Human Growth and Development objectives have been integrated into relevant curriculum areas. Objectives for grades JK through fourth are taught as part of the Guidance, Science and Social Studies curricula. Objectives for grades 5-8 are taught as part of the Guidance, Physical Education and Science programs.
Topics in the Glendale-River Hills School District K-8 Human Growth and Development are first introduced when they are age-appropriate. As students mature, the topics and objectives also become more in depth and sophisticated.
In the elementary grades, the curriculum is designed to provide a sense of the importance of family life and the love and concern that give meaning and significance to the facts of sex and reproduction. The program covers parental and sibling relationships, friendships and the importance of feelings of self-worth in each student as well as the relationships among children. As children grow and mature, the teaching of responsibility along with the facts of reproduction becomes important to the well being of the individual and his/her relationships within the family and society. Facts of reproduction in animals and human beings, beginning with the simplest concepts and continuing through more detailed material, are explained. Each year the depth of the concepts is increased beyond the previous year's. Human reproduction is taught within the context of the family. If questions arise which are not part of the regular program, parents and guardians are contacted and the situation may be handled either by the parent or, if the parent desires, by school personnel.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FOCUS
At the middle school level, the Human Growth and Development program is designed to help students reflect upon who they are and how they relate to others. It is designed to help them develop values, attitudes, and behaviors that lead to sexuality as a positive, constructive force in living a meaningful life. Emphasizing positive interpersonal relationships, the course integrates the following components around a theme of respect for self and others:
- Providing adequate, age-appropriate and accurate knowledge of human sexuality.
- Advocating sexual abstinence as an appropriate behavior.
- Increasing skills in interpersonal communication.
- Enhancing feelings of self-esteem.
The primary focus is on developing understanding that responsible behavior is the result of decisions made on the basis of sound knowledge, respect for self and others, and a clearly defined personal value system.
The middle school program is intended to enhance the role parents and guardians have in teaching and guiding children by providing students with needed understanding of their own sexuality in a time when sexual matters are dealt with very openly in our society. It is intended to give students reliable factual information in place of the myths and misinformation surrounding human development and sexuality. We recognize that this responsibility rests primarily with parents and guardians to share with children the family’s moral and religious values. The school program will not assume to go beyond giving factual information within generally accepted societal values. Teachers will not answer personal or "how to" questions. Questions about teacher opinions will be dealt with very carefully. Teachers will be clear that it is their opinion and state that there are other opinions. If questions arise which are outside of the guidelines of the regular program, teachers will encourage children to discuss them with parents and guardians.
Four sometimes-controversial topics addressed in Human Growth and Development in a school level sex awareness program: sexual activity, birth control, homosexuality and masturbation. Each of these topics is openly treated in mass media and some have become social issues in legislation and the courts. Each topic extends into a range of attitudes and practices that run into disagreement. Often these areas are excluded from a school course of instruction because they are controversial and values laden.
Studies reveal and public education guidelines recommend, however, that early and late teen-age students need and want to know more about these topics. Therefore, the Glendale-River Hills School District Human Growth and Development curriculum does include information on these topics.In all cases, children will be encouraged to discuss with parents and guardians questions outside of the curriculum limitations.