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Conseil scolaire du Nord-Ouest won’t pilot draft curriculum

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École Nouvelle Frontière in Grande Prairie will not be piloting the updated provincial curriculum. The decision was made for all three regional Conseil scolaire du Nord-Ouest schools this week, as the board believes proposed changes to the document do not show respect to students’ cognitive development.

“The absence of the Francophone perspective in all subjects does not promote the full development of Francophone students,” says board chair Sylvianne Maisonneuve.

The school division is the first in the region to formally announce it will not be taking part in the pilot program. The Grande Prairie Public School Division, Grande Prairie & District Catholic Schools, and Peace Wapiti Public School Division have so far reserved their judgement.

According to the province, the new K-6 learning plan focuses on four key themes – literacy, numeracy, citizenship, and practical skills – which are designed to improve student outcomes across all subjects and grades. However, the government has been widely criticized for the draft, with many asking why the curriculum doesn’t address serious Indigenous issues in all grades.

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Subjects like treaties and residential schools are not introduced until grades 4 and 5 respectively, which counters the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that all grades, even Kindergarten, learn about those topics in some capacity.

The Conseil scolaire du Nord-Ouest joins other school boards, including the Calgary Board of Education, and Edmonton Public Schools, in declining to run the curriculum in a limited capacity in September 2021. The curriculum will be mandated in all schools across the province starting in the September 2022 school year.

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