The Chair of the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB), Jeff McMillan, offers the following comments regarding the recent provincial dialogue on possible content changes to the health and physical education curriculum for Ontario students.
Like all school boards in Ontario at this time, the UCDSB has yet to receive clear direction from the Ministry of Education about any changes or adjustments related to teaching the health and physical education curriculum. Our trustees want our students to have a strong and modern curriculum that allows teachers to engage instruction that aligns with our school board’s mission of ‘Preparing All Students for a Successful Life.’ We understand that the provincial government is considering further consultations about some aspects of the curriculum related to human development and sexual health. Our Board of Trustees would be most willing to contribute to these consultations should the opportunity arise in the near future. The UCDSB expects any curriculum – whether it is mathematics, social studies or science – to be current and aligned with modern realities, including our rural realities. We have the same expectations for the health and physical education curriculum used in Ontario schools. We are in a wait-and-see period for the moment. It is up to us to wait patiently for direction and clarification from the province about their intentions for proceeding beyond what we heard through this month’s Throne Speech. Once we receive this specific information from the Ministry of Education, we will provide our schools with any clarity or direction that they need to support instruction during the coming school year. We trust that the provincial government is keenly aware of the timelines related to the start of the next school year and understands the importance of teachers having clarity about curriculum content. Our staff deserves every opportunity to plan purposefully for effective instruction and to feel fully prepared to teach our students when classes resume on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.