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Education Act, Section 18(1)
Pursuant to section 18(1) of the Education Act, the Minister may authorize learning and teaching resources for use in schools.
Learning and teaching resources are those print and digital resources used by students and/or teachers to facilitate learning and teaching. Many learning and teaching resources are available on LearnAlberta.ca for use in implementing school programs.
Authorization indicates that the resources meet Alberta Education’s evaluation criteria (e.g., curriculum congruency; instructional and technical design; Guidelines for Recognizing Diversity and Promoting Respect; preference for Canadian content; and Guiding Voices: A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Perspectives Throughout Curriculum); however, the use of authorized resources is not mandatory for program delivery.
Under section 53(2)(b) of the Education Act, a school board may develop or acquire instructional materials for use in programs or in schools, subject to section 18. In developing/acquiring instructional materials, the school board should take into account such criteria as curriculum congruency; instructional and technical design; Guidelines for Recognizing Diversity and Promoting Respect; preference for Canadian content; and Guiding Voices: A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Perspectives Throughout Curriculum.
Alberta Education does not prescribe any one method of teaching over another. Teachers use their professional judgement and knowledge to select the most appropriate methods of teaching that best meet the needs of their students. However, the Teaching Quality Standard describes expectations for teachers who work directly with students. The ministry authorizes student and teacher resources to assist teachers in identifying instructional materials to support student learning. The use of authorized resources is not mandatory. Student and teacher resources may include print and digital formats used in a variety of settings and delivery modes to facilitate the implementation of provincial courses and programs of study, and educational initiatives.
For more information on authorized English and French learning and teaching resources, contact the Digital Content Management and Delivery Branch by emailing [email protected].
Distributed Learning Resources
Distributed learning resources are available for students and teachers in Alberta on LearnAlberta.ca. These resources, designed in a modular format, are student-centred and motivate and guide students as they work through a variety of learning experiences, assessment opportunities and integrated multimedia. Distributed learning resources meet the evaluation criteria and address the general and specific outcomes of a course as outlined in the provincial programs of study.
Office of Student Attendance and Re-engagement (OSAR)
Education's Office of Student Attendance and Re-engagement (OSAR) provides leadership and support to school authorities to promote student attendance and re-engagement in learning and address chronic absenteeism. The OSAR also provides administrative and operational support for the Attendance Board. The OSAR encourages a focus on finding solutions while considering the unique circumstances of each student and their family. Services provided include:
- consultation (student specific);
- support for the development of local attendance policy;
- consultation regarding attendance and re-engagement strategies (e.g. data collection and use, attendance campaigns); and
- facilitation of referrals to the Attendance Board when necessary.
Provincial Low Incidence Support Services Unit
A provincial low incidence team is available to support school authorities in meeting the needs of students from low incidence populations (blindness or visual impairment, deafness or hard of hearing, deaf blindness and complex communication needs). The provincial low incidence team is comprised of specialist professionals from each of the low incidence areas. Activities of the provincial low incidence team include:
- supporting school authorities in understanding the essential components for educational programming for low incidence populations and providing input on implementation;
- providing mentorship supports to school authority low incidence service providers, including providing expert advice on challenging cases;
- coordinating low incidence professional development for a wide variety of stakeholders;
- coordinating professional learning communities for low incidence specialists; and
- delivering Travelling Low Vision Clinics. These clinics provide comprehensive low vision assessments to support educational programming. Clinics are held in a variety of communities across the province.
Should you require support from the provincial low incidence team, or for more information, please contact the Provincial Low Incidence Support Services Unit at [email protected].
Services for Children/Students with Visual Impairments
Services for Students with Visual Impairments (SSVI) manages the braille transcription of authorized student basic textbooks within the four core subject areas (English language arts, social studies, science and mathematics) and an assistive technologies equipment loan program (e.g., braille note takers, embossers) for ECS to Grade 12 students.
For more information on accessing the services, visit Support for students with visual impairments on Alberta.ca.
Digital Textbook Repository for Students with Disabilities
Prevention of Abuse, Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination in Schools
Respect in School is an online training program available to all Alberta school employees to help prevent abuse, bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools. It educates participants on their legal duty of care and supports the goal of creating safe and respectful learning environments for all students. All school staff are encouraged to complete this training, and it is available in both English and French.
Respect in the Workplace training is available to all staff in public, separate, charter, francophone and private school authorities as well as First Nation education authorities. This training, available in both English and French, empowers people to recognize bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination within a work environment.
Brain Story Certification Training
The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) has developed an online Brain Story Certification course to make the science of brain development and its connection to addiction and mental health available to professionals and the public. The course is designed for those seeking a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health.
For more information, visit the Brain Story Certification web page.