We are very pleased to welcome your child(ren) back to school as we embark on another exciting year of learning!
I trust that you had a wonderful summer with time for relaxation and many opportunities to enjoy activities with your family and friends.
Avon Maitland DSB is a busy place… even in the summer! In addition to some holiday time, staff were involved in professional learning opportunities, offering summer learning programs, busy preparing the schools and improving our system, for the upcoming school year.
As you are likely aware, there will be changes to education in Ontario. With a new government, comes new ideas of what is important, where we should focus our energies and how we should progress. Our new Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, has announced that a very broad consultation with parents and community members will take place this fall. The feedback shared will help to inform the direction for education in the future, in our province. More information will be forthcoming on when and where these consultations will take place.
Beginning this week, and until the release of a revised elementary curriculum, all school boards have been directed to use the Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education, Interim Edition, 2018. The secondary curriculum remains the same. You can view the new elementary curriculum on the Ministry of Education website, if interested.
There has been a lot of hype in the media around this new curriculum. I want you to know that we remain committed to working in your child’s best interest, to ensure their health, safety and inclusion. As always, we want to establish and maintain a close relationship with you, our parents and guardians, to ensure that our schools meet the needs of your child.
This past week, the Ministry also released information about math programming. Their direction is that educators focus on math fundamentals. Fundamental math skills support students as they connect their learning to real life and solve everyday problems. A parent fact sheet has been released by the Ministry which you can view online.
The documents released to staff emphasize fundamental math concepts and skills that students are expected to know in each grade in order to meet curriculum expectations. These resources do not introduce new content, but rather help to focus student learning and connect expectations. Some of these concepts and skills include working with numbers, recognizing number properties, mastering math facts, developing mental math skills and developing proficiency with operations. As when any new direction is provided, school and system staff will be working together to implement the work.
We know that each child comes to us with a unique background, diverse strengths and needs, and our job is to help them achieve academically while feeling a strong sense of belonging in their school. Our goals as a school system that guide our work, are posted on our website if you are interested in learning more.
On behalf of our entire team in AMDSB, I wish each of you and your child(ren), a very successful year ahead!
We look forward to our continued progress and learning together.
With warm regards,
Dr. Lisa Walsh,
Director of Education, Avon Maitland DSB