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Local trustees in St. Albert support curriculum rewrite

If there is a change of government after the upcoming election, representatives from both the public and catholic school boards say they want the curriculum rewrite to continue.

If there is a change of government after the upcoming election, representatives from St. Albert's public and Catholic school boards say they want the curriculum rewrite to continue. 

Joe Becigneul, a trustee from the Catholic board, said lots of good work has been gone into redoing the curriculum and he doesn't want to see the baby thrown out with the bathwater. 

“There is certainly a need. It hasn't been (rewritten) in 30 years. In our opinion, the model that had begun under the current government where they involved a lot of consultation with parents and educators – most importantly educators – those who are teaching the curriculum have done a very excellent job putting together the new curriculum.”

Cheryl Dumont, a trustee for the public board, agreed, noting 13 teachers from her board have had input at some point in the process.

“We feel pretty confident with the curriculum, although I'm quite happy no matter what government comes in, if they want to take a quick look through it that is good policy and they probably should do that. But let's not delay it very long at all,” Dumont said. 

What both trustees said they are looking for out of their future government is a consistent funding model to help handle capital costs and programs for students. 

Becigneul said what they really want is funding for inclusive education. 

“We have special needs and they certainly don't fund them to the level that it needs to be funded,” he said. 

The trustee also said he wants to see the province continue to fund all of the separate school districts that are offering the Alberta curriculum.

Dumont said a big priority for her school district is new school sites. 

“We need new schools. We are growing. We need a new high school and we also need another K-9 in the west end and we need renovations in some of our older schools."

Dumont said they also need new modular units to replace their old portables, which are over 30 years old. 

The trustee said their district doesn't want to see their Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in their schools compromised or want to see their students outed to parents. 

“I would invite anybody to come into any of our GSAs in our school and look at them for themselves and see how important they are for our kids,” Dumont said. 

Overall, both trustees said their students are performing at a high level, with the majority of them passing standardized testing.

Dumont said their district has a high rate of students graduating and going on to post secondary education. 

“We are feeling pretty good about our math scores,” Dumont said. 

“The majority of our kids pass math, absolutely.”

Dumont said in St. Albert, test scores are exceptionally high and graduation rates are well more than the average. 

“I'm in schools every week, sometimes every day, and we are turning out really intelligent people. They are kids who are able to speak well and they do test well.”

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette and has been with Great West Media since 2015
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