At the beginning of September, the provincial government announced they will be rolling out new curriculum for the province’s public schools over the next three years, and the administration of School District 72 (SD72) says it’s about time, really.
“Overall, it’s exciting. It’s an exciting opportunity,” says SD72 superintendent Tom Longridge. “It’s just making sure that we work collaboratively, and we’ve already been reaching out to the (teachers’ association) and I think there’s a great spirit of cooperation and collaboration with this and I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds,” he told the Board of Trustees at its last public meeting.
Education Minister Mike Bernier said in the announcement that the new curriculum will emphasize “hands-on” learning, as well as a renewed focus on environmental education and Aboriginal perspective.
The new curriculum is being phased in this year for Kindergarten to Grade 9, with higher grades still in development.
Longridge says our district has already been working on implementing many of the aspects of the new curriculum, so, in a way, this is the province catching up to what we’ve already been doing here.
It will, however, mean that some instructional time is lost while the teachers learn the ins and outs of the new system.
“It will have some implications both for this year’s calendar and the subsequent two years after that,” Longridge says.
“I think that, overall, it’s a really great opportunity that’s supported by both the ministry and teachers and it’s something we’ve been working on in our district for a number of years now.
“But as it gets closer to actual implementation, we’re still getting to know some of the details about what this time is going to look like and how it’s going to affect the school community.”
What’s most important, Longridge says, is that the lines of communication remain open between the different stakeholders while the system is implemented.
“We’re going to make sure that parents understand it and understand the purpose and try to ameliorate any concerns they may have as we move forward.”
To learn more about the new curriculum and its implementation, visit curriculum.gov.bc.ca