NSSD 6-8 Health Curriculum

September 2019

District Overview:

In the Spring of 2018, The North Santiam School District completed a process to adopt new Health Instructional materials to respond to the revised Health Education Standards by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). A committee of staff from each school met to review the materials approved by ODE and parents were able to provide feedback during the adoption process. Due to the sensitivity of new Health Standards, the District has developed a comprehensive implementation and communication plan to ensure parents are well informed on the topics being instructed. The District has adopted Glencoe Teen Health for Middle School 6th - 8th grade. We will be asking for parents to participate in the continued planning for the implementation of this curriculum.

Sensitive Topics:

The parent feedback received in the adoption process identified that parents wanted to be informed about when sensitive topics are taught, and the process for opting-out. As part of our process, the District has kept these concerns at the forefront of our planning.

The sensitive topics and standards include Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Human Sexuality Education, and Healthy Teen Relationships. During training in August, all 6th-8th-grade Health/PE teachers participated in a process to make recommendations on how to address the sensitive topics identified by parents, teachers, and curriculum authors. The District has elected to delay all instruction of sensitive material until the second semester.

Sensitive Topics are found in the four units outlined below:

  • 6th Grade - Health During the Life Cycle

  • 7th Grade - Healthy Relationships and Sexuality

  • 8th Grade - Building Healthy Relationships & Preventing Diseases

Some parents may elect to opt-out of their children from some lessons within that unit of instruction. Before January, a more detailed communication will be sent to parents regarding the content of these units and the process for opting-out.

Next Steps/Parent Involvement:

The District would like interested parents to work with the Curriculum Department to review the teachers' recommendations in more depth and assist with the planning and communication of the sensitive topics and opt-out process. If you are interested, please send an email to david.bolin@nsatiam.k12.or.us or call 503-769-1582.

The New Materials:

Glencoe's Teen Health is a sequential, three-course program for middle school students that provides a skills-based health education curriculum. The online and printed curriculum employs an interactive, student-centered, skills-based approach toward meeting the Oregon Health Education Standards. Teen Health focuses on adolescent health behaviors identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as contributors to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among youth. The success of the program requires a team effort, involving you, your child, the teacher, and trusted adults.

Delivery of Materials:

In all instances, parents should receive communication from their schools about the units of study and when they will be taught. By working together to reinforce the skills taught in Teen Health, we can help your child make healthy decisions about their body, what will keep them safe, and prepare them to meet the challenges of the future.
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