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Three more elementary school subjects ready for piloting come fall: Province

Newurriculum for K-6 science, French first language and literature and French immersion language arts and literature will be ready for Alberta schools to pilot beginning in the upcoming schools if they so choose.
Three new subjects are ready for a trial run in Alberta elementary classrooms, the Province announced May 17.

Three more subjects are ready for piloting in Alberta elementary classrooms, according to the Province. 

Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange announced Tuesday that the kindergarten to Grade 6 science, French first language and literature and French immersion language arts and literature curriculum will be available for trial beginning in the fall. 

School authorities will have the choice on whether to pilot any or all of the subjects, with a final decision required by June 6. 

LaGrange indicated that changes were made to the three subjects following feedback, classroom piloting and engagement activities held between March 2021 and March 2022. 

Adjustments to the science curriculum include the integration of the scientific method, hands-on learning, nature-based concepts, digital literacy and ethics, according to the Province. 

LaGrange added that the French first language and literature content was changed to include instruction to develop francophone identity through the additions of francophone perspectives and cultures, while the French immersion program was also redesigned.

Albertans can provide a second-round of feedback on the piloted French and science subjects prior to the finalization of the drafts in spring 2023, according to LaGrange. Both French curricula and the science curriculum are expected to be implemented in the 2023-24 school year, she added.

The minister said that proceeding with piloting French and science, was based on the advice of the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group. 

"When you view the make up of the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Committee, you will see a majority of people there will not be responsible for the day in and day out implementation of curriculum. It's a failure of government to not listen to those who actually do this work," Alberta Teachers' Association president Jason Schilling wrote on Twitter Tuesday. 

Also beginning in the upcoming school year is the mandatory introduction of new curriculum for K-6 English language arts, mathematics and physical education and wellness. 

As a whole, the new K-6 subject guides were amended to address criticism and feedback surrounding content load, age appropriateness and First Nations, Métis and Inuit content, LaGrange said. 

The ATA has been a consistent critic of the Province's move to update the K-6 curriculum, but not released a formal statement as of press time. 

Schilling also questioned the timeline for the release of stakeholder feedback, which he said was initially slated for May by LaGrange. 

During the May 17 press conference, only four in-person reporters were able to pose questions to the speakers. No calls from the phone line were put through.