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Volusia County Schools
Health in Our Schools
Health Education Programs
Health and Physical Education
Health in Our Schools
Students learn to appreciate themselves and others, and their uniqueness and talents. Mental and emotional health, family roles and responsibilities, and disease prevention and control are a part of the curriculum. Disease prevention and control begins with such simple tasks as hand washing and covering mouths when sneezing.
Fourth and fifth grade students, with parental permission, participate in a puberty education program, which provides an overview of changes their bodies are going through. The sexes are separated for instruction and emphasis is placed on the changes that each sex is experiencing and concerns and questions students may have. Teachers, guidance counselors, and school nurses are trained to present this information. Parents may make an appointment to preview all materials at the school site.
Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students participate in the district health lessons. Parent information forms are sent home prior to the teaching of the human sexuality information, which includes HIV/STD/> prevention and transmission education. The curriculum is an abstinence based only program for students in the sixth and seventh grade. The curriculum in eighth grade is Abstinence Plus where additional information on contraceptive education is presented. Parents may choose to have their child not participate in this portion of the curriculum. The teacher will give the student an alternative assignment. Parents may make an appointment to preview all materials at the school site.
Topics covered during this program include the physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty and adolescence, anatomical terminology, personal hygiene, menstruation and conception. Both sexes are together when conception and some personal hygiene information are discussed, as well as discussion of general pubertal changes. The sexes are separated when the discussion moves on to menstruation, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases, including the AIDS virus. The information is general, used to dispel myths and emphasize the importance of abstinence as the only 100 percent way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, pregnancy and other possible problems.
Students receive health education through the Personal Fitness course, biology, some applied technology classes and health electives. Parent information forms are sent home providing parents with the opportunity to withhold consent from participation in the unit. An Abstinence Plus curriculum is used in high school. This curriculum teaches about the use of contraceptives. However, Abstinence is taught as the only 100 percent way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (including AIDS), pregnancy and other problems. Prevention and transmission of sexual infections are discussed.
Other Components of Health Education
Many illnesses are lifestyle related and could be avoided by choosing positive, healthy behaviors. The goal of comprehensive health education is to increase awareness of health issues and health enhancing behaviors. A variety of resources are available to teachers to help them in this endeavor, including the elementary Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, the elementary and middle school “Too Good for Drugs” curriculum and “ Too Good for Violence” curriculum. Red Ribbon Week, Great American Smoke-Out Day, World AIDS Day, Fit to Achieve Day, Heart Month and Living Well in Florida Month are some of the events that provide teachable moments for our students. Information on health and fitness is available to parents. Lifetime health and safety are important achievements.