Curriculum implementation pushed back in B.C.

By on November 15, 2017
School District 58 superintendent Steve McNiven. (Herald files).


Fully implementing the new curriculum at the high school level in B.C. has been pushed back yet again.

The 2017-18 school year is the second year grade 10 to 12 teachers are able to teach with the current curriculum or the new one focused on personalized learning, which still becomes mandatory in 2018-19 for Grade 10 students.

The Grade 11-12 curriculum will now be mandated for use in all B.C. classrooms starting September 2019. The Grade 10 curriculum will be implemented as planned in September 2018, stated a press release from the Ministry of Education.

School District 58 superintendent Steve McNiven said he’s glad to see the new curriculum moving ahead at the Grade 10 level.

“We feel at the district level, we’re ready for that to take place,” said McNiven, adding that he understands the need for time to ensure the curriculum rolls out appropriately. He said the extra year cushion will add more time for teachers to be able to do that.

The additional year of transition is in response to feedback from educators in the K-12 sector, along with post-secondary partners, who need to ensure alignment of the new 10-12 curriculum with their admission processes and requirements, stated the press release.

“It used to be the case that they placed a heavy emphasis on the provincial exams and those results and letter grades, and I believe they’re taking a more holistic approach, or that’s what we’re looking forward to,” said McNiven.

“Success in the graduation years is very important for a student’s smooth transition to post-secondary opportunities,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming in the release. “That’s why we are giving our partners in the sector this extra year to ensure the new curriculum will serve our students, providing them with the best possible chance for future success.”

The new curriculum has already been implemented at the K-9 level and all current Grade 9 students will continue their learning with the new curriculum throughout their graduation years, according to the release.

Implementing the new curriculum calls for flexible learning environments, such as more teamwork in math classes, and more place-based learning, such as field trips in science classes as opposed to just learning about a subject via a textbook.

Part of the new curriculum includes the elimination of multiple written provincial exams for secondary students. In their place, students will complete only two exams that cover math and literacy skills.

The first provincial-literacy graduation assessment will be moved to align with the new Grade 11 and 12 curriculum implementation date, with the first assessment scheduled for January 2020. As previously planned, the provincial numeracy graduation assessment will be taken for the first time in January 2018 as part of a staged roll-out, with another session in June 2018.

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