Teachers get time for new curriculum

Chilliwack students will have two fewer days of school to attend this year as the district prepares for sweeping curriculum changes.

Chilliwack students will have two fewer days of school to attend this year as the district prepares for sweeping curriculum changes being introduced this year and next.

District trustees have agreed to add the additional professional development days to give teachers more time to learn how to best apply the program changes.

That brings the total number of non-instructional days in the district to eight, providing a total of 175 instructional days in the 2015-2016 school year.

The two additional Pro-D days in Chilliwack will fall on Monday, Feb. 22, and Monday, April 25.

The additional time was agreed to by the province and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation when changes to the curriculum were first announced back in September.

Some of those changes are already occurring. The new curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 9 is being piloted in parts of the province this year, with full implementation coming in September of 2016.

Program changes for the higher grades will be piloted next year before becoming mandatory in 2017.

In a letter to parents, Chilliwack school superintendent  Evelyn Novak said the district is excited about the changes.

“Transformation in curriculum will help teachers create learning environments that are both engaging and personalized for students,” she said.

“Chilliwack has been actively exploring the new curriculum framework and has made tremendous progress in its understanding. The district is looking forward to implementing this new curriculum in the coming years,” Novak said.