subjects the following week.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board says it's "encouraged" by the Ontario government's move back to semesters.

"We welcomed today's news from the government regarding the return to a traditional 4 courses per day beginning in February.  We have been advocating for this return based on feedback from students, staff, and parents," said the OCSB in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

"Our students have already successfully completed two of their four credits and are now completing the next two courses in the first half of the year.  While a decision to move back to 4 courses per day is still dependent on Ottawa Public Health and the rate of spread in our community, we are encouraged by today's announcement that this will take place in February."

The Ottawa Catholic School Board says students will continue with the current quadmester format until the end of January.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board says more information on a return to the semester system will be provided to students, families and staff as "planning progresses."

"We welcome the decision of the provincial government to allow school boards to offer students a four-course timetable for the second semester, or in some special circumstances earlier with local health agency approval," said the OCDSB statement to CTV News Ottawa.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association says the return of normal semesters is "welcome news" for students, staff and families.

"This return to a regular timetable for secondary students will improve student engagement and achievement, while allowing educators to create more effective teaching and learning environments," said OPSBA President Cathy Abraham in a statement.

With files from The Canadian Press