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Student Programs of Study

  • Code: GA.BP
    Topic: Student Programs of Study
    Issue Date: 17/09/2014
    Effective Date: 17/09/2013
    Review Year: 2020

Purpose

To explicitly state and reinforce the provincial expectation that students in the District will be taught the content that is prescribed in the programs of study. This ensures both compliance with the School Act and that district students will be held to the same high standards as all Alberta students.

Definitions

Programs of study are established by Alberta Education and identify the student learning outcomes for all students in all courses and programs. 

An Engaged Thinker knows how to think critically and creatively and make discoveries through inquiry, reflection, exploration, experimentation and trial and error; is competent in the arts and sciences including languages; uses technology to learn, innovate, collaborate, communicate and discover; has developed a wide range of competencies in many areas, including gathering, analysis and evaluation of information; is familiar with multiple perspectives and disciplines and can identify problems and then find the best solutions; as a team member, integrates ideas from a variety of sources into a coherent whole and communicates these ideas to others; adapts to the many changes in society and the economy with an attitude of optimism and hope for the future; as a lifelong learner, believes there is no limit to what knowledge may be gleaned, what skills may be accumulated, and what may be achieved in cooperation with others; and always keeps growing and learning. Ministerial Order (#001/2013). 

An Ethical Citizen understands that it is not all about them, has learned about and is appreciative of the effort and sacrifice that built this province and country and sees beyond self-interests to the needs of the community; is committed to democratic ideals; contributes fully to the world economically, culturally, socially and politically; as a steward of the earth, minimizes environmental impacts; builds relationships through fairness, humility and open mindedness, with teamwork, collaboration and communication; engages with many cultures, religions and languages, values diversity in all people and adapts to any situation; demonstrates respect, empathy and compassion for all people; cares for themselves physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually; is able to ask for help, when needed, from others, and also for others; and assumes the responsibilities of life in a variety of roles. Ministerial Order (#001/2013). 

An individual with an Entrepreneurial Spirit is motivated, resourceful, self-reliant and tenacious; continuously sets goals and works with perseverance and discipline to achieve them; through hard work, earns achievements and the respect of others; strives for excellence and personal, family and community success; is competitive and ready to challenge the status quo; explores ideas and technologies alone or as part of diverse teams; is resilient, adaptable, able and determined to transform discoveries into products or services that benefit the community and, by extension, the world; develops opportunities where others only see adversity; has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity, recognizing that to hold back is to be held back; and has the courage to dream. Ministerial Order (#001/2013).

Policy

In keeping with the District Vision and Mission, the Board of Trustees supports and is fully committed to the Alberta Ministry of Education’s desired student learning outcomes of an inclusive Kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Alberta to enable all students to achieve to their full potential.

As per Ministerial Order (#001/2013), and as detailed in the Guide to Education, the goal for an inclusive Kindergarten to Grade 12 education is to enable all students to achieve the following outcomes:

(1)   be Engaged Thinkers and Ethical Citizens with an Entrepreneurial Spirit;
(2)  strive for engagement and personal excellence in their learning journey;
(3)   employ literacy and numeracy to construct and communicate meaning; and
(4)   discover, develop and apply competencies across subject and discipline areas for learning, work and life to enable students to:
      (a)   know how to learn: to gain knowledge, understanding or skills through experience, study, and interaction with others;
      (b)   think critically: conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate to construct knowledge;
      (c)   identify and solve complex problems;
      (d)   manage information: access, interpret, evaluate and use information effectively, efficiently, and ethically;
      (e)   innovate: create, generate and apply new ideas or concepts;
      (f)   create opportunities through play, imagination, reflection, negotiation, and competition, with an entrepreneurial spirit;
      (g)   apply multiple literacies: reading, writing, mathematics, technology, languages, media, and personal finance;
      (h)   demonstrate good communication skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others;
      (i)   demonstrate global and cultural understanding, considering the economy and sustainable development; and
      (j)  identify and apply career and life skills through personal growth and well-being.

In alignment with the programs of study and further supported through the outcomes in the Guide to Education, the Board of Trustees expects that all students will have equitable access to student programs that contain the following characteristics:

  1. program continuity with balanced, integrated and sequenced implementation;
  2. a focus on basic literacy skills to develop proficiency in language arts;
  3. instruction in a second language (in addition to English) in Grades 4 to 9 and support and encouragement to students to continue to build proficiency in a second language through the end of Grade 12;
  4. differentiated program delivery responsive to assessed student learning needs;
  5. a wide range of teaching and learning resources that reflect and value the diversity in the District so that all students see themselves and their lives positively reflected within the curriculum;
  6. the provision of a safe learning environment for students whether or not the activities occur outside the boundaries of the students’ schools;
  7. curricular and extracurricular educational activities which enhance student engagement, learning and development such as but not limited to:
    1. homework assignments related to the outcomes of the programs of study;
    2. activities outside the boundaries of the students’ schools as a means of extending the learning that takes place in the classroom such as:
      1. field trips;
      2. performance and exhibit opportunities to promote achievement and enable the pursuit of excellence in music, art, drama and dance; and
      3. interschool athletic activities to enhance skill development and encourage healthy lifestyles. 

Expectations

    1. All student programs shall be in compliance with the School Act, Alberta Education’s policies, regulations, and standards and all Board of Trustees policies and district administrative regulations.

    2.  The Superintendent of Schools shall review and where necessary, create administrative regulations and assign responsibilities to implement the purpose and intent of this policy.

    3. Principal expectations related to program implementation are outlined in Section 20 of the School Act and are excerpted as follows:

      A principal of a school must:…
      (b)   ensure that the instruction provided by the teachers employed in the school is consistent with the courses of study and education programs prescribed, approved or authorized pursuant to this Act;
      (c)    evaluate or provide for the evaluation of programs offered in the school; and
      (d)   ensure that students in the school have the opportunity to meet the standards of education set by the Minister.


    4. Teacher expectations related to program implementation are outlined in Section 18(1) of the School Act and are excerpted as follows:
      A teacher while providing instruction or supervision must:…
      (b)   teach the courses of study and education programs that are prescribed, approved or authorized to this Act;
      (c)   promote goals and standards applicable to the provision of education adopted or approved pursuant to this Act;
      (d)   encourage and foster learning in students.
    5. Parents shall be provided with information on the educational program in which their child is enrolled each year to enable them to continue to be involved and support their child’s education.

    6. The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that teachers and principals are informed of changes in the programs of study and that opportunities to engage in professional learning related to these changes are provided. The Superintendent of Schools shall also ensure that principals are provided support to supervise teachers in the delivery of the programs of study.

    7. The Superintendent of Schools shall ensure that all students have access to the outcomes of the programs of study to the highest level possible as determined by student ability.

    Accountability

    The Superintendent of Schools shall inform the Board of Trustees as changes occur within the programs of study. The Superintendent of Schools shall report on the consistency of programming provided in schools with the course of study and education programs prescribed, approved or authorized pursuant to the School Act.

    References

    AD.BP District Vision, Mission, Values, and Priorities
    GAA.AR Off-Campus Education
    GAA.BP Delivery of Student Programs of Study
    GGAF.AR French Language Programs
    GGAG.AR International and Aboriginal Language Programs and Courses
    GGDJ.AR Participation in Interschool Athletic Activities
    GI.AR Teaching and Learning Resources
    GICA.AR Field Trips
    GK.BP Student Assessment, Achievement and Growth
    HA.BP Inclusive Education
    Alberta Education - Guide to Education
    Alberta Education - Ministerial Order 016/97 Teaching Quality Standard Applicable to the Provision of Basic Education in Alberta
    School Act