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Concerns raised in Lethbridge about plan to implement new Alberta school curriculum

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge schools react to fall launch of new curriculum' Lethbridge schools react to fall launch of new curriculum
WATCH ABOVE: Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers' Association, says educators won’t have enough time to prepare with the final draft curriculum coming out in April – Mar 11, 2022

Lethbridge schools are voicing their concerns over the province’s announcement that a new curriculum will be implemented in schools starting in September.

On Wednesday, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced the new K-3 Mathematics, K-3 English Language Arts and K-6 Physical Education and Wellness curriculum would start in fall 2022.

According to the province, these changes will affect more than 390,000 students and 30,000 teachers.

READ MORE: Alberta to introduce new curriculum in phased approach based on subject and age

Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, said with the final draft curriculum coming out in April, it’s simply not enough time for educators to prepare.

“Teachers will just work on the resources and the lesson planning while they’re teaching it,” he said. “It amounts to building a plane while you’re flying it.”

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Allison Purcell, board chair for Lethbridge School Division, said the late spring curriculum release creates a tight deadline for new textbooks and learning resources to be made and implemented into lesson plans.

“It’s an unrealistic expectation to have them prepare in a two-month time span,” Purcell said.

“Continuing on with another year of the current curriculum and piloting would be a much better option, so that our teachers have the opportunity to get their hands wet with the new materials and get familiar with it so that they’re able to teach the curriculum in a positive fashion.”

Ken Sampson, superintendent of schools for Holy Spirit Catholic School Division, believes the government is also not following through on its plan to pilot the new curriculum for an entire year.

“When you think about it, that started in September, and it’s over, essentially,” he said. “It’s really not a full year of a pilot. We’re a little concerned about that.”

On Wednesday, the ATA released results from a recent independent survey that asked more than 1,600 Albertans and teachers about the curriculum.

The survey found that only one in 10 association members agree they have access to the resources and support required to successfully implement the draft K-6 curriculum in September 2022.

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“The curriculum has very little support with teachers and the public,” Schilling said. “It’s something the government needs to stop moving forward with.

“Go back to the drawing board and get this right.”

On Wednesday, the ATA released results from a recent independent survey that asked more than 1,600 Albertans and teachers about the curriculum. Supplied by the ATA

 

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