NSSD K-5 Health Curriculum

September 2019

District Overview

In the Spring of 2018, The North Santiam School District completed a process to adopt new Health Educational 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 the 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 THE GREAT BODY SHOP largely because it received high ratings for being developmentally appropriate and has a strong home-to-school connection. 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 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. All parents will have access to the student materials through a parent portal (see "New Materials" below) and receive additional communications prior to sensitive topics being covered.

The sensitive topics and standards are mainly in the areas of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention and Comprehensive Gender Education. During their training in August, all K-5 teachers participated in a process to make recommendations on how to address the sensitive topics identified by parents, teachers, and the curriculum authors. The District has elected to delay instruction of sensitive material until January. The GREAT BODY SHOP also identifies and separates sensitive topics from the core lessons in the curriculum resources to allow districts the flexibility to omit or modify the depth of instruction. The District and teachers are recommending instructing the four core lessons each month and omit the optional sections this year. Although the sensitive topic areas are covered, the depth or language used we feel will be more appropriate for our students and teachers. For example, using “swimsuit area”, instead of anatomically correct language.

In grades K-2, this sensitive instruction being omitted includes the use of the anatomically correct language of private body parts and in-depth learning about HIV. In addition to the K-2 topics, grades 3-5 have the topics of hormones, the anatomically correct language of reproductive organs, identity issues, sexual orientation, and abstinence. In grade five, teachers will have to use the anatomically correct language for body parts as it is present on the student issue.

The teachers' recommendation does eliminate many highly sensitive issues, but some parents may elect to opt-out of their children from some units 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:

THE GREAT BODY SHOP for grades K-5, is the comprehensive health education program your child will be participating in this year. THE GREAT BODY SHOP will help your child learn more about the human body and the skills needed to stay safe and healthy. The success of the program requires a team effort, involving you, your child, the teacher, and trusted adults.

Delivery of materials to students:

Your child will receive a personal copy of THE GREAT BODY SHOP Student Issue for all health units. The topics include nutrition, illness prevention, substance abuse prevention, and safety, among others. Each monthly unit contains information to help your child understand their body, the way it works, and the best ways to keep it healthy and safe. The teacher will deliver each monthly unit of THE GREAT BODY SHOP and guide students in developmentally appropriate, skill-based activities to reinforce the lessons contained in each unit.

Parents will receive a letter in September from their child's teacher, which will contain directions on how to log in and access THE GREAT BODY SHOP Parent Portal. In the portal, parents can view the student issues and more.

At the end of every unit, your child will bring home the Student Issue, which includes a Family Bulletin. The Family Bulletin will provide you with additional information and resources so that you can reinforce student learning at home.

In addition to the Family Bulletin, each unit contains Family Activities which are designed to be completed at home by you and your child. These extension activities will help keep you aware of what your child is studying and are intended to spark discussion.

By working together to reinforce the skills taught in THE GREAT BODY SHOP, we can help your child make healthy decisions about their body that will keep them safe and ready to meet the challenges of the future.

K-5 Units of Instruction September-December:

Big picture