Mike Bernier, minister of education.

Province delays launch of new school curriculum

Bernier unveils one-year extension, shift in timing of FSA tests

B.C. high school teachers and students have been given a one-year extension to start using the province’s new draft curriculum.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced the delay Thursday morning, saying “it’s the right thing to do to make sure that we get it right for our students.”

Many teachers started using the draft grade 10 to 12 curriculum this past fall, and are providing feedback on its success with students, the ministry said.

The new curriculum, which emphasizes environmental education and aboriginal perspectives, has already been phased into Kindergarten to Grade 9 classrooms this year.

RELATED: Details on the new curriculum focus on “hands on” learning

The redesigned curriculum will be implemented at the beginning of the 2018 and 2019 school year, based on feedback provided by teachers and educators.

“The new curriculum has been designed by teachers for teachers – and thanks to their efforts it’s been successfully brought to life in kindergarten through Grade 9,” Bernier said. “The world is changing and our new curriculum is making sure our kids learn the skills they need to succeed in that changing world.

In other changes, the Foundation Skills Assessments (FSA) for Grade 4 and 7 students will now take place earlier in the school year – in the fall instead of the spring – so results can be used by teachers and parents to address any challenges a student may be having.

“Parents want to know how well their child and how well their child’s school is doing,” Bernier said.

“We are going to make sure they get that information in a way that’s useful to them.”

The province will also be releasing FSA test results differently, Bernier said, and look at “a wide range of education outcomes,” instead of just the test results.

Thursday’s news was welcomed by the BC Teachers Federation officials, who said they’re “pleased” to see the government listened to teachers.



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