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Health Education Frequently Asked Questions

What grades receive health education?
Grades 2 & 3:
A certified health specialist teaches health education once a week for half the year in each second and third grade class.

Grade 5: The Upper School health education teachers provide a 10 session sexuality unit, Bodies, Feelings and Friends, in each 5th grade class.

Grades 6-8: Health education teachers teach in each Upper School.

Grade 9: Semester-long required wellness course taught by Health/Physical Education teachers combines health with physical education or dance education.

Grades 10 - 12: Electives offered include Wellness 2, Adult Wellness and Yoga & Stress Management.

How are parents kept informed?
The health education department strives to partner with parents/guardians in helping all students be healthy and succeed academically. Family members are notified of health and sexuality education curriculum.

What are the Guiding Principles for Health Education in the Cambridge Public Schools?

Within the research-based strategies that have been found to improve the effectiveness of health education, the following are among the most consistently supported in the health education research literature:

  • Present health information that is accurate and current
    Adopt curriculum, instruction and assessment strategies that guide students toward self-directed, independent, and cooperative learning and living in line with real life experiences.

  • Incorporate materials, teaching methods and outcomes that are appropriate to the age, experience, background and readiness of the students.

  • Employ a variety of teaching methods to involve participants, including experiential activities, role-play and problem solving.

  • Establish positive school climate by enlisting the involvement, support and participation of students, parents, business, industry, voluntary and governmental agencies and community leaders.

  • Maximize the involvement of students in curriculum development and classroom discussions and activities using a student-centered approach, which is essential to meaningful integration and internalization of concepts.
    Involve parents, community members, and school administrators in the planning and implementation of curriculum.

  • Involve teachers of all disciplines in teaching health education skills and concepts.

  • Promote respect for family values, and encourage communication between students and their guardians.

  • Reflect the diversity of values which exist in our pluralistic society, and promote a healthy respect for these differences

  • Be sensitive to the health practices of different cultures

  • Integrate sexuality as central to good physical and mental health and as part of the whole person.

  • Stress respect for self and others as the fundamental basis for self-care and decision-making.

  • Establish an environment conducive to the exchange of information and ideas.
    Provide an opportunity for students to discover concerns, interests and ideas with their peers in order to arrive at a clear understanding of personal feelings and values.

  • Be neither crisis-oriented, nor rely heavily on the use of scare tactics.
    Provide young people with the necessary skills for maintaining and improving personal, social & community wellbeing.