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Alberta

Back to Basics for K to 12 education in Alberta – Province ditching “discovery” learning

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From the Province of Alberta

Improving student learning in Alberta

A new vision to guide education will transform student learning, update curriculum and strengthen the K-12 system.

Alberta’s government is honouring its commitment to end the focus on so-called “discovery” or “inquiry” learning by repealing the 2013 ministerial order on student learning and replacing it with one that will give students a foundation of literacy and numeracy and a knowledge of the rich and diverse history of Alberta and Canada. The new ministerial order emphasizes civic virtues, core knowledge, and outcomes students need to succeed in school and throughout life.

“This new ministerial order on student learning is a return to proven teaching methods that will set up Alberta’s students for rich personal and work lives. Moving forward, education will promote skills development and knowledge pursuit, equipping students to explore opportunities that will help them develop their talents and unleash their potential.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

The new ministerial order was developed after the government broadened consultations to hear a wider range of perspectives from parents, teachers, and subject matter experts. It places an emphasis on essential core knowledge, evidence and fact-based materials, and focuses on literacy and numeracy as foundational elements woven throughout the entire curriculum.

“As a lifelong teacher, I fundamentally believe that students should gain the knowledge and skills they need to form foundations for successful and fulfilling lives. Literacy and numeracy are the bedrock for successful learning, and I am pleased that the final ministerial order recognizes that importance.”

Angus McBeath, chair, Curriculum Advisory Panel

Now that the new ministerial order is in place, the 2018 draft K-4 curriculum will be reviewed and future curricula will be drafted for the next grades. All draft curricula will be aligned with the new vision.

Due to delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, timelines for piloting the new draft curriculum are being adjusted. Validation will be expanded from K-4 to include Grades 5 and 6. Participating schools will start piloting this curriculum in classrooms in September 2021. At a minimum, a draft curriculum for Grades 7-10 will be ready for classroom validation in September 2022.

It is anticipated that all students attending school in Alberta will be learning from the new K-6 curriculum by the 2022-23 school year.

Quick facts

  • In August 2019, the independent 12-member Curriculum Advisory Panel was established.
  • In December 2019, the panel submitted a draft ministerial order on student learning and recommendations on curriculum direction to government.
  • In February 2020, more than 8,500 Albertans, including education partners, gave feedback on the draft ministerial order during a public engagement.

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Alberta

Edmonton Oilers sign defenceman Kris Russell to one-year contract extension

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EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Kris Russell to a one-year, US$1.25-million contract extension.

The 33-year-old Russell appeared in 55 games with the Oilers last season, posting nine assists, 14 penalty minutes and an even plus/minus rating. 

He also played in four games in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.  

The five-foot-10, 170-pound blueliner has appeared in 846 career NHL games over 13 seasons with Columbus, St. Louis, Calgary, Dallas, and Edmonton, registering 236 points (46 goals, 190 assists), 259 penalty minutes and a minus-5 plus/minus rating. 

He has added 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in 53 career playoff games.  

Russell originally joined the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent in the 2016 off-season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct.21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

‘Bona fide police service:’ Alberta expanding power, status for First Nations police

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EDMONTON — The Alberta government has introduced proposed changes to the province’s Police Act which would expand the powers of First Nations police forces.

The changes are part of a number of proposed amendments under the Justices Statutes Amendment Act, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said Wednesday.

First Nations police forces have been in place in Alberta for up to two decades, Madu said, but they haven’t received the credit they deserve for the work they’ve done in Indigenous communities.  

“They can be much more sensitive to local issues and cultures,” Madu said. 

Although First Nations police are recognized through an exemption in the current act, the amendment would give them the same status as city forces in Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge.

“One of the ways by which this is significant for First Nations policing is by acknowledging that they are a bona fide police service within the framework of policing in our province,” Madu said.  

“There is no question that this amendment would increase the stature of First Nations police services and commissions within the framework of policing in our province. It would put them on the same level with municipal police services.”   

Madu said First Nations police officers would be able to issue tickets for infractions on their reserves.

“There has been some difficulty with First Nation police services being able to enforce their bylaws. With this amendment, they would be able to issue a ticket and go to the courts to enforce them,” he said.  

“It is one problem we have heard time and time again from our First Nations people.” 

The proposed legislation would also give First Nations police chiefs a spot at the discussion table about changes to policing in the province. 

There are currently three First Nations forces in Alberta: the Blood Tribe Police Service in southern Alberta, the Lakeshore Regional Police Service northwest of Edmonton and the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service just outside Calgary. 

“The Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service has operated since 2004 and meets all provincial policing standards and duties. I commend the minister and his government colleagues for fully recognizing the Tsuut’ina and all First Nation police agencies in the amended Police Act,” Chief Roy Whitney Onespot said in a statement.  

Other changes would allow the courts to send juror summonses electronically, including by email, and eliminate a summons form.  

They would also expand the list of offences subject to civil forfeiture under the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payments Act.

“This change will further deter crime as well as provide a source of new money, which will support police training and fund community crime prevention organizations and victims of crime initiatives,” said Madu.

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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