New curriculum for Grade 9 English to be in place by September

The process to de-stream Grade 9 courses will continue as the new school year begins in September 2023 as the English courses will again be changed, the trustees of the Lambton Kent School District heard at their meeting on Feb. 28. This current school year, the applied English course was eliminated and all Grade 9 students were to take the existing academic course.

More changes will be made in September 2023, as the Grade 9 English academic course will be eliminated and be replaced with a new Grade 9 course. The provincial government announced in 2021 it would eliminate academic and applied courses in Grade 9 and create new curriculum. Ontario is the only province in Canada, which had de-streams Grade 9 students with all of the other provinces doing it in Grade 10.

Mary Mancini, superintendent of education for student success, secondary and continuing education said the de-streaming of Grade 9 has been in place for many years in Ontario, and over time the curriculum in the applied courses have become less rigorous. Provincial data shows most students who are streamed into applied courses are Indigenous, Black, with disabilities or other special education factors or from low income families.

All courses were offered in September 2022 in one stream, with every student taking the academic English course. In September 2023, the

Mancini said there was a significant negative impact on choosing so early for students, as Grade 9 is often too early for students to make decisions of this magnitude. Delaying this decision for students keep their options open longer, she said. Using the statistics from the graduating class of 2021, it was found 93 percent of students in the academic stream graduated, while 68 percent of students graduated in the applied stream while 44 percent graduated in the local/workplace stream.

Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent