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Local and Community News

California: Livermore Schools OK Health Class

January 21, 2003

California's Livermore School District learned after a recent teacher survey that not all students receive required health education about AIDS and other diseases, drugs and personal health, in violation of the state education code. The school board on Jan. 14 approved a plan, which will begin in the fall, to replace a semester of ninth grade social science with a health class. For many years, Livermore's district has required four years of social science. For kindergarten through eighth grade, the board voted on a stronger, more cohesive health curriculum to be implemented.

California does not require districts to have a health class, but the state education code does lay out health topics that districts must teach, said Donna Bezdecheck, education program assistant for California's Department of Education. For example, students must learn about AIDS at one point in middle school and high school.

Linda McGuire, Livermore's curriculum director, said a review of the district's health standards showed some students are being taught health issues while others are not. For example, nutrition and individual growth and development are addressed in all biology and life science classes, but other content areas, such as drugs and chronic diseases, are taught in classes to which not all students have access. "Our goal is to become in compliance," McGuire told board members.

Trustee Anne White asked the board to consider having teachers integrate health topics in their current classes. AIDS, for example, could be taught when a teacher is teaching about Africa. "Health is too important of an issue to be isolated," she said. Brenda Miller, assistant superintendent of educational services, said not all teachers have the proper credentials to teach health topics. Trustee David McGuigan and White suggested the board hold off on the issue, but the plan was approved on a 3-2 vote.

Back to other CDC news for January 21, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Contra Costa Times
01.16.03; Kyra Kitlowski



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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