Dear LKDSB staff,
As you are aware, the Ontario Government has directed all school boards to use the re-issued 2010 Health and Physical Education Curriculum for Grades 1-8. The 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum will continue to be taught in secondary schools.
The Ministry of Education is planning a comprehensive consultation regarding the Health and Physical Education Curriculum, along with other areas of education. A copy of the interim edition of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum for Grades 1-8 is available online: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/healthcurr18.pdf
Elementary teaching staff is recommended to defer teaching the Grades 1 – 8 Healthy Living: Growth and Development curriculum expectations until second term, so that supports from the Ministry and the LKDSB can be shared.
The LKDSB is awaiting curriculum resources from the Ministry, however school boards across the province have been sharing information to support the implementation of these changes. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is currently reviewing the differences in the 2010 and 2015 curriculum documents for Grades 1-8 and has provided informational resources to the LKDSB to support its staff. Below are some examples of some of those differences, as shared by the TDSB.
While there have been concerns expressed about the differences in topics outlined in the two editions, it should be noted that there are topics that are covered under "prompts" as opposed to "expectations," but remain in the curriculum. As such, educators will continue to have discussions about diverse families, online safety and consent, etc. while also meeting the curriculum expectations.
We expect that all educators will teach the curriculum set for Ontario students, however educators are responsible for determining the instructional strategies used to teach the curriculum. As we prepare for the 2018-2019 school year, we remain committed to student achievement in a safe, caring and inclusive learning environment. We are confident our teachers will continue to align with the Ministry direction and the LKDSB's policies and procedures to promote student success and well-being.
Should you have any questions about the elementary program curriculum changes, please contact your principal or Ben Hazzard, Superintendent of Education - Early Years / Elementary Program.
You may also be aware of the Ontario government has established an online platform (Fortheparents.ca) for parents/guardians to report concerns. The LKDSB Senior Administration looks forward to learning more about this process and will continue to follow its current policies and procedures regarding professional conduct.
It is recommended that parents/guardians who have specific concerns with instructional approaches should resolve these through discussion with teachers and principals as per our Parental Concerns Policy and Regulations. Those with concerns related to the re-issued 2010 Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum should be directed to the Ministry of Education.
Here are some examples of curriculum changes in the 2010 curriculum document (courtesy of the TDSB):
- Mental health, body image, substance abuse, violence, harassment, child abuse, gender identity, sexual orientation, illness (including HIV/AIDS), and poverty will continue to be discussed within an open, caring, sensitive way and in an atmosphere of mutual respect. (p.30)
- Teachers can also have a decisive influence on students by taking advantage of "teachable moments" to address immediate relationship issues that may arise among students. (T)he study of healthy relationships, particularly with respect to bullying/harassment and violence prevention, should include a focus on sexist, racist, and homophobic behaviour. (p.30)
- (A)ll students must be made aware of issues of privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the potential for abuse of this technology, particularly when it is used to promote hatred. (p.64)
- Apply living skills (e.g., decision –making, assertiveness, and refusal skills) in making informed decisions and analyze the consequences of engaging in sexual activities and using drugs. (p.201)
I understand there are some uncertainties as we continue to work forward through this transition, however I assure you that we will provide updates as soon as they become available. I appreciate your support as we move forward with the implementation of the changes outlined by the Ontario government. Should you have any questions, please contact your supervisor.
Director of Education
Lambton Kent District School Board