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Health and Physical Education Curriculum - Letter to the Minister

Health and Physical Education Curriculum - Letter to the Minister
Posted on 07/26/2018
Health and Physical Education Curriculum - Letter to the Minister



26 July 2018 - Letter to the Minister 

Hon. Lisa M. Thompson
Minister of Education
22nd Floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2

Dear Minister Thompson: Across Ontario, there is considerable confusion regarding provincial direction on the Health and Physical Education curriculum. The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has been actively monitoring this issue while affording the new government time to clarify its position. However, the time for clarity is now.

In response to community concerns, our trustees and staff have reinforced that the OCDSB remains very strongly committed to equity and providing classrooms that are a welcoming environment for all students, including LGBTQ+ students. Our priorities have not changed in terms of ensuring the voices and perspectives of ALL students and parents are heard and respected. We believe that the 2015 curriculum provides important learning opportunities for students about healthy relationships, consent, online safety, and mental health – issues that are quite different in today’s society than in 1998.

We urge the government to clarify curriculum expectations for September 2018. Our students deserve a curriculum that meets current learning needs and is supported by appropriate and responsive learning materials in support of student health and wellness. Our teachers need time to plan with the curriculum for the school year. Our parents need to understand how this will be managed at school so that they can make decisions about how they can best support their child’s learning on these topics at home.

Your government has indicated that further consultation will be undertaken in this area. We urge you to initiate that consultation immediately so that Ontarians can be heard and multiple curriculum changes can be avoided. We would be happy to share the details of your consultation with our community so that parents, students, staff or any member of the City of Ottawa can participate and/or share their perspective on this important issue with their Member of Provincial Parliament or the Minister of Education.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

 Shirley Seward,
Chair, Board of Trustees
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

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