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Grande Prairie public schools still mulling draft curriculum

Officials with the Grande Prairie Public School Division Board are still parsing over the details of the province’s draft K to 6 curriculum. Superintendent Sandy McDonald suggests the public discussion over the draft document is seen as a positive.

Public criticism over the curriculum has been widespread across social media since its release on March 29th, with the Alberta Teachers Association calling for the implementation of the draft curriculum to stop until a “full review and rewrite” can take place.

“Our jobs as teachers is to help our students grow and develop as people, and to attain mastery of the learning outcomes that exist in the curriculum,” he says. “We don’t have the ability to choose which outcomes we don’t like as individuals… so the emotional perspective about the curriculum that exists right now is absolutely critical feedback that Alberta Education needs to hear,”

McDonald says there are positives to the draft, highlighting the inclusion of development on financial literacy as chief among them. However, he admits that concerns have also been brought to his attention. He adds many are similar to those being heard in the public discourse.

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“Concerns about the developmental appropriateness, some of the facts that younger students are asked to memorize are concerning,” he says. “What we are trying to identify is what might it look like to improve on that, and that’s the feedback that we want to be able to provide Alberta Education.”

School boards across Alberta have until May 7th to decide whether or not to pilot the draft K-6 curriculum. The province says it expects to mandate the new curriculum starting in September 2022.

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