LAKELAND - Yet another school division in the region has decided it will not be piloting the Government of Alberta's draft curriculum. On Thursday, Aspen View Public Schools released a statement, stating similar sentiments as other school divisions in the Lakeland.
Aspen View Public Schools serves students in Smoky Lake and Vilna, along with Thorhild, Boyle, Athabasca and surrounding areas. The school division says it will not be participating in piloting the K-6 curriculum in the 2021-22 school year.
“Given the incredibly challenging circumstances that teachers, administrators and school families across Aspen View have faced over the past several months, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, our board of trustees and senior administration agree that Aspen View Public Schools is unable to participate in the pilot,” said Aspen View Public Schools Board of Trustees Chair Candyce Nikipelo, in a statement on April 15.
For over a year, students and educators have transitioned multiple times between in-person and online education delivery platforms. They have mastered new technologies to support learning, and many of them have had to deal personally with COVID-19, including mandatory self-isolation requirements. As students and staff enter the 2021-22 school year, it will be important to focus on addressing the academic and mental health impacts of the pandemic within school communities, along with regaining a sense of normalcy, according to the school division.
Nikipelo affirmed that curriculum is incredibly important, "as it guides the education of future generations of Albertans."
“Our board believes that the draft K-6 curriculum, as presented, isn’t ready to be put in front of students. We believe it requires comprehensive analysis and feedback from a broad spectrum of key stakeholders, and we urge the Government of Alberta to provide the appropriate time and opportunity for that feedback to be received, evaluated and reflected before a new curriculum is launched," said the board chair.
“While Aspen View Public Schools will not participate in piloting the new draft K-6 curriculum, we will engage our school administrators and teachers in comprehensive review and analysis of the new draft curriculum, generating meaningful feedback which we will provide to Alberta Education,” said Aspen View Public Schools Superintendent Neil O’Shea. “We encourage all our division stakeholders to provide their feedback as well.”
A number of other schools divisions, including the Conseil scolaire Centre-Est, St. Paul Education, and Northern Lights Public Schools, have also made it official they will not be piloting the draft curriculum.
Alberta Education is seeking feedback on the new curriculum through a survey: Draft K-6 Curriculum Survey.