(Photo Courtesy of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)

(Photo Courtesy of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools will not pilot draft curriculum

RDCRS is one of many divisions in the area to opt out of the pilot of the K-6 draft curriculum

After days of feedback sessions, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has decided not to participate in the pilot for the K-6 draft curriculum.

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) is following in line with many other school boards in their decision not to pilot the draft curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 6 classes this fall.

RELATED: Chinook’s Edge opts out of K-6 draft curriculum pilot

RDCRS held seven days of feedback sessions with teachers to give them the chance to provide their input on the draft curriculum, which was released at the end of March.

Teachers, students and their families shared many concerns with the draft as presented, according to RDCRS.

In particular, concerns regarding the age, developmentally-appropriate content and the academic language related to curricular objectives were all pointed out.

Staff within RDCRS also had concerns about the timing of the new draft coming out during a pandemic.

“The focus of the Division in the fall will continue to be on the mental wellness of students, staff and families, as well as learning progressions and post-pandemic recovery in schools,” said Superintendent Kathleen Finnigan.

Finnigan continued, saying the division needs to focus on “developing the strong relationships and connections.”

Staff at RDCRS will be conducting a comprehensive review of the draft curriculum and will provide that, along with the feedback from teachers, to Alberta Education.

The review of the draft curriculum will include consultations with parents, educators and members RDCRS stakeholders, according to Board Chair Kim Pasula.

Pasula expects to the review and report on the curriculum to be finished by November of this year.

“We acknowledge and commend our students and families, and our school staff members, for all of their efforts in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic. The health and wellness of our community is our highest priority,” Pasula said.

“While we have hope that we may soon be on the other side of the COVID-19 situation, the Board also made the decision to advocate for a delay in the implementation of the new curriculum.”

According to Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange, the review of the draft curriculum will continue until spring 2022, to be implemented that fall.

Related: Details on revamped draft K-6 school curriculum were unveiled March 29

The K-6 draft curriculum can be reviewed in its entirety online at www.alberta.ca/curriculum.