Academics


 

Health

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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.

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 6

Life Skills lessons taught at this grade level are Self-Image and Self-Improvement, Making Decisions, Smoking: Myths and Realities, Smoking and Biofeedback, Alcohol: Myths and Realities, Marijuana: Myths and Realities, Advertising, Violence and the Media, Coping with Anxiety, Coping with Anger, Communication Skills and Social Skills.

Topics covered in the human growth and development curriculum at this grade level are puberty and fertilization.

Grade 7

Life Skills lessons taught at this grade level are Drug Abuse and Violence: Causes and Effects, Making Decisions, Media Influences, Coping With Anxiety, Coping with Anger, Communication Skills, Social Skills, Assertiveness, Resolving Conflicts and Resisting Peer Pressure.

Additional health topics taught at this grade level are wellness, puberty, male and female reproductive systems, sexual intercourse, fertilization, growth and development of baby, abstinence, refusal skills, positive aspects of choosing abstinence, sexual abuse and sources of help.

Grade 8

Life Skills lessons taught at this grade level are Drug Abuse: Causes and Effects, Making Decisions, Media Influences, Coping With Anxiety, Coping with Anger, Social Skills, Assertiveness, Resolving Conflicts and Resisting Peer Pressure.

Additional health topics taught at this grade level are personal responsibility and respect, healthy and harmful relationships, violence and resources to get help, male and female reproductive systems, sexual intercourse, fertilization, growth and development of baby, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual harassment refusal skills, positive aspects of choosing abstinence, sexual abuse and sources of help.

High School
The following are the required health courses taught at the high school level.

Health 1: 
The curriculum covered in this semester course includes the function and basic vocabulary of selected body systems, complete vocabulary plus social and emotional aspects pertaining to sex and reproduction, specific effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs on the body, and knowledge and basic vocabulary relating to wellness and nutrition.

Health 2: 
One of the components of this health curriculum is the Project Toward No Drug Abuse (TND) interactive school-based program designed to help high school youth resist substance use.  It teaches participants increased coping and self-control skills by making them aware of misleading information that facilitates drug use.  The program motivates them not to use drugs; to develop skills that help them bond to lower-risk environments; to appreciate the physical consequences that drug use may have on their own lives; to become aware of cessation strategies; and to develop decision-making skills to make a commitment to not use drugs.

Additional topics taught in this semester course are infectious and non-infectious diseases, first aid/CPR, human growth and development, mental health/stress, and topics of death and dying.