June 23, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, released Ontario’s new elementary math curriculum, to be implemented for the 2020-21 school year.
Premier Ford and Minister Lecce were joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, and Chief Coroner for Ontario, Dr. Dirk Huyer. Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford, ministers, and public health officials took questions from media regarding Ontario’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
New Elementary Math Curriculum
This afternoon, Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, released Ontario’s new elementary math curriculum for grades 1-8. The revised curriculum, which aims to “better prepare students for work in a rapidly changing world, strengthen math competence, and improve grades,” will be implemented during the 2020-21 school year.
The focus areas of the new math curriculum include:
- Fundamental math concepts and skills, such as learning and recalling number facts;
- Teaching coding or computer programming skills starting in Grade 1 to improve problem solving and fluency with technology;
- Building understanding of the value and use of money through financial literacy concepts;
- Using relevant and practical examples to connect math to everyday life.
In addition to today’s announcement of the curriculum update, Premier Ford and Minister Lecce announced that Grade 3 and 6 students will not participate in Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessments during the upcoming 2020-21 school year, as the Ministry of Education aligns the assessments with the new curriculum.
In response to questions about the decision to roll out a new math curriculum during the current pandemic situation, Minister Lecce argued that the decline in Ontario student math performance over the past decade underscores the importance of implementing a modernized curriculum as soon as possible.
Questions from Media – COVID-19
When asked whether Ontario would consider implementing a mandatory mask order, Premier Ford, Minister Elliott and Dr. Williams reiterated that the government is encouraging Ontarians to wear masks, however mask use is a more effective measure when the public opts to do so voluntarily. While the government doesn’t believe it is necessary to mandate wearing masks in public, Minister Elliott asked Ontarians to use common sense.
In response to questions about stories of Hamilton bar owners who have had difficulty obtaining patio licences, Premier Ford asked cities to be flexible to allow businesses to operate.