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May 1, 2013

Dear Parents/Guardians RE: Human Sexuality Instruction

Parents are the primary and most important educators of their children, especially in matters related to faith and morals. Our role as Catholic educators is to support you in teaching your children in these matters. This letter is to keep you informed regarding human sexuality instruction in your childs classroom. The human sexuality curriculum was developed by a working committee established by the Catholic Bishops of Alberta, and is being taught across Alberta in Catholic schools in Grades 4 through 9. At the request of our parents, this curriculum is taught in the Religious Education program. This provides the opportunity for teaching the principles of family life education in the context of our faith tradition. Human sexuality instruction in your childs grade six class will include addressing the following topics: 1) The student will review the changes that occur during puberty and the importance of self-care. 2) The student will review what it means to be male and female and describe the creative process involved in the gift of life. 3) The student, as a child of God, will explore the stages of human development from conception through birth. 4) The student, as a child of God, will explore positive and negative choices that impact the development of human life. 5) The student, as a child of God, will discern life choices that can lead to blood- borne diseases and examine our Catholic response to those who suffer from them. 6) The student will examine how health habits/behaviours/media images influence body image and feelings of self-worth. 7) The student will identify personal boundaries and ways they can respond when they feel others have not respected those boundaries.

The instruction in human sexuality will occur in your childs class during the months of May and June.

The Calgary Catholic School District has developed a Family Life Parent Handbook to support parents in teaching their children about human sexuality. It includes some information about Church teachings regarding this topic, more information about the curriculum, some tips for parents, and additional resources. If you would like a copy of this resource, please visit the District website www.cssd.ab.ca/programs/coresubjects/religioused or call me. Pursuant to section 11.1(2) of the Human Rights Act, you as a parent/guardian may request that your child be excluded from the above-identified instruction, without academic penalty, by having your child either: a) leave the classroom or place where the instruction is taking place or where the instructional material is being used for the duration of that part of the instruction; or b) remain in the classroom or place where the instruction is taking place without taking part in the instruction or use of instructional material.

In order to exercise this option, you must sign and complete an Alberta Education exemption form. Please contact the school if you want more information regarding this exemption. If this form is not returned before May 10th, your child will be included in the instruction. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this instruction, feel free to contact me. Thank you for your continued support. Sincerely,