Health education is designed to help students learn how their bodies function, what affects their bodies and how to make positive choices related to their health. The health curriculum is comprehensive and progressive, promoting understanding of health-related knowledge and responsibility for decisions that affect one’s health. The following youth health risk behaviors identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention represent the major content areas: (1) dietary habits; (2) tobacco use; (3) alcohol and other drugs; (4) physical inactivity; (5) intentional and unintentional injuries; and (6) sexual behaviors.
Children learn to practice safety and daily personal health care. They study the five senses and basic parts of the body. Students develop an awareness of nutrition and fitness and the role each plays in their health. The effects of drugs, alcohol and tobacco are presented in a manner appropriate to the children’s level of understanding.
Family health, including human growth and development, is presented. The body systems and the effects that diseases and various substances have on them are taught. Concepts of fitness, nutrition and personal safety are further developed.
The major content areas of personal health care, diseases and disorders, substance use and abuse, and family health are presented in more depth. Instruction in cardio pulmonary resuscitation and awareness in the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) as well as training in the psycho-motor skill practice of CPR is taught. In addition, topics such as mental health, first aid, consumer health, wellness and human sexuality are covered. Emphasis is placed upon behaviors, attitudes and choices.
Personal responsibility, societal issues related to health, family health and AIDS education are major topics at this level. Students learn about mental health issues involving tension, stress and coping strategies. The majority of the health curriculum is delivered prior to the junior year. One health class is required for high school graduation.