Peel District School Board To Implement New Sex-Ed Curriculum This September
After months of costly consultations and a brief return to an outdated health curriculum from the late 90s, the Doug Ford government has implemented a new curriculum that closely mirrors the one approved by the former Liberal government.
The Ministry of Education revealed the new Elementary Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum on August 21. The new curriculum will be implemented in the upcoming 2019-20 school year.
The new curriculum will now touch upon mental health, concussions, the effects and risks of vaping, and cannabis, cyber safety, healthy body image, healthy relationships and sexual orientation and identity.
The curriculum aims to include and welcome different types of people.
"In an environment based on the principles of inclusive education, all students, parents, caregivers, and other members of the school community - regardless of ancestry, culture, ethnicity, sex, physical or intellectual ability, race, religion, creed, gender identity, gender expression, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or other factors - are welcomed, included, treated fairly, and respected. Diversity is valued when all members of the school community feel safe, welcomed, and accepted," the ministry states in the 2019 Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education.
The revised curriculum and a breakdown of what students will learn in each grade can be found here.
The ministry has also introduced a revised kindergarten program that includes learning about online safety and concussion prevention. The 2019 Addendum to The Kindergarten Program will also be implemented this school year.
No changes were made to the secondary HPE curriculum.
According to the Peel District School Board, they will share lesson plans for the interim and future HPE curriculums with families. The school board will review their current plans to ensure they align with the revised 2019 HPE curriculum.
As a part of the new HPE curriculum, there will be a new Human Development and Sexual Health Education component, that focuses on human development and sexual health starting from Grade One when they learn about body parts, including genitalia, by their proper names.
Peel staff will teach the new Human Development and Sexual Health Education component of the HPE curriculum to elementary students in the spring so educators can develop a strong relationship with students and have a clear understanding of their maturity levels. According to the board, this will help ensure that they teach the curriculum in a developmentally and age-appropriate manner.
Based on the new ministry direction, all Peel elementary schools will send letters to families at each grade level at least 20 days before they teach the Human Development and Sexual Health Education component. However, schools will not provide advance notice for classroom discussions, events and/or activities that build a climate of inclusion and safety, including discussions about different kinds of families or any of the other human rights protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
By November 30, the Peel District School Board will develop a policy/procedure that allows parents to exempt their children from the Human Development and Sexual Health Education component, which will be shared with staff and families once it is developed.
"We encourage families to meet with school staff so that their fears and concerns can be addressed. Often these are based on myths circulating in communities about what is and isn’t taught. The best place to seek clarification and reassurance is from the school," says the Peel District School Board.
The school board encourages parents and/or guardians to direct their questions to their child’s teacher. Parents can also share their concerns directly with the Ministry of Education.
What do you think about the new new Elementary Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum?
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