The seventh and eighth grade health program is designed to help students gain important background information about a variety of health topics, learn where to go to find credible health resources, and practice making smart health choices. Through a variety of instructional methods such as independent research projects, class discussions, and role-playing skits, students learn what steps they can take to improve their own health and why these steps are necessary.
In seventh grade, we begin by discussing what it means to be healthy and how we can make positive choices to avoid risks. Students then are introduced to various topics related to mental health, such as strategies to avoid stress and conflict resolution techniques. Next, we turn to drugs and addiction, focusing on why it is so challenging to stop taking drugs once a person has started and how we can positively manage the peer pressure situations that might put us on the wrong track. In eighth grade, we begin the year by focusing on sexual health. After covering the basics of the reproductive systems, we learn about STDs and the importance of contraceptive devices. In the spring, our study of health issues of the various human organ systems mirrors our study of those systems in science class. We examine issues such as cardiovascular health, nutrition, and the importance of avoiding smoking to maintain respiratory health. Students end the year by completing a prevention campaign designed to teach others about ways to avoid a health problem that affects people in their local community.