The health of our bodies, minds and spirits informs all that lies before us in life. The goal of the Health Education Department is to lead students in understanding that our individual health does not stand alone, but is integrated into every aspect of our lives. Our aim is to educate students on the merits of clear communication and the clarification of values. We also show them how to access credible health information. Health Education courses are developmentally appropriate and cover a range of health topics, including sexuality, mental health, mindfulness, safety, alcohol and drug use, nutrition and healthy eating. Health education is interdisciplinary by its very nature—we continually collaborate with both the science and physical education departments.
HEA401 Health Education 10
required minor (one semester course) | grade: 10
Health Education is semester long course focused on decision-making and information gathering on the topics of mental and emotional health, drugs, and sexuality. We begin with a mindfulness-based stress reduction program, where together we explore and practice different forms of meditative practices to cultivate our ability to pay attention to the present moment with the hope of allowing us to make more thoughtful decisions. We also discuss stress and our stress reactions, how we experience and process the world through our body, thoughts, and emotions, and ways to cultivate gratitude in our everyday lives. Another main focus of the mental health unit is how to recognize when someone needs help and how to seek help for yourself or others. Sleep, addiction, depression, anxiety, and disordered eating are also addressed. We then examine substance abuse both at a societal level and also the individual consequences of choosing to use, including addiction. We explore drug-related issues through various lenses, including current research, statistics, media, societal norms and direct and indirect pressure. Sexuality is presented in a holistic manner, and the topics include sexual identity, gender and society, reproductive health, and building and maintaining healthy relationships. All topics in the course are explored through information gathering, analyzing of media, personal reflection and discussion.
HEA600 Life Issues
required minor (yearlong course)| grade: 12
The objective of the Life Issues course is to provide students with the information and tools they need to navigate their senior year and the transition into the next phase of their life, including college. The course is coordinated with Advisory once a cycle all year. A portion of the course is devoted to college advising and grade advising. The remainder focuses on a list of topics that the students help generate, including personal finance, mental health and mood disorders, happiness, stress, basic car maintenance, resume writing and business communications, personal safety, healthy romantic relationships, maintaining a strong relationship with parents and family, buying and preparing food, physical intimacy, sexual consent, bystander intervention, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, sexual identity, social media, and alcohol and drug use. We recognize that many parents and caregivers are also reflecting on how to prepare students for their lives after GFS.