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Five Pembina Hills schools changing calendars to avoid conflict with PATs

Alberta Education introduced defined writing dates for tests at the end of 2022-2023 school year
New Pembina HIlls Sign
Pembina Hills trustees passed a motion at their Jan. 18 meeting to approve a change to the 2022-2023 alternate calendars for Busby School, Dunstable School, Fort Assiniboine School, Neerlandia Public Christian School and Eleanor Hall School in Clyde. The changes were made to avoid a conflict with the writing dates for a Provincial Achievement Test.

BARRHEAD/WESTLOCK — Pembina Hills School Division trustees passed a motion at their Jan. 18 meeting to approve a number of amendments to the alternate 2022-2023 calendars for five different schools, changing the dates of some alternate days to avoid a conflict with the writing dates for Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs). 

As noted in a report from director of education services Raime Drake, the board originally approved the alternate calendars for the 2022-2023 school year last February. 

However, in the fall of 2022, Alberta Education released a set of defined dates for the writing of PATs. 

In the past, schools had some flexibility to set writing dates within a defined time period. However, there was a security leak last June that resulted in the PAT answers being posted to social media. 

Upon review of these new testing guidelines, Drake reported that the alternate calendars for Busby School, Eleanor Hall School in Clyde, Dunstable School, Neerlandia Public Christian School and Fort Assiniboine School had alternate days scheduled for June 23, 2023, which is when the Grade 6 and 9 Mathematics B tests are supposed to be written. 

Drake noted that Alberta Education would only allow the tests to be written on a later date if students wrote digital exams. 

“Due to the nature of Mathematics, it would not be in the best interests of students to write a digital exam when on a daily basis they’re asked to demonstrate their thinking and complete work using pencil and paper,” Drake stated. 

As such, Eleanor Hall, Fort Assiniboine and Dunstable will be moving the alternate day originally slated for June 23 to June 19, while Neerlandia will move the alternate day to April 14 and Busby will move it to May 26. 

Trustee Victoria Kane asked if the writing of PATs usually occurred that late. Supt. Michael Borgfjord indicated they’re normally a little earlier, but also pointed out that June 28 is the last day of school and there is a diploma exam scheduled for that day.

Kevin Berger, TownandCountryToday.com



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