Wachusett Regional School District
Wachusett Mountain

Health & Physical Education
Curriculum Frameworks K-12
Approved by School Committee 06/09/03

Last Updated:  June 18, 2003

THE PROCESS

In October, 1999, the Massachusetts Department of Education issued a new Curriculum Framework in the area of Comprehensive Health; consequently, the district organized a comprehensive health task force at the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year to realign its curriculum with the current state framework.   The task force included teachers, curriculum staff, and a school administrator. 

The group met and analyzed the district’s current curriculum and by comparing it to the state’s new document, they noted and discussed the changes. 

The task force was divided into three sub-groups (K-5, 6-8, 9-12).  Each group was responsible for identifying areas in the Massachusetts framework that did not appear in the Wachusett Regional School District’s curriculum.  The newly aligned document represents a shift from the nine strands in the original document to fourteen standards in the revised document.

Physical education teachers subsequently met to align the District’s standards with the state, local, and national standards for physical education.

INTRODUCTION

The Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework is one of seven curriculum frameworks that advance Massachusetts’ educational reform in learning, teaching, and assessment.  It was created and revised by Massachusetts’ teachers and administrators of health programs in kindergarten through grade twelve.  The comprehensive health curriculum was developed as a guide for teachers and curriculum coordinators to map content appropriate to each grade level, from kindergarten through high school.

The 1993 education reform act required that frameworks be reviewed and revised periodically; consequently a panel of Wachusett Regional School District teachers examined the standards in the original framework.  

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Guiding Principle I

Comprehensive Health Education (kindergarten through grade 12) teaches students fundamental health concepts and skills that foster healthy habits and behaviors for individuals and others through sequential and coordinated teaching of health education, physical education, and family and consumer sciences education.

Guiding Principle II

Comprehensive health education teaches students to use fundamental health concepts to assess risks, to consider potential consequences, and to make health-enhancing decisions.

Guiding Principle III

Comprehensive health education teaches skills that assist students to understand and communicate health information clearly for self-management and health promotion.

Guiding Principle IV

Comprehensive health education contributes to the capacity of students to work in a positive manner with families, school staff, peers, and community members to enhance personal health and create a safe and supportive environment where individual similarities and differences are acknowledged.

Guiding Principle V

Comprehensive health education is strengthened through collaboration and partnerships among all components of the coordinated school health program and other subjects.

CORE CONCEPT

Comprehensive Health Education includes a broad range of four content areas, called strands, that cover knowledge and skill in relationship to the home, school, community, and workplace.  Classified as physical health; social and emotional health, safety and prevention; and personal and community health, these strands are further divided into fourteen K-12 standards.

Physical Health - Strand 1

  • Growth and Development 
  • Physical Activity and Fitness 
  • Nutrition 
  • Reproduction/Sexuality

Social and Emotional Health - Strand 2

  • Mental Health
  • Family Life 
  • Interpersonal Relationships

 

Safety and Prevention - Strand 3

  • Disease Prevention and Control 
  • Safety and Injury Prevention 
  • Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substances Use/Abuse Prevention 
  • Violence Prevention

 

Personal and Community Health - Strand 4

  • Consumer Health and Resource Management 
  • Ecological Health 
  • Community and Public Health