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Health curriculum changes coming to the high school in 2019

Jannel Rojas, Contributing Writer

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Beginning in 2019, there will be changes to the health curriculum at the high school including the number of credits given, the number of classes required, and the topics in the course.

The amount of credits required has increased from a 1/2 credit to one credit, which will be earned over the span of two years. Students will have the choice of taking a semester during freshman or sophomore year and another one during the junior or senior year. According to Superintendent of Curriculum Eric Hassler, the health requirement during junior or senior can be met by taking the Critical Issues or Generation Health course.

The Critical Issues and Generation Health course are intended to provide information on issues regarding illness, poor nutrition, relationships, and drugs and alcohol.  

During high school years, students face many obstacles including physical, mental, emotional, and social issues.

According to a study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.”

The health curriculum is implemented to reduce these issues, although not all topics may be covered with the limited time given by the standard New York State requirement which states, “high school students must have health education every day for one semester.”

Mr. Hassler, Ms. Wright, and Mr. Kaste have come up with a plan to extend the health curriculum.

“We felt only receiving one semester of health in the sophomore year was not enough to support our students,” said Dr. Hassler.

Some students agreed with the reason why the health curriculum should be extended. 

“It is necessary to reinforce the issues and to remind students of the effects of their actions,” said junior Adriana Ferreira.

Students are generally open-minded to the change because they are looking forward to see what is to come of it.

“I’m interested to see what next year’s health class will provide,” said sophomore Caitlin Padilla.

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Health curriculum changes coming to the high school in 2019