A pilot project assessing Grade 3 students in Alberta will continue for another year.

“I'm sure there are things that we will have learned from it,” said Education Minister Gordon Dirks on Tuesday morning.

Grade 3 students across the province were tested last month using the new Student Learning Assessments, which are scheduled to replace the controversial Provincial Achievement Tests used in the past.

The results from the SLAs will now be reviewed, Dirks said.

“The pilot, of course, was a first step in taking a look at a new approach to assessment for our Grade 3 students,” he said. “I have not yet had an opportunity to receive or review the final results.“

The end-of-term PAT exams will be replaced by the literacy and numeracy assessments beginning this year. Grade 6 and Grade 9 students will make the shift to the Student Learning Assessments in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

By moving the provincial assessment to the start of the school year, the government hopes teachers will have more time to identify areas where kids might need some extra attention.

Participation in this year’s pilot was voluntary, but almost all schools participated, Dirks said.