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Human Growth and Development

Human Growth and Development Overview

The Glendale-River Hills School District recognizes the primary role parents and guardians have for the basic education of their children in the area of Human Growth and Development. The school supports both parents and guardians and children in their efforts to gain the knowledge and learn the behaviors that enhance the family foundation of society.
Human Growth and Development in the Glendale-River Hills Schools is education about the preparation for the significant personal, social and cultural relationships that exist between or among individuals. The main focus of the curriculum is the reproduction, maturation and socialization of humans. Built on this substructure are the roles people assume in nurturing and socialization. Our program includes information on and discussion of interpersonal relationships, self-understanding, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse, as well as anatomical and reproduction information. As students need to understand that good decisions result when thinking precedes action, responsible decision-making is also a crucial component of the program.

Program Goals

The purpose of the Human Growth and Development program is to help students obtain knowledge and develop attitudes and values that will result in behavior that contributes to the well being of the individual, the family, and society. Program goals include the following:
  1. Students will have a basic knowledge of human development.
  2. Students will understand the process for making informed responsible decisions.
  3. Students will have a positive attitude toward human sexual development.
  4. Students will clarify their own value structures as a basis for decision-making.
  5. Students will develop skills in developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships.

Developmental Appropriateness

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.


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.