RED DEER -- Two more central Alberta schools have decided not to pilot the new K to 6 draft curriculum.

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday that the division will be opting out of piloting the new draft K to 6 curriculum this fall. The decision came after seven days of hearing feedback from teachers who provided their input on the curriculum. Red Deer Catholic officials said they plan to share this feedback, along with the division’s review of the curriculum, with Alberta Education.

“The division will undertake a comprehensive curriculum review over the coming months and share the findings and recommendations with Alberta Education,” said Board Chair Kim Pasula.

“The review will include extensive consultations with parents, educators and members of our broader stakeholder community.”

The division said teachers, students, and parents raised concerns about the age and developmentally-appropriate content, the academic language related to curricular objectives, and the timing of the proposed changes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The focus of the division in the fall will continue to be on the mental wellness of students, staff and families, as well as learning progressions and post-pandemic recovery in schools,” said Superintendent Kathleen Finnigan.

On Thursday, Chinook’s Edge School Division also announced it would not be piloting the new draft curriculum. In a statement, Board Chair Holly Bilton said the division had multiple concerns with the curriculum also noting poor timing as one of the reasons.

“The Board of Trustees of Chinook’s Edge School Division is concerned with the current content, the process, and the rollout plan for Alberta Education’s proposed K to 6 curriculum,” Bilton said.

“The board is also very concerned with the timing given its impact on students and staff in the midst of a pandemic.”

Bilton added that the division has conducted a review of the curriculum and it also plans to send its findings to Alberta Education.

“The Central Office Leadership Team has conducted a thorough analysis of the draft curriculum and will be delivering their findings directly to Alberta Education as their contribution toward a workable curriculum,” Bilton said.

“The Central Office Leadership Team will also be submitting a proposal that, if accepted, would assist the government in making necessary improvements to the present draft curriculum which could allow for further engagement in the fall.”

Red Deer Public Schools opted out of piloting the draft curriculum in mid-April.