Victoria: B.C. teachers and students in grades 10 to 12 will have more time to start using the draft new curriculum and help refine it, thanks to a one-year extension of the implementation period.

“Teachers, principals and trustees asked for more time to work hands-on with the redesigned curriculum – and it’s the right thing to do to make sure that we get it right for our students,” said Education Minister Mike Bernier. “Curriculum in the high school years is more complex, is tied in to provincial exams and evaluated strictly. So it’s critical teachers have enough time to use the draft 10-12 curriculum and help shape it with their feedback.”

Many teachers started using the draft grade 10-12 curriculum this past fall, and are providing feedback on its success with students. The redesigned 10-12 curriculum will be implemented at the beginning of the 2018-19 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 added. “The world is changing and our new curriculum is making sure our kids learn the skills they need to succeed in that changing world.”

Making sure students are ready to succeed is also the reason behind today’s announcement of enhancements to the Foundation Skills Assessments (FSA) – the reading, writing and numeracy tests given to all students in grades 4 and 7. The tests provide parents and teachers with a critical overview of how students are doing.

Teachers and education experts advised the ministry to have students write the FSAs much earlier in the school year. This way teachers and parents will get a snapshot of student learning in key areas sooner – and use the results to address any challenges a student may be having. Starting next school year, the tests will be written in October and November instead of January and February.

The Province is also enhancing its reporting of school-level FSA results. Instead of simply releasing the data as was done in the past, the ministry will include FSA results in broader school reports that look at a wide range of education outcomes.

“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. “