Calgary separate school district latest board to opt-out of Alberta’s draft curriculum pilot

CALGARY — The Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) is the latest school board to opt-out of piloting the province’s new kindergarten to Grade 6 draft curriculum during the 2021-22 school year.

Earlier this month, the CCSD held a forum for parents and trustees to talk about the draft curriculum. The feedback was reviewed and a board meeting was held Wednesday to discuss the findings and reach a decision.

In a statement to CTV News, CCSD officials provided insight into the decision.

“After extensive consultation with our community, our Board of Trustees and administration have decided not to pilot the draft K-6 curriculum. This decision involved consultation with our stakeholder groups and considered both the needs of our all of our students as well as the effect and impact of the current pandemic on our schools. We have identified several concerning themes including age inappropriateness, lack of Indigenous permeation, level of inclusiveness, content and timing. Many of these concerns are similar to those voiced by parents, staff and community members through our consultative process.

“Calgary Catholic will be providing feedback and is confident that the government will make necessary adjustments needed to strengthen this new curriculum so that it sets all students up for success in the future.”

At the end of March, the province released the new K-6 curriculum with plans for it to be tested in some classrooms starting in September. The curriculum is expected to be adopted by schools across the province in 2022.

Public feedback will be collected on the draft over the next year. 

Since its release, several boards have opted out of the pilot include the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and Rocky View Schools (RVS).

The divisions — along with parents, teachers and Indigenous groups — have expressed concerns with the redesign of the curriculum at a time when the pandemic continues to alter the learning needs of students.

“Piloting a new curriculum will only put more pressure on teachers, schools and the system while we work through recovering from the impacts of the pandemic,” said RVS board chair Fiona Gilbert in a statement released earlier in April.

For more information regarding the curriculum, visit Government of Alberta – Draft K-6 Curriculum.

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