BCTF Pro-D News October 27, 2016

October 27, 2016
Special issue: The revised curriculum and its implementation
Curriculum is not pedagogy.
The curriculum is being revised; your pedagogical approaches are not.
While Professional Development (PD) Chairs are not responsible for the implementation of the revised curriculum, it is important that you be as up-to-date on the issues as possible.
If you are on your local education change committee (check your collective agreement [CA] for language around this committee), you probably know a fair amount about the implementation process to date. We hope you are able to take the lead on several issues at that table. The following is meant to help support you in your leadership. If you are not on your local education change committee, please make sure it is actively working on the issues arising from curriculum implementation. You may be unaware of many major milestones in the implementation roll-out. We think you should be just as aware as anyone in your local. 
School staff committees guide implementation
At the school level, staff committees (see your collective agreement) or their equivalent (if you don’t have provision for staff committees in your CA), should be guiding the implementation process. The Ministry of Education has said that the revised curriculum’s implementation is a process not an event, but we know that at some point teachers will have to report to parents using either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2. That is the “event,” and as such, it should be thoroughly discussed and decided upon at the school and local level:
Student Progress Report Order
New Student Reporting policy
Reporting platforms:
“The tool shapes the task”
(Ursula Franklin, feminist, physicist, activist)
Individual schools and districts are introducing the use of specific reporting platforms and templates. PD Chairs need to be aware that many may have student privacy issues connected to them, may unduly increase teacher workload, and may start to define our pedagogy. FreshGrade and other platforms that call for uploads of student photos should be discussed thoroughly at the district level before teachers employ it as a means of reporting to parents. Teachers know that reporting should be meaningful, not something that is onerous and creates a heavier workload.


The student competencies are to be self-assessed by students. Teachers are NOT to assess their students on the competencies. Individual teachers who may be contemplating doing so will be undercutting their colleagues’ ability to follow the Ministry guidelines of student self-assessment.Foundation Skills Assessments (FSAs)
Reminder: The BC Teachers’ Federation’s (BCTF) position is not to participate in pilot FSA tests.Please communicate this information to the PD reps in your schools. 
Assessment tools
Teachers are concerned that if every teacher is creating their own assessments in each classroom, each school, and each district across the province, the waste of time and energy will be staggering. If your provincial specialist association, your district, or your school has developed a template or lesson aid that works for the revised curriculum, please upload it to TeachBC, the BCTF online source for resource sharing. 
Graduation years implementation
Teachers are expressing concerns about the implementation process for the Grade 10‒12 draft curriculum. While this year the curriculum is in draft form, with teachers being encouraged to provide specific feedback in specific subject areas (curriculum@gov.bc.ca), the reality is that secondary schools are now beginning to prepare for course selection for the 2017‒18 school year. The BCTF has repeatedly asked the Ministry to slow down the implementation process. You may want to echo this request in your schools and district.
Updates to Ministry orders
Educational Program Guide Order
Graduation Program Order
Provincial Examinations Order
Required Areas of Study in an Educational Program Order You can locate all of the updated curriculum information at this BCTF site.
Non-instructional days for curriculum implementation
In addition to the five annually allocated non-instructional days (NIDs), there should be two NIDs in both 2016‒17 and 2017‒18 for curriculum implementation (CI): the superintendents’/administrators’ day and an additional five-hour day. In total there should be seven NIDs this year and next: five are the traditional teacher PD days, the sixth is the traditional superintendents’ day, and the seventh is an additional five hours, to be used in not less than half-day chunks.

The five annually allocated
PD days are not for curriculum implementation work and administration should not direct them as such.

Please see the School Calendar Regulation, with particular attention to Section 8:

Designation of purpose for non-instructional days and periods
(2) A board must schedule the following in each of the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 school years for the purpose of providing teachers with an opportunity to participate in discussions and activities relating to the implementation of the curriculum documents listed in section 2 and Appendix 1 of the Educational Program Guide Order, M333/99:
(a) one non-instructional day;
(b) one or more non-instructional periods totalling 5 hours.

The BCTF has stated that the planning of this should resemble what occurred last year with joint planning. The Ministry has also sent out communication to the superintendents (in the form of an email) that outlines expectations for the NIDs:

The government’s 3-year Curriculum Support announcement for Teachers (September 2015) included a designation of time in school years 2016/17 & 2017/18. In each of those years, an additional 5 hours has been given through a reduction in instructional hours and that the provincially designated topic in both of these years is expected to be focused on the new curriculum, assessment and reporting as we move through transformation. The focused directions in the past were dedicated to Aboriginal Education, Skills and Trades, Literacy and ERASE Bullying. It is our hope and expectation that Districts and Local Unions continue to co-plan the time spent on curriculum exploration. We are very encouraged by reports from districts on this first year.


Jinny Sims
Assistant Director

Professional and Social Issues Division
British Columbia Teachers’ Federation
100-550 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC  V5Z 4P2
604 871 1849