Wolf Creek Public Schools will not be participating in the pilot this fall to test the new draft curriculum for elementary students.
The rural central Alberta school jurisdiction joins several others across the province that have cited concerns about the curriculum and decided not to pilot the program. Others include Calgary Board of Education, Edmonton Public, Edmonton Catholic, Elk Island Public, Wild Rose, Medicine Hat Public, Medicine Hat Catholic and Lethbridge Public.
Piloting the curriculum is voluntary for school authorities, and critics have taken issue with many aspects of the draft curriculum, including the social studies, religion and Indigenous history components of what would be taught to students in kindergarten through Grade 6.
Wolf Creek said content should reflect research-based 21st century learner outcomes, including a balance of critical thinking and knowledge-based learning opportunities, and understanding relating to Indigenous people throughout the grade levels. Learner outcomes should also be developmentally age appropriate.
The timing of the draft’s release was also a consideration, Wolf Creek said.
“For the time being, our focus remains on student and staff well-being during a time where continuity of learning and recovery from the pandemic is paramount,” superintendent Jayson Lovell said.
“When appropriate, WCPS staff will be supported and encouraged to participate in various in-district and provincial professional development opportunities to assist our teachers in preparing for the new curriculum in its final form.”
Recently, Chinook’s Edge School Division board of trustees also discussed a number of concerns they have received regarding the proposed curriculum and the implications of piloting it with students. A decision on piloting the curriculum has not been made yet.
— with files from The Canadian Press