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Health Education Frequently Asked Questions

What Curriculum is Used at each grade level?
Grades K - 6:
Classroom teachers teach health using the Great Body Shop curriculum with support from the Health Education Program Leader

Grade 5: Specialists from Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee teach 10-session sexuality course, Know Your Body in all schools. 

Grade 6: Classroom teachers teach health using the Great Body Shop curriculum with support from the Health Education Program Leader.

Grade 7 & 8: Physical Education teachers teach health with support from the Health Education Program Leader using the Life Skills Training Curriculum.

Grade 8: Specialists from Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee teach 10-session sexuality course, Know Your Body in all schools.

Grade 9: Semester-long required health course taught by Health/Physical Education teachers using the textbook, Health and Wellness. Topics include: values, character and communication learning, the brain, stress and sleep, time management, nutrition, sex and relationships, and substance abuse prevention.

Grades 10 - 12: Electives offered include Adult Wellness and Stress Management.

How are parents kept informed?
The health education department strives to partner with parents in helping all students be healthy and succeed academically. Family members are notified of health education curriculum via letters in 4 languages. In grades K - 6 the Great Body Shop magazines help keep parents informed of what’s occurring in the classrooms. The curriculum also contains parent bulletins which are sent home by some teachers.

What are the Guiding Principals 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 well being.