A Letter to Parents from the Director of Education re: Family Life Education and Mathematics Curriculum

Director Michael Nasello sitting while addressing class

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Recently, the Ontario Government announced its intention to begin a broad consultation on a number of topics related to education, in particular, certain elements of the Health & Physical Education (HPE), the Math curriculum, and the use of cell phones in classrooms. As an interim measure, it was also announced that it will reinstate the 2010-14 Interim Health & Physical Education curriculum expectations for Elementary Schools for implementation this year. No doubt you are wondering what all of this means for your children.

As an Ontario school system, we are required to comply with the directives of the Ministry of Education. For the past 30 years, Catholic Schools in Ontario have taught the Fully Alive/Vivre Pleinement program as our Catholic Family Life Education program. This program is sponsored and developed by the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE) with the approval of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO), in collaboration with Catholic educators and families. It is the approved student and teacher resource for use in our schools. The expectations from the 2010-14 HPE curriculum that cover sexual development and reproduction are embedded in this program. Our Catholic Schools will continue to teach this approved Family Life program, an integral part of our Religious Education program. This Family Life curriculum is consistent with our Catholic teachings, appropriate within the context of our Catholic classrooms, and complementary to your efforts as parents to guide your children to full Christian maturity. Issues of human sexuality are addressed within the fullness of this curriculum that teaches the content of our faith, the value of persons, human relationships, commitment, and social responsibility.

In addition, all of us at Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board will continue to do everything we can to make our schools places of welcome and inclusion for all students. We will continue to address bullying in all its forms, and to teach students good safety habits, both in their personal and online behaviour. We will continue to provide for the mental health and well-being of all PVNC students and staff through our board-wide BE WELL strategy.

The Ministry of Education has also introduced a focus for the teaching and learning of Mathematics this year.  It is called “Focusing on the Fundamentals of Math.”  The link will take you to the Parent’s Guide on the Fundamentals of Math. This guide highlights the fundamental concepts and skills found in the expectations for grades 3, 6 and 8. The goal is to enable students to readily access and use these mathematical concepts, so as to increase their efficiency when problem-solving.  The guide also provides very helpful tips for you as parents to help your children make connections between what they are learning in school and everyday experiences at home and in the community.

Finally, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s education, please follow our board’s communication protocol:  first, talk to the classroom teacher; second, talk to the school Principal; third, talk to the Superintendent of Schools; and finally, if still not resolved, talk to the Director of Education.  Of course, your local Catholic School Trustee is elected to represent your interests and is always ready to hear and discuss your suggestions or concerns.

I hope your children have a wonderful beginning to this new school year.


Michael Nasello

Director of Education