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Implementing changes to health curriculum

Limestone Learning Foundation
Implementing changes to health curriculum
Posted on 08/30/2018
Image of 2010 Health and Physical Education Curriculum document.

With the new school year about to begin, families and students may be wondering how the Limestone District School Board will address the provincial government’s recent changes to the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Curriculum.

There are no changes for secondary students in Grades 9 to 12. Secondary teachers will continue to teach the 2015 curriculum as is.

The Government of Ontario, however, has directed all school boards across the province to use the interim 2010 Health and Physical Education Curriculum for elementary students in Grades 1-8. Curriculum is mandated by the Ministry of Education, and we expect all educators to teach the 2010 curriculum to elementary students. It is important to note that while the wording may differ from the 2015 curriculum, the 2010 document contains many critically important topics. In some cases, these topics are now covered under “prompts” as opposed to “expectations,” but they remain in the curriculum.

The school board has not yet received resource documents but this information will be shared with elementary teachers when it is available. Central board staff will work with teaching staff to clarify the elementary curriculum expectations. In the meantime, school administrators will work with and support teaching staff with curriculum-related questions.

 All staff will continue to support our students on important topics such as gay marriage, gender identity, online safety, and sexual consent. Many of these topics are supported by other curricular areas, the Safe and Accepting Schools legislation as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code. As always, we will work with our students, families and community partners to ensure we are responsive to the needs of our students.

We know that education is fluid, and that teaching is not confined to subjects and scheduled blocks of time. In fact, in day-to-day interactions with students, “teachable moments” often occur outside of the classroom, in hallways and on the schoolyard. We will continue to help our students develop healthy relationships, free of racism, bullying and homophobia, supported through our equity and inclusion principles.

The government has announced upcoming Consultation into Education Reform that will include consultation on a revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Our school board has advised the government that we are willing to participate in any consultations to ensure our voices are heard. We also encourage our families, students and staff to take part in this important consultation process.

We know there may be confusion in our school communities about what will and will not be taught with regard to the Health and Physical Education Curriculum, and we will continue to communicate with families with clarifying information as it becomes available. It is also important that families know that they can always share concerns about how their children are taught directly with teachers and school administrators. Concerns about the curriculum itself should be directed to the Ministry of Education.

Please be assured that we will continue to support our students’ emotional, mental and physical needs in a safe and inclusive environment.

 

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.