Graphic courtesy of SD57

Graphic courtesy of SD57

School District 57 is in the first year of its new curriculum, and while the transition is going smoothly, not all schools have felt a shift.

One of the major changes to the curriculum is how and what the students will learn, according to the District, as students in today’s society have virtually instant access to a limitless amount of information.

The main change, according to the District, is to emphasize how students learn, so focusing on teaching concepts and processes rather than factual content.
“Nothing in the new curriculum has been a huge stretch,” says Valemount Secondary School’s Principal, Dan Kenkel.

“We’ve been doing these kinds of innovations, progressive teaching and learning… It’s validation for the innovative work we’ve done here,” he says.

The curriculum places additional emphasis on Indigenous Canadian’s worldviews, according to the District, as its central to Canadian History. For context, 30 per cent of SD57’s student population identifies as having aboriginal ancestry, Forster says.

“With the inclusion of aboriginal worldview perspectives throughout the curriculum, this allows for all of our learners to engage in current practices and knowledge of aboriginal people,” says SD57 Superintendent, Marilyn Marquis-Forster.

“This allows all learners to view aboriginal peoples in a context aside from a historical one,” she says.

Another minor change to the curriculum, according to the District, will be an influx in report cards going home to parents, as teachers now have to send a minimum of five report cards home with each student, each school year.

“It’s about providing more information to parents, more information and ownership to kids in terms of their self-assessment, and just getting a well balanced look at how kids are doing,” says Kenkel, noting both the parents and kids will have a better idea of where they are and how they’re doing in terms of their education.

Though, Kenkel adds Valemount Secondary is ahead of the curve, in that the reporting schedule will remain unchanged.

“We’ve been very inclusive of parents with the reporting process,” he says. “Our reporting structure and reporting tools are in good shape for moving into this new era.”

In addition, there will be fewer exams this year, as the Ministry of Education says the only Provincial Exams this year are the English 12, Communications 12 or English First Peoples 12.

This is a change from previous years, according to SD57 Superintendent Marilyn Marquis-Forster, as in previous years students would also have to take the Provincial Exams of Science 10, Math 10, English 10 and Social Studies 11 in addition to the English 12 examinations.

The Ministry of Education is currently developing a Provincial assessment for numeracy and literacy for students grades 10 through 12, Marquis-Forster adds.
First reports went home in mid-November.