Our children are growing up in a very complex world--a world full of opportunities and dangers.  Parents worry about illegal drug use by youth, the increase in violence, and the rise of serious and sometimes fatal, health conditions that affect teenagers. While no program is a single answer to these problems, the SASD believes its health curriculum gives students the information and skills they need to protect and improve their health. 

The human growth and development curriculum of the SASD is an abstinence based (but not abstinence exclusive) program including, but not limited to, the following topics:
  • Discouragement of adolescent sexual activity
  • Human sexuality; abortion; homosexuality; reproduction; contraception, including natural family planning; human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; prenatal development; childbirth; adoption; available prenatal and postnatal support; and male responsibility.

These topics are presented in a scope and sequence that are age appropriate.  Consequently, not all topics are covered in every grade.  The purpose of instruction on human growth and development is to make available to students instruction in topics related to human growth and development in order to promote accurate and comprehensive knowledge in this area and responsible decision-making.  This instruction is meant to support and enhance the efforts of parents to provide moral guidance to their children.

The SASD provides a strong, standards-based health program.  Below are descriptions of the curricula used at all grade levels.

Early Childhood
The Second Step program is one of the components of the health program at this level.  It is designed to reduce impulsive, high-risk, and aggressive behaviors; and increase children’s social-emotional competence and other protective factors.  The program’s lesson content is organized into three skill-building units covering:
  • Empathy
  • Impulse control and problem solving
  • Anger management
Health topics that are covered in the Early Childhood program include:
  • Nutrition - eating healthy - food groups
  • Personal hygiene - hand washing
  • Dressing for the weather
  • Tooth fairy - dental health
  • Safety - personal safety, street crossing, bus safety, stranger awareness, bike safety
  • The five senses

Elementary School – Kindergarten through Grade 4
The Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education program is used at these grade levels.  Currently, the elementary guidance counselors are teaching the units.  The Michigan Model curriculum encourages interdisciplinary learning through lessons that integrate health education into other curricular areas.  All Michigan Model K-4 curricula are divided into six (6) phases.  A closer look, by grade level, is shown below.

Kindergarten: Getting Acquainted With School, I Have Five Senses, Senses Keep Us Safe, Health Helpers Keep Us Safe, Safe and Healthy Choices for Me, and Helping One Another Stay Safe and Healthy.

Grade 1:  Helping Relationships, Helping Myself and Others Stay Safe, Learning to Say “No” to Drugs, Preventing Illness, Health Habits to Grow By, and Growing and Caring.

Grade 2:  Friends At Home and School, Safety First, Pollution: Inside and Out, Understanding Our Eyes, Understanding Our Ears, and Helping and Growing.

Grade 3:  Healthy Friendships, A Perfect Balance, The Amazing Balance, Moving Out of Balance, Keeping in Balance, and Staying in Balance.

Grade 4:  Growing into Responsibilities, Staying Safe, Healthy, Drug-free Living, The Food-Health Connection, A Closer Look Inside, and Wellness Throughout the Year. 

Topics covered in the human growth and development curriculum at this grade level are puberty changes in boys, puberty changes in girls, fertilization and AIDS education.

Grade 5 – Grade 8
One of the components of the health curricula for these four grade levels is the Life Skills program.  This program consists of three major components that cover the critical domains found to promote drug use.  Research has shown that students who develop skills in these three domains are far less likely to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors.  The three components include:
  • Drug Resistance Skills enable young people to recognize and challenge common misconceptions about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use.  Through coaching and practice, they learn information and practical ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug use) resistance skills for dealing with peers and media pressure to engage in ATOD use.
  • Personal Self-Management Skills teach students how to examine their self-image and its effects on behavior; set goals and keep track of personal progress; identify everyday decisions and how they may be influenced by others; analyze problem situations, and consider the consequences of each alternative solution before making decisions; reduce stress and anxiety, and look at personal challenges in a positive light.
  • General Social Skills teach students the necessary skills to overcome shyness, communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings, initiate and carry out conversations, handle social requests, utilize both verbal and nonverbal assertiveness skills to make or refuse requests, and recognize that they have choices other than aggression or passivity when faced with tough situations.

The specific Life Skills content and other health curricula taught at each grade level are listed below.

Grade 5:
Life Skills
lessons taught at this grade level are Self-Esteem, Decision-Making, Smoking Information, Advertising, Dealing with Stress, Communication Skills, Social Skills, and Assertiveness.

Topics covered in the human growth and development curriculum at this grade level are puberty changes in boys and girls, fertilization and AIDS education.