November 4, 2015
Peel board says, “Facts matter,” provides factual guide to revised HPE curriculum
Community leaders, agencies, endorse guide as way for parents to make "informed decision"
The Peel District School Board has produced Working together to keep our students safe and healthy: a parent's guide to the revised Health and Physical Education curriculum. The guide provides factual information about the revised curriculum, the actions the board has taken in response, and a grade-by-grade chart of what students will learn. The guide will be distributed to every parent with students in grades 1 to 12.
Notes Brian Woodland, director of communications and community relations, "Facts matter—we made a commitment to our parent community to provide a factual, easy-to-read guide to the curriculum and we have delivered on that promise. There has been so much misinformation and inaccuracy about the revised HPE curriculum. We believe parents should make an informed choice based on the facts—that is what our students deserve."
The guide has been officially endorsed by multiple community and faith leaders. Says Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health, Region of Peel, "The revised curriculum is based on sound public health research and is all about keeping students safe, but there has been so much misinformation in the community about it. This Peel board guide will help parents and guardians understand what the curriculum is and is not, and show how teachers and families can work together to help children make healthier choices."
Says Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, vice-president - Ontario, World Sikh Organization, "We fully support this guide. Facts matter, and we believe it is important for parents to make an informed decision about the revised HPE curriculum. The guide is very helpful in that decision-making process."
Click here to view a full list of endorsements from community leaders and agencies.
In addition to the guide, the Peel board decided that staff will teach the human development and sexual health component in spring 2016, and also mandated that new letters be sent home at each grade level at least two weeks before sexual health topics are discussed.
Stresses Tony Pontes, director of education, "These actions are intended to build comfort for our families. We want them to have the time to read the guide, build a trusting relationship with our skilled, sensitive and professional teachers, and make an informed choice."
The guide outlines:
To help raise awareness of the guides are "Facts matter" ads in local papers. The board will also run a #FactsMatter social media campaign. Starting Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, the board will post one HPE fact a day for 30 days on Twitter and Facebook.
- that the curriculum is not new and has been taught since 1998
- our professional staff teach in a sensitive, age-appropriate manner
- parents will get advance notice of lessons
- teaching of human development and sexual health delayed to spring 2016
- there will be only two to five lessons per year
- the material that will be covered in each grade
- parents play a vital role in supporting the curriculum
Translated versions of the guide will be available online at a later date in the top languages spoken by Peel families:
To read the full parent guide and to learn more, visit www.peelschools.org/HPE
Media Contact: Brian Woodland, Director of Communications & Community Relations, [email protected], 905-890-1010 ext. 2812
Reference: Ryan Reyes, Communications Officer, [email protected], 905-890-1010 ext. 2652