Alberta Education: Inspiring Education Dialogue

Engaged Thinker, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Ethical Citizen

PHRD school administrators gathered as a Professional Learning Community to examine the elements of Inspiring Education that are approaching.  As a jurisdiction PHRD has been focusing energy and resources on applying elements of Inclusion. Our team needed to learn about the Ministerial Order and specifically, Curriculum Prototyping. The team also requested an opportunity to explore the notion of “Digital Citizenship”.  Finally, the team examined the notion of ‘readiness’ for change.

Corrie Zielgler from ERLC gave us an amazing presentation on curriculum redesign: 

Key Focus:  Please see points below taken from Alberta Education Website

  • A new Provincial Dual Credit Strategy – Creating opportunities for students to earn both high school and post-secondary credits for the same course. These credits could also lead to workplace certification or advanced standing in post-secondary programs.
  • Improvements to the provincial diploma exam – Providing students with more flexibility in writing diploma exams through a digital format.
  • A high school flexibility program – Empowering students to show learning through mastery of the subject, rather than linking credits to the number of hours at a desk.
  • Review and replacement of the old Provincial Achievement Test – Introducing student-friendly assessments to replace existing Provincial Achievement Tests. The new Student Learning Assessments will maintain a strong focus on literacy and numeracy, but will also help educators and parents understand how well students demonstrate competencies such as creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • The Education Act Regulatory Review – Regulations related to the new Education Act will help provide students with the supports and environment they’ll need to succeed.


Education Act

Summary of Key Changes to Education Act

Slide from Corrie’s Presentation that I found most helpful.

School Fitness Facility

fitnessI am so grateful to have an amazing parent society that supports our school.  This is the latest co-purchase between the school and this fundraising community organization.  Used in our physical education program as well as by community members, we are getting fit one day at a time.


What an amazing day!  I met a gentleman named ‘Gordon Booth’ who is the VC Coordinator at GYRD.


- VC presentation by a Rabi from Israel with a grade 7-9 class at Niton Junction School.

- Presentation by a teacher (Magi) from Grande Cache and her experience with teaching Math 31 (VC) to students at Jasper High School.

Some key points of interest:

- Gordon Booth has been the VC coordinator for approximately 10 years

- Every year his budget increases as requests for VC increase

- Budget funded by Regional Office/Central Pool not at the school level

- 640+ VC’s have occurred in the 2010-11 school year

- Various content providers services are used to supplement learning in the classroom

-  Approximately $150 dollars per session

- Set up endpoints at various locations (Hawaii).  This gives GYRD a deal on programming from those sites

- Some content providers will create assessments/programs based on the Alberta Program of Studies

- They have developed a document that pairs various VC presentation’s with the k-9 curriculum

Gordon’s Key Points:

- He does not believe in multipoint connections as students loose interest due to less interactivity

- Should have a printer/scanner in every VC classroom

- Online application to supplement course ie.  teacher pages

- Must have a lead teacher at every school that undergoes training which includes VC setup, test connections and content provider searches.

- Must provide those teachers who are interested in learning PD time by covering the cost of their release time.


As a division we are ready to take VC to the next level.  We have the infrastructure and staff in every building who have tried Videoconferencing.

-Train key individuals at the school level to promote the use of VC (how to connect and book VC programs).

-There needs to be financial support available for release time and the booking of content provider programs.

-We are ready to try Team Teaching Via VC within our division

Buffalo Trail School Division Tour:  Stay tuned