ATHABASCA — The new curriculum is being taught to the teachers, so they can teach it to students.
That was the report Aspen View Public Schools (AVPS) associate Supt. of curriculum and technology Katherine Mann told trustees at their regular meeting Dec. 15 meeting noting two implementation sessions have been held for Kindergarten to Grade 3 teachers.
“We've had a couple of sessions so far this year for Grades K to 3 teachers just regarding curriculum implementation for ELAL (English language arts and literature), and Math,” said Mann. "We do that in two days; we group our K/1 teachers together and then our Grade 2/3 teachers together. Really, it's been a lot of taking time to go through resources, both digital as well as the hard copy stuff that we have physically in buildings.”
Mann said the math sessions have been focused on “high impact strategies”, new resources and fact fluency.
“As we move into February, math is going to shift to geometry and measurement, because that's kind of the next really big chunk and we'll continue working on the writing,” she said.
The ELAL teach-the-teacher learning sessions have focused on the added resources, various parts of the literacy program, and using existing resources with the new curriculum.
“We've talked about different strategies that we would expect teachers to be using; classroom structures like small group instruction," said Mann. “Just a variety of things there that they can expect to see because, of course. an important part of our work is not just working directly with the teachers but also supporting the leadership in the building.”
The school administrators were included in the new curriculum learning as they are the ones who give instructional leadership to the teachers.
“They're the ones on the ground level and seeing the classrooms every day so, they're an important part of that process,” she said.
Teachers have been given a weekly planning template for ELAL and Math emphasizing the small group instruction and more teacher sessions are planned for the new year and Phase 2 of the roll out including Grade K to 3 Science, Fine Arts, and French Language Arts as well as Grades 4 to 6 Math and ELAL is on the horizon.
“We heard in our Friday … meeting with the ADM (Associate Deputy Minister) Kindy Joseph that the updates to that curriculum aren't likely going to happen until sometime in the spring,” said Mann. “So, we have a document, but we don't know for sure how much that's going to change.”
And New Learn Alberta is only showing the implemented curriculum with ELAL, Math, Phys. Ed., and wellness.
“But there aren't really any other subject areas and so that has been some of the feedback that they've heard (and) this body has suggested that feedback as well, that resourcing has been a bit of a challenge,” she said. “So, they're reviewing that. So, that was good news.”
Chair Candy Nikipelo thanked Mann for the report which was accepted by the board.
“There will be no downtime at all with curriculum ... It is trucking right ahead,” said Nikipelo, “Just when you think you have mastered what was rolled out to you, then you need to start planning for the new roll out. So, it is, I'm sure, a difficult process.”