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Overview

Alberta is renewing the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K to 12) curriculum, starting with K to 6. The curriculum development process is happening over a few years.

Curriculum development groundwork

August 2019 to December 2020

The following activities laid the groundwork to begin a transparent review process and develop new curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K to 12):

  • an independent 12-member curriculum advisory panel provided input that helped inform curriculum direction and a new ministerial order with a vision for student learning
  • more than 8,000 Albertans shared their views on the vision for student learning through a survey and in person engagement sessions
  • a new Ministerial Order on Student Learning was finalized with the input from the panel and Albertans – it set the vision to guide education
  • the Guiding Framework for Curriculum Design and Development was updated to align with new ministerial order

Find out more about the curriculum development groundwork.

Design, drafting and review

  • Design and development (August to November 2020)

    Alberta Education designed and developed new K to 6 curriculum by considering:

    The provincial curriculum is developed in English and French. The K to 6 curriculum renewal started with drafting 8 subject areas:

    • English language arts and literature
    • Fine arts
    • French first language and literature
    • French immersion language arts and literature
    • Mathematics
    • Physical education and wellness
    • Science
    • Social studies

    The draft K to 6 curriculum emphasizes:

    • the essential knowledge, civic virtues and outcomes students need to succeed in school and throughout life
    • literacy and numeracy as building blocks of learning, critical thinking and problem solving
    • evidence and fact-based materials
    • the rich and diverse history of Alberta and Canada, including Indigenous and Francophone contributions, cultures and perspectives
    • age-appropriate content related to Treaties, agreements, residential schools and their legacy
  • Advice from Elders and subject matter experts (August 2020 to February 2021)

    As K to 6 curriculum was drafted, 19 individuals provided additional advice based on their subject matter expertise and lived experience in areas such as:

    • English literacy and literature
    • financial literacy
    • fine arts
    • French language literacy and literature
    • Indigenous perspectives
    • mathematics
    • oral communication
    • science
    • social studies
    • wellness education

    These individuals did not write curriculum. Their role was to provide advice and recommendations during the drafting step. Participation in this step did not indicate endorsement of the curriculum. The advisors could claim an honorarium of up to $400 per day for their work, which was paid based on invoices submitted. Learn more about the Advisors on Draft Curriculum (PDF, 100 KB).

  • Curriculum working group selection (November 2020)

    Curriculum working group members review draft curriculum through the lens of their discipline and subject knowledge, as well as their classroom perspective. For draft K to 12 curriculum renewal, membership has been refined to focus on engaging with certificated teachers based on grade grouping and subject expertise.

    A representative sample of approximately 300 teachers from all types of school authorities across the province will be involved in K to 12 curriculum renewal, including:

    • Public
    • Separate
    • Francophone
    • Charter
    • Independent
    • First Nations

    The governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories were also invited to nominate representatives for the K to 6 and grades 7 to 10 groups as they use the Alberta curriculum.

  • Input from curriculum working group (December 2020)

    In December 2020, the K to 6 curriculum working group met virtually to discuss the draft curriculum. Their role was to provide advice and recommendations during the drafting step. Participation in this step did not indicate endorsement of the draft K to 6 curriculum. The working group’s targeted and specific feedback helped to inform and refine the draft before it was released to education partners.

    The K to 6 curriculum working group included approximately 100 teachers from across the province. Download the member list:

  • Input from post-secondary partners (December 2020)

    Faculty of Education deans and professors from Alberta’s post-secondary institutions reviewed the draft K to 6 curriculum. Their role was to provide advice and recommendations during the drafting step. Participation in this step did not indicate endorsement of the curriculum.

    There were approximately 30 deans and professors who were invited to provide input. Download the list:

Input from partners and public

  • Parents and public (March 2021 to February 2022)

    The draft K to 6 curriculum was publicly released on March 29, 2021 online for review. Since then, Albertans have provided feedback many ways:

    • online survey from March 2021 until February 2022
    • virtual sessions hosted by Alberta Education staff between May 2021 and February 2022
    • nearly 600 participants shared diverse viewpoints on each subject area and the draft social studies design blueprint during virtual engagement sessions in January and February 2022

    Stay informed about the draft K to 6 curriculum review process. Learn more.

  • Education partners (June 2021 to March 2022)

    In June 2021, Alberta Education began having conversations with education partners to share information and discuss the draft K to 6 curriculum. These partners include, but are not limited to:

    • Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association
    • Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta
    • Alberta School Boards Association
    • Alberta School Councils’ Association
    • Alberta Teachers’ Association
    • College of Alberta School Superintendents
    • Council of Catholic Superintendents of Alberta
    • Fédération des conseils scolaires francophones de l’Alberta
    • Fédération des parents francophones de l’Alberta
    • Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta
    • The Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools

    Curriculum Engagement Grants

    Alberta Education provided approximately $1 million in grants to support partner groups in conducting consistent and coordinated engagements with their communities so their unique perspectives could be heard.

    Grants were provided to 12 organizations:

    • Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association
    • Alberta School Boards Association
    • Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools
    • Association of Independent Schools and Colleges of Alberta
    • Blackfoot Confederacy
    • College of Alberta School Superintendents
    • Confederacy of Treaty Six
    • Council of Catholic School Superintendents
    • Fédération des conseils scolaires francophones de l’Alberta
    • Metis Settlements General Council
    • Stoney Nakoda – Tsuut’ina Tribal Council
    • Tribal Chiefs Ventures Inc.

    Alberta Education received feedback reports from grant recipients by the end of March 2022. This input is being used to update draft K to 6 content, along with feedback from classroom piloting and other engagement activities.
    The grant recipients’ feedback reports will be publicly available in May 2022.

Input from Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group

  • Mandate (January to June 2022)

    In January 2022, Alberta Education established an advisory group of education and curriculum implementation experts to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation strategy and timelines for a new K to 6 curriculum. This Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group will:

    • help determine how new curriculums for English Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics and Physical Education and Wellness will be successfully implemented in September 2022
    • identify potential supports for the 3 subjects above and options for providing the supports to school authorities
    • provide advice on the continuation of piloting the remaining K to 6 subjects beginning in September 2022 and provide strategies for implementing these subjects beginning in September 2023

    The Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group is expected to be in place until June 2022. Alberta Education will develop a provincial implementation plan for new K to 6 curriculum by considering the group’s strategic advice and recommendations.

    Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group Terms of Reference (PDF, 141 KB)

  • Members

    The group has balanced representation from across the education system to help ensure the best interests of students, parents and teachers inform the group’s advice and recommendations. Membership includes individuals from Alberta Education and partner organizations who:

    • are directly accountable for curriculum implementation
    • have extensive qualifications, expertise and experience working within the education system

    Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group members include:

    • Marilyn Dennis, president, Alberta School Boards Association
    • Representative, Alberta School Boards Association
    • Wilco Tymensen, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents
    • Bevan Daverne, past-president, College of Alberta School Superintendents
    • David Keohane, executive director, College of Alberta School Superintendents
    • Michael McMann, superintendent, Fort Vermilion School Division
    • Robert Lessard, superintendent, Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord
    • Teacher representative, piloting elementary school
    • Teacher representative, piloting elementary school
    • Teacher representative, elementary school
    • Principal representative, Calgary Board of Education
    • Curriculum expert, Edmonton Public Schools
    • Andre Tremblay, deputy minister, Alberta Education (chair)
    • Jennifer Cassidy, assistant deputy minister, Curriculum Division
    • Executive director, Early and Middle Years Curriculum
    • Executive director, Curriculum Coordination and Implementation
    • Executive director, Learning and Teaching Resources

Classroom piloting process (2021-2022)

  • Preparation for piloting (April to August 2021)

    In April 2021, school authorities were invited to pilot the draft K to 6 curriculum in classrooms, if they chose. They had the flexibility to choose to work with one or more, or all subjects.

    In June 2021, Alberta Education delivered an orientation session to begin preparing participating teachers and administrators for the piloting process. These teachers also took part in one of the 3-day Summer Learning Institutes Alberta Education offered in June, July and August. During these sessions, Alberta Education answered questions and helped teachers understand how to work with the draft K to 6 curriculum in the classroom.

  • Input from classroom piloting (September 2021 to February 2022)

    Between September 2021 and February 2022, approximately 360 teachers piloted draft K to 6 content in elementary classrooms with about 7,800 students. These teachers helped determine how the draft curriculum transfers to the classroom by considering 6 areas:

    • strengths and opportunities in content
    • learning scope
    • age appropriateness
    • learning sequencing
    • perspectives on the content load
    • supports school authorities will need to prepare for provincial implementation

    During the pilot, Alberta Education supported teachers with information and tools to work with the draft in their classrooms. In 2020-21, there was $6 million set aside as follows:

    • $4 million for access to learning and teaching resources aligned with the draft curriculum to support instruction
    • $2 million for professional learning supports and substitute teacher costs while piloting teachers are learning; this funding includes $1,500 for each piloting teacher to buy instructional materials and classroom supplies to enhance the student learning experience

    In addition, Alberta Education offered sessions each month to meet piloting teachers’ needs and address any questions. Teachers also shared feedback on the draft curriculum and their classroom experience at these sessions.

    Throughout the pilot, school authorities and teachers provided valuable insights that are helping to refine the draft K to 6 curriculum.

Implementation, piloting and engagement

  • How and when draft K to 6 content is updated

    Alberta Education is updating all K to 6 subjects for implementation in phases starting in the 2022-23 school year. The content is being updated by considering:

    • all feedback from classroom piloting and engagement activities between March 2021 and March 2022
    • alignment with top-performing jurisdictions, both within Canada and internationally, as well as those with knowledge-rich curriculums

    The K to 6 subjects are being revised and released as follows:

    • final English language arts and literature, mathematics and physical education and wellness curriculums in April 2022
    • updated draft science, French first language and literature, and French immersion language arts and literature curriculums in May 2022
    • updated fine arts curriculum, which includes music, visual arts, dance and drama, will be available in the future
    • revised draft K to 6 social studies curriculum will also be available at a later date
  • Implementation, piloting and engagement

    In September 2022, the new K to 3 English language arts and literature, K to 3 mathematics and K to 6 physical education and wellness curriculums will be implemented in classrooms across Alberta. School authorities will have the option to also implement the final grades 4 to 6 mathematics and English language arts and literature curriculums, if they choose.

    There will be opportunities for school authorities to pilot the updated draft K to 6 science, fine arts, French first language and literature, and French immersion language arts and literature curriculums during the 2022-23 school year. School authorities will receive more details in May 2022. Albertans can share feedback on the 3 updated drafts at Have your say.

    The updated K to 6 fine arts curriculum, which includes music, visual arts, dance and drama, is also expected to move to classroom piloting during the 2022-23 school year.

    The revised draft K to 6 social studies curriculum will be made available at a later date for further engagement with Albertans and education stakeholders. Opportunities for classroom piloting will follow this engagement.

  • Supports and resources for teachers and students

    In 2022-23, $59 million is being invested in teacher professional learning and learning and teaching resources to make sure teachers and students are equipped for updated K to 6 curriculum in classrooms. This funding is part of $191 million investment over three years to support curriculum provincewide implementation.

    Alberta Education is providing teachers across the province with the following supports and resources on new.LearnAlberta.ca so they can continue preparing for the upcoming school year:

    • the final K to 3 English Language Arts and Literature, K to 3 Mathematics and K to 6 Physical Education and Wellness curriculums
    • the Provincial Resource Review Guide with new guidelines for selecting learning and teaching resources aligned to the new curriculums
    • additional comprehensive digital resources, such as Gizmos (Explore Learning) and Jump Math, have been procured for use in the classroom
      • Gizmos supports student learning through 400 labs and interactive simulations
      • Jump Math provides access to a research-supported, comprehensive mathematics resources including teacher resource guides and lesson slides
    • bridging resources to assist with transitioning from the current curriculums to the new curriculums
    • videos and support documents with an overview and orientation to the new curriculums
    • planning tools such as sample lesson plans
    • functionality that allows for teacher planning, collaboration and sharing (boards)
    • information about flexible professional learning opportunities that start in May

Piloting and implementation (2023)

In spring 2023, the draft K to 6 science, fine arts, French first language and literature, and French immersion language arts and literature curriculums will be updated by considering feedback from classroom piloting that will happen during the 2022-23 school year. The draft K to 6 social studies curriculum will also be updated based on public and stakeholder engagement feedback.

In September 2023, it is anticipated that the updated draft K to 6 social studies curriculum will begin piloting in classrooms. At the same time, provincewide implementation is expected to begin for the new:

  • grades 4 to 6 mathematics and English language arts and literature curriculums
  • K to 3 science, French first language and literature, and French immersion language arts and literature curriculums
  • K to 3 fine arts curriculum, which includes music, visual arts, dance and drama

Final implementation (2024)

It is anticipated the remaining new K to 6 curriculums will be implemented in all elementary classrooms in September 2024, including:

  • grades 4 to 6 science, French first language and literature, and French immersion language arts and literature
  • grades 4 to 6 fine arts, which includes music, visual arts, dance and drama
  • K to 6 social studies

Next grades

Recognizing the timeline for new K to 6 curriculum has been adjusted, the work to draft curriculum for grades 7 to 10 and grades 11 to 12 will be sequenced accordingly. More information will be posted when plans for grades 7 to 10 and 11 to 12 curriculum development are finalized.

Stay informed

Stay informed about the draft K to 6 curriculum review process.

Learn more