(Image contributed)

(Image contributed)

Chinook’s Edge opts out of K-6 draft curriculum pilot

The school board cites concerns with the content and roll out of the curriculum

Chinook’s Edge School Division has decided not to participate in the pilot of the new Kindergarten to Grade 6 draft curriculum presented by the Province.

Board of Trustee Chair Holly Bilton said there were two main reasons for the division opting out of the pilot.

The first concern is the timing of the pilot, and the impact it will have on staff and students during a pandemic.

“First and foremost we are still in a pandemic… People already feel taxed adding a new pilot curriculum on top of that doesn’t seem like the best idea,” said Bilton.

Further to concerns with timing and roll-out plan, Bilton said there were concerns with the content of the draft curriculum.

The Central Office Leadership Team has conducted a thorough analysis of the draft curriculum and have found a number of concerns with the “content, the grades it is set for and the sequencing,” according to Bilton.

Bilton said the leadership team is still analyzing the draft and will be sending their suggestions for revisions to Alberta Education as part of their contribution “toward a workable curriculum.”

The Central Office Leadership Team will also be submitting a proposal that, if accepted, would assist the government in making necessary improvements to the present draft curriculum which could allow for further engagement in the fall, a press release from Chinook’s Edge states.

The K-6 Draft Curriculum was presented at the end of March and school boards across the province have been opting out of the pilot project this fall, site the same reasons as Chinook’s Edge.

“We want to get it right before it is put before our students,” said Bilton.

Adriana LaGrange, minister of education, said the curriculum is based on “proven research and is designed to improve student outcomes across all subjects, following several years of declining and stagnant student performance.”

LaGrange says the draft curriculum has four key learning themes: literacy, numeracy, citizenship and practical skills.

Under literacy, students will be taught to master reading, writing, speaking and listening via using phonics and “other proven best practices.”

And under the citizenship theme, students will draw from history, geography, economics, civics, and other studies to, “develop an appreciation of how Canadians have built one of the most generous, prosperous, and diverse societies in the world.”

Practical skills runs the gamut from learning about household budgeting, digital literacy and business planning to healthy relationships and the importance of consent, she said.

LaGrange said the Province will hold a transparent review process including the pilot project.

The draft will not be completed until 2022.

The draft K-6 curriculum is online at alberta.ca/curriculum for all Albertans to provide feedback until the spring 2022.