Health education is essential to the health and learning of children and adolescents. The goal of health education and the health education standards is health literacy. Health literacy is the capacity of individuals to obtain, interpret, and understand basic health information, products, and services and the competence to use such information, products, and services in ways that will enhance personal, family, school, and community health. Additionally, the health literate person is a critical thinker and problem solver; a responsible, productive citizen; a self-directed learner; and an effective communicator. These four essential characteristics are woven throughout the standards.
The Indiana Health Education Standards are closely aligned with the National Health Education Standards. The national standards were used as guidelines in the development of the state standards because they were endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and are the basis for the Council of Chief State School Officers' State Collaborative for the Assessment of Student Standards Health Education Assessment Project.
Health Education provides the basis for continued methods of developing knowledge, concepts, skills, behaviors, and attitudes related to student health and well-being. This course includes the major content areas in a planned, sequential, comprehensive health education curriculum as expressed in the Indiana Health Education Standard Guide: (1) Growth and Development, (2) Community and Environmental Health, (3) Nutrition, (4) Consumer Health, (5) Personal Health, (6) Accidents and Injury Prevention, and (7) First Aid. Students are provided with opportunities to explore the effect of health behaviors on an individual's quality of life. This course assists in understanding that health is a lifetime commitment by analyzing individual risk factors and health decisions that promote health and disease prevention. Students are encouraged to assume individual responsibility for becoming competent health consumers. A variety of instructional strategies, including technology, are used to further develop health literacy.
Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
Students develop advanced knowledge of personal responsibility for health behaviors, the relationship between health behaviors and health promotion and disease prevention, interrelationships between the dimensions of health, interrelationships between health behaviors and the functioning body systems and health, the influence of external factors on health, ways to prevent injury and illness throughout the life span, advances in medicine and the prevention and control of health problems, and complex health terms and concepts.
Health Information, Products & Services
Students will develop advanced skills to verify the validity of health information, products, and services; develop guidelines to evaluate sources of health information; evaluate factors that influence the selection of health information, products, and services; locate health services; compare health services; and develop guidelines for the use of professional health services.
Students will develop self-management skills to handle stress and cope with grief and anger; avoid and reduce threatening situations; analyze personal health needs; develop strategies to promote personal and family health; and prevent and treat injuries.
External Influences On Health Behavior
Students will develop advanced skills to analyze how the family, school, peers, communities, media, and technology influence personal, family, and community health and health behaviors; how culture enriches and challenges health behaviors; and how policies and regulations influence health promotion and disease prevention.
Interpersonal Communication Skills
Students will describe behaviors that influence interpersonal communication and analyze causes of conflict. Students will develop advanced skills to use nonverbal and verbal communication, "I" messages, communicate assertively, and communicate care, consideration, and respect of self and others. Students will also develop advanced attentive listening, refusal, negotiation, collaboration, and conflict resolution skills.
Decision-Making & Goal Setting Skills
Students will identify the health concerns that require collaborative decision-making and the short- and long-term consequences of health-related decisions. Students will develop advanced skills to make health decisions, set health goals based on personal needs and design, implement, and evaluate plans to achieve health goals.
Personal, Family & Community Health
Students will evaluate ways to communicate accurate health information and ideas. Students will also develop advanced skills to express information and opinions about health issues, use strategies to overcome barriers to advocating about health, and work cooperatively to influence and support others to engage in healthy behaviors.
At the ninth grade level, students earn one credit in Health. Teachers also work with school nurses and guidance counselors to cover topics.
The AIDS Advisory Council has been in existence at WWS since 1987. It is comprised of teachers, school nurses, administrators, parents, students, community members, outside medical professionals, and a State Board of Health representative.