Description of Program
A student's health directly influences his or her success in school and beyond. for this reason, teachers and students need to understand factors that enable and reinforce healthy behaviors. Health Education in Gwinnett County Public Schools is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to: make educated decisions about their health, become advocates of healthy living, and choose healthy behaviors for life. A unified approach to education for health and wellness (parents, community, school) coupled with a planned, sequential curriculum in health education throughout the school years is necessary to nurture the development of a lifestyle that fosters and exemplifies good health and supports learning.
The Gwinnett Online Campus offers a state-of-the-art health course that uses innovative instructional strategies and interactive web sites. This course has been popular among students and parents alike.
The state requires that each school containing any grade K-5 provide a minimum of 90 contact hours of instruction at each grade level in health and physical education. Each school containing any grade 6-12 shall make available instruction in health and physical education. One semester class in health education is offered each year to middle school students. One semester (1/2 unit) of health is required at the high school level. Alcohol and drug education is mandated each year. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction is mandated at least once in high school.
The Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) for Health Education outline the comprehensive scope of the program and the skills and knowledge students should acquire to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. The AKS embrace the 7 National Health Standards and Georgia Performance Standards. The Health AKS have been reviewed and validated by educators and the community as essential curriculum for Gwinnett County students.
Long-term, cooperative efforts among schools, parents, and communities are necessary to provide effective comprehensive health education for our students. Parents are viewed as the students' first and primary health educators with the schools serving in a collaborative role. For this reason, all parents must be given the opportunity and responsibility to review all health materials related to family life, sexuality, and/or HIV/AIDS education. In addition, parents can opt their child out of family life and/or HIV/AIDS education, but only by putting this request in writing and submitting the request to the principal. An alternative assignment will be provided for those who opt out of this instruction.
The following core materials in health education are currently being used in Gwinnett County Public Schools for the designated school levels:
K-5: Harcourt - Your Health
6-8: Holt - Decisions for Health
9-12: Glencoe - Health
The following core materials have been adopted and will be integrated into the health curriculum as funding becomes available.
K-5: Harcourt - Health and Fitness
6-7: Holt - Decisions for Health
8: Glencoe - Teen Health
9: Glencoe - Health
All health courses contain these major content areas:
- First Aid
- Personal Care
- Disease Prevention
- Tobacco, Alcohol and other Drugs
- Emotional Expression / Mental Health
- Family Life (4th/5th grade puberty, middle/high school - sex education, HIV/AIDS education)
- Applied Anatomy and Physiology
Additional units of instruction include:
- Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP) - high school Health
- CPR/AED & First Aid instruction - middle and high school
- Media influence on all sections of health
High School Elective Course
A student should have passed the health and physical education required graduation courses (Personal Fitness and Health) before participating in the following elective course: