August 27, 2018

Director of Education shares message with staff regarding the Ministry's announcement on changes to the Health and Physical Education curriculum

As we head into next year, I know that some of you may be wondering about the province's recent announcement regarding changes to the elementary Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum, and upcoming Consultation into Education Reform. I wanted to provide you with this information before the start of the school year.

First, secondary teachers will continue to teach the 2015 secondary HPE curriculum. No changes were made.

Second, in the coming days, Curriculum & Instruction Support Services will send a memo to schools that clarifies elementary HPE curriculum expectations, and provides an analysis of the re-issued elementary HPE curriculum and the 2015 curriculum. Staff are reviewing the curriculum through a human rights lens.

It appears that the main difference between the two curricula is the Human Growth and Development section. Comprehensive resources and lesson plans for this section will follow later—they are being prepared centrally. The resources will reinforce the board's ongoing commitment to the well-being, safety and success of all students

At this time, we ask that educators not teach this section until lesson plans are available. With respect to topics related to identity and covered under the Ontario Human Rights Code, as always, we encourage teachers to embed this work in all curricular areas and to refer to Th​e Future We Want document as a support.

We must continue to be guided by our moral obligation to ensure all students feel safe and included in our school communities. We have a responsibility, under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Education Act and the board's policies and procedures. I have every confidence that Peel educators will deliver the provided curriculum in ways that align with ministry direction and human rights legislation, while creating learning spaces that are safe, inclusive and focused on student success and well-being.

Because we know there may be confusion in our school communities about what will and will not be taught in HPE after the ministry's announcement, we will provide families with clarifying information in the coming days. It is also important that families know that they can share concerns about how their children are taught directly with teachers. As is our long-standing process, we will continue to encourage parents/guardians to raise concerns first with their child's teacher, as per our Public Concerns Policy #85. If concerns are raised about the curriculum itself, those should be directed to the Ministry of Education.

Lastly, some changes to Ontario's Mathematics curriculum are also being planned. We expect an updated math curriculum compendium to be released in the coming weeks with, as announced by the ministry, "resources for educators to use to move away from Discovery Math to traditional formulas and memorization techniques." We will share information with educators and administrators as it becomes available.

Please findan overview of the Ministry of Education's announcement with links to documents that are available online. As you head into a new school year, I know you will continue to be guided by an unwavering commitment to equity, inclusion and student success. Thank you for the inspiring work you do for Peel students. You are valued and appreciated.

Thank you,


Peter Joshua

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