Red Deer Public School District

Board opts out of Provincial Achievement Tests

After much discussion with Senior Administration, the Board of Trustees for Red Deer Public Schools have decided to opt out of Provincial Achievement Tests for the 2020/2021 school year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial Achievement Tests are standardized provincial assessments taken by students in Grades 6 and 9 for core courses. The Minister of Education has made these optional at the discretion of the school board.

Initially, Red Deer Public had made the decision that if the province was in Scenario 1 for the year, the Division would take part in these assessments. However, due to the pandemic, some students may be asked to stay home either due to having symptoms or because they are a close contact with a case. That could result in self isolation for up to 14 days. This can result in following behind in studies as well as create significant stress on students.

“Teaching and learning for thousands of students around the province have already been interrupted when they have needed to isolate as a result of the pandemic,” said Board Chair Nicole Buchanan. “While our teachers support continued learning while students are away from school, generally for 14 days, we are hearing there are many students who have gaps when they return to school, they fall further behind creating significant anxiety for students facing these assessments.”

Regular ongoing assessments are still a key part of our return to school, ensuring high quality learning for students.