In a virtual school meeting Monday, the Edmonton Catholic School Board decided unanimously to not pilot the Alberta government’s draft kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum.
Board members said they embrace opportunities to participate in provincial curriculum updates. However, after a comprehensive review of the draft curriculum proposed by the province, won’t be piloting the curriculum in Edmonton Catholic schools next year.
Chief Supt. Martin Robert said the district completed a universal survey, and created 17 focus groups that examined the draft curriculum by subject and grade.
“At this time… we believe that the conditions have not been met for a quality piloting process,” Robert said.
“Edmonton Catholic Schools will not be piloting the draft curriculum in the 2021-2022 school year.”
He said, instead, the district would be focusing on nurturing positive mental health and the foundations of numeracy and literacy next school year.
“The pandemic echo will be long and far reaching,” Robert said. “Our students and staff have been deeply impacted by the ongoing disruptions to learning and the mental health impacts.”
Trustees thanked all the teachers and administrative staff for volunteering for the curriculum review. It included focus groups that looked at inclusive education, equity and diversity, as well as age-group appropriateness.
The review, which ended up being more than 100 pages, includes recommendations to the education ministry for curriculum redesign.
Trustee Debbie Engel said she wants the public to know: “We have heard you loud and clear… a new curriculum is needed.”
She said teachers and consultants did a “deep dive” before making this decision and it was not a “knee-jerk reaction.”
The board said it would write a letter to Education Minister Adriana LaGrange with the review feedback and also continue to be part of any future curriculum redesign.