GPPSD Board of Directors “Cautiously Upbeat” With This Week’s Curriculum Announcement

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Joan Nellis, chair of the Grande Prairie Public Schools Division (GPPSD) Board of Trustees says Monday’s announcement by Education Minister Adriana LaGrange is welcome, but there are still many unknowns with the new curriculum. .

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“Cautiously optimistic is what I would say, I was happy with the changes, but I don’t think they went far enough,” Nellis said.

On Monday, LaGrange announced several changes to the launch of the controversial rewrite of the provincial government’s curriculum.

LaGrange said they will delay curriculum changes for grades 7-12, rework the much maligned part of the social studies curriculum, and modify content changes in a number of other subjects based on the comments. They received.

“Until now, we had planned to implement all subjects next fall, September 2022, but we have heard loud and clear from teachers that this was simply not possible,” LaGrange said.

Nellis says she doesn’t have many details at the moment, but that the move encourages her.

“We appreciate the change that was announced yesterday. The social studies curriculum delay was something Albertans in general seemed to be talking about very loudly, ”Nellis said.

However, LaGrange announced that they would move to implement the changes made in English language arts and literature, mathematics, and physical education and wellness, in September 2022.

The province also said they will appoint an advisory committee to hear comments, plan implementation and other matters related to the new curriculum. The composition of the committee is currently unknown, but LaGrange says he will appoint the committee members in early 2022.

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The opposition NDP reacted to the announcement saying that the new curriculum should be removed entirely and that the content of the new curriculum is full of inaccuracies, riddled with suggestions of plagiarism, and lacks diverse perspectives of indigenous and French-speaking peoples. .

“We know from feedback from teachers, parents, students, education experts and community leaders that the curriculum was not appropriate for moving into classrooms next year,” said NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman. “However, today’s minister is digging in her heels and plans to continue with English Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics and Physical Education and Wellness.

Nellis says that while many focus on the content of the curriculum, she also believes that the way that rewriting is implemented is also vitally important.

“Successful implementation is really important,” Nellis said, “Teachers need to know lesson plans, they need to have resources, and they need to have tests. You definitely need to have someone, or this team of people, come up with ideas on how to do it. “

Nellis says the school division will closely monitor ongoing changes to the curriculum and their implementation as we approach September 2022.

“There are a lot of things we don’t know,” Nellis said, “we had that announcement yesterday, but it leaves a lot unanswered.”

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