Sutherland Secondary School is the only secondary school in the North Vancouver School District and on the North Shore that uses the semester system in order to deliver an educational program to students. In comparison to a linear schedule where students take their entire course load over ten months, a semester schedule breaks the year into two equal terms allowing students to focus on a reduced number of courses that are taken daily.
The semester system may be a preferred choice for students based on their personal learning style and educational goals. Many students find that it is easier to stay organized with a fewer number of courses at one time. For students in the senior grades, the semester system provides flexibility. Students have greater opportunities to participate in apprenticeship programs, career exploration, or early graduation in order to pursue post-secondary options.