Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says with the expertise of the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group, Alberta’s government will carefully consider how to address the implementation timelines and support the education system throughout the process. (Photo by Government of Alberta)

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says with the expertise of the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group, Alberta’s government will carefully consider how to address the implementation timelines and support the education system throughout the process. (Photo by Government of Alberta)

AB gov’t names advisory group to help implement K-6 curriculum

The provincial government is working to establish a new curriculum advisory board to give advice and recommendations for the new K-6 curriculum.

The Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group will have 17 members involved and will be in place until June. They will determine how new curriculums for English Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics, and Physical Education and Wellness will be implemented in September.

They will also provide advice and recommendations on piloting the remaining K-6 subjects beginning in September 2022 and provide strategies for implementing these subjects beginning in September 2023.

The group began meeting in January and expects to meet virtually, once a month.

“Alberta’s government has been listening to all input from Albertans about the draft K-6 curriculum review process,” said Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education in a news release.

“We are committed to taking a measured and thoughtful approach to ensure curriculum piloting and implementation timelines are manageable for teachers and students. With the expertise of the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group, Alberta’s government will carefully consider how to address the implementation timelines and support the education system throughout the process.”

Marilyn Dennis, president of the Alberta School Boards Association. said they look forward to helping implement the new curriculum.

“ASBA appreciates participating in this advisory group to provide feedback from member school boards as the voice of their diverse communities,” she said.

“We look forward to a collaborative process working alongside advisory group members in the best interest of all students across the province.”

While a number of individuals in the group are public, several, such as teachers, principals and curriculum experts are not being named “to help ensure they do not become targets of online harassment,” the government states in a release.

Since it was announced, the new draft curriculum has drawn plenty of scrutiny from the education community. Last spring, Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling said survey results show 91 per cent of teachers and school administrators are unhappy with the draft curriculum.

“A vast majority of Albertans want this draft curriculum completely scrapped,” said NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman.

“The UCP created a flawed process that resulted in an unacceptable curriculum and if they were listening to Albertans they would not be forcing it onto students, they’d be working with experts to create something all Albertans can be proud of.”

Red Deer Catholic and Red Deer Public both said earlier in 2021 that they wouldn’t pilot the draft curriculum along with a number of other school districts in the province.

The government has said close to 7,800 students in 17 schools and school divisions are piloting the curriculum.

Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group members

Marilyn Dennis, president, Alberta School Boards Association Representative, Alberta School Boards Association

Wilco Tymensen, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents

Bevan Daverne, past-president, College of Alberta School Superintendents

David Keohane, executive director, College of Alberta School Superintendents

Michael McMann, superintendent, Fort Vermilion School Division

Robert Lessard, superintendent, Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord

Teacher representative, piloting elementary school

Teacher representative, piloting elementary school

Teacher representative, elementary school

Principal representative, Calgary Board of Education

Curriculum expert, Edmonton Public Schools

Andre Tremblay, deputy minister, Alberta Education (chair)

Jennifer Flaman, assistant deputy minister, Curriculum Division

Executive director, Early and Middle Years Curriculum

Executive director, Curriculum Coordination and Implementation

Executive director, Learning and Teaching Resources