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Division supports delay of Grade 4-6 English and Math curriculum

Lethbridge School Division supports the delay of the Grade 4 to Grade 6 English Language Arts and Literature and Mathematics curriculum. The Division also appreciates the government has announced support for resources and professional learning.
Yesterday’s announcement does present challenges for school divisions across the province, however, because it is unclear how division are to prepare to deliver a Kindergarten to Grade 3 English Language Arts and Literature and Mathematics curriculum that is “moving forward” but not yet ready to review. Minister LaGrange indicated the “final” curriculum will be available in April.
Earlier this school year, Lethbridge School Division provided the province with a brief regarding problematic areas in the curriculum. At this point, however, the Division has no indication if the problematic areas have been addressed by the province.
“It is concerning that a curriculum rollout announcement was made at a time when the curriculum is not even available to look at,” said Board Chair Allison Purcell. “At this point in time, it is difficult to express support for the government’s overall curriculum plan. The Board agrees with the decision to delay the Grade 4 to Grade 6 rollout, but we are concerned about the fact the Kindergarten to Grade 3 curriculum is not yet available.”
At this point, the Division is not clear on what the resources will be released to support the curriculum, or what plans will be developed for professional learning support. The Division is expecting these plans will also be available in April.
“This is problematic when the outcome of the ATA survey of teachers indicates only five per cent of teachers agree the new curriculum will be positive for students,” said Purcell. “We do question why an announcement was made at a time when it was not possible to see the final draft of the curriculum.”
Challenges also exist in terms to timelines for preparing for implementation.
“Reviewing the curriculum and supporting resources and subsequently planning for professional learning takes time,” said Purcell. “We hope the government is committed to releasing the final drafts and resources in early April to provide more preparation time.”
The Division will continue work to put structures in place to ensure staff have the support they need to be ready for the fall.
“Lethbridge School Division has placed intensive focus on literacy and numeracy pedagogy over the past four years, and will manage the content with sound instructional practice,” said Supt. Dr. Cheryl Gilmore.