Edmonton Catholic Schools’ Response to Alberta Education’s Draft Curriculum K-6
There is no question that system leaders, administrators, and teachers want to be successful during any implementation process in order to provide the best possible education for our students. In Edmonton Catholic Schools, we recognize that many Alberta curricula have not been updated in several years. We embrace the opportunity to participate in curriculum updates so we can best prepare our students for their futures. Simultaneously, all stakeholders need to feel confident in the content and delivery of any curricula presented to students.
To that end, the Administration of Edmonton Catholic Schools undertook a comprehensive review of the Draft K-6 Curriculum to form our own expert opinion of the document and its potential for pilot in the 2021-22 school year and to provide informed feedback to Alberta Education. The following engagement opportunities within our Division were held in order to facilitate a systematic review:
Universal Survey – This was an opportunity for all teachers and administrators to have a voice in the draft curriculum.
Focus Groups – We had several teacher focus groups as part of our review of the new curriculum. Consultants facilitated these groups. The different teacher focus groups were as follows:
Subject Area Focus Groups (8 groups) – These groups of teachers examined the draft curriculum in one subject area for every grade, K-6, to look at the continuum of outcomes. There was also consideration for how grade 7-12 could be impacted. These groups included preK – Grade 12 teachers.
Grade Level Focus Groups (7 groups) – These groups of teachers examined the curriculum for one specific grade. Those teachers needed to be currently teaching at that grade level.
Equity & Diversity Focus Group (1 group) – This group of teachers examined the curriculum to ensure it is representative of all students and examined topics and issues from multiple perspectives. This teacher group included teachers from preK – Grade 12.
Inclusive Education Focus Group (1 group)- This group of teachers examined the curriculum to ensure it provides meaningful and relevant learning experiences for students with disabilities. This group included teachers from preK – Grade 12.
At this point in time, given the details embodied within our report, and taking into account the voices of our stakeholders, we believe that the conditions have not been met for a quality piloting process. Therefore, Edmonton Catholic Schools will not be piloting the draft curriculum in the 2021-22 school year. This decision is based upon the voices of more than one thousand teachers, administrators, and consultants with various formats for engagement.
Finally, and of equal importance, is the fact that the pandemic echo will be long and far-reaching. Our students and staff have been deeply impacted by the ongoing disruptions to learning and the mental health impacts for the past year. Our focus for the upcoming year will be on addressing learning opportunities that have been missed and/or interrupted this year, nurturing positive mental health, and ensuring that the foundations of numeracy and literacy are built and re-built.
This report will be forwarded to the Ministry so that the expert voices of our Division’s teachers, consultants, and administrators can be used to shape a vibrant and engaging curriculum for all students in the province.
The report is also being made available publicly. You can read it here: Report ECSD Draft Curriculum.pdf
We encourage parents, guardians, and community members to continue providing feedback to Alberta Education on the draft curriculum by clicking here.