Jenny's Recap on the 2/26 Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting
The curriculum subcommittee met on February 26th to discuss the implementation of additional curriculum modules to support our Middle School Health program. Today, our middle school students receive a ½ year of health in each grade. Rachel Perry, the Director of Physical Education and Health, reviewed recommendations for the upcoming year.
Ms. Perry indicated that, while state standards are coming at some point, we should align with the National standards and adopt new components of the Growing Up and Staying Health Michigan Model curriculum. We currently cover vaping, alcohol and drug education, nutrition, physical activity, safety, and other areas of social/emotional learning. She recommended that we expand the curriculum to include the following topics and align with the national standards:
Anatomy and Physiology
Puberty and Adolescent Development
Pregnancy and Development
STDs & HIV
During the discussion, the committee noted that there are scheduling issues at the middle school level that prevent students from taking health. We are aware that parents would prefer not to make this tradeoff. We agreed that the need to make this decision is not ideal. With the expanded curriculum, we will need to add a teacher. Hopefully, the additional teacher will provide some scheduling flexibility to help alleviate this and ensure that as many students as possible can participate in this critical curriculum. We discussed that there is still work to do to integrate these topics at the right grade level and to adjust the existing curricula. Districts are required to provide parents with an opportunity to opt-out of sex education topics, and that will expand to the middle schools with the additions to the curriculum.
The subcommittee approved recommendations to add the above topics to our middle school curriculum. We also acknowledged that for the expansion to occur, several budget increases are needed:
Materials - $1500
Professional Development - TBD
1 Health Teacher