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Health Education at the Elementary Level

New York State requires districts to provide health education at all levels. Our K-6 health teacher provides lessons from our health curriculum which includes healthy habits, disease prevention, decision making, assertiveness, responsibility, HIV/AIDS awareness and child abuse prevention. Students in fifth and sixth grade will participate in Adolescent Growth and Development lessons. Parents of fifth and sixth grade students will be notified prior to the Adolescent Growth and Development lessons. Parents may choose to opt children out the Adolescent Growth and Development lessons but not HIV/AIDS awareness.

Health Education at the Junior High School Level

All students study one semester of health on an every other day basis opposite physical education. The course is based on state and national standards. Junior High Health Education includes the age-appropriate study of self-esteem, communication, decision-making, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, longevity, mental health and stress, HIV/AIDS, relationship management, and adolescent changes. . The goal of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to live a healthy life.

Health Education at the High School Level

Health is a condition of well-being that is required for the development of each individual and for society as a whole. Optimal health is dependent upon one’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. The Health course is aligned with the NYS learning standards and the Guidance Document and is approved by the North Colonie Board of Education. The Health curriculum is structured around the overarching skills of Self-Management and Relationship Management and is supported through the development of Planning and Goal Setting, Decision Making, Communication, Stress Management, and Advocacy. Topics are presented in connection to a specific skill area. The instructional focus is on promoting abstinence and to provide accurate, age appropriate information to support student’s ability to make informed decisions, to problem solve, to be safe and to achieve a high level of wellness. Health is offered during the sophomore year and students are required to pass this course in order to graduate. Students entering Shaker High School in grade 12 will be required to take Health unless the requirement was fulfilled in a previous school. A summary of topics is listed below:

High School Health

Either semester, 1/2 unit. Prerequisite: None.
In this course topics will include dimensions of wellness, physical activity and nutrition (PAN), CPR and AED (hands only training), disordered eating, addiction, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD), stress and stress management techniques, depression, suicide prevention, coping with loss, characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships, abstinence, contraception use and rates of effectiveness/ineffectiveness, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

Parent Preview Information (for grades K-8)



  • Germs/hand washing
  • Personal safety
  • Good touch/bad touch

First Grade


  • Germs and healthy habits
  • Differences/similarities
  • Good touch/bad touch
  • Learn the steps to say no, get away and tell an adult

Second Grade


  • Accepting others’ differences
  • Diseases and good health habits
  • Decision making
  • Good touch/bad touch
  • Differences between a safe secret and an unsafe secret

Third Grade


  • Immune system
  • Communicable and noncommunicable diseases
  • Ways to avoid spreading germs
  • Healthy behaviors
  • Right to protect against inappropriate touch
  • Review the steps of speaking up for themselves, say no, get away and tell a trusted adult

Fourth Grade


  • Personal hygiene
  • Responsibility
  • Immune system
  • Communicable diseases including blood-borne diseases (HIV/AIDS)
  • Ways to avoid touching blood – universal precautions
  • Internet safety

Fifth Grade


  • Positive and negative risk taking
    • explore consequences of both and identify benefits of positive risk
  • Communicable diseases and prevention
  • Communication and assertiveness

Sixth Grade


  • Immune system and pathogens
  • HIV/AIDS and the effects on the immune system
  • Body fluid HIV is found in and ways HIV is and is not transmitted
  • Universal precautions and abstinence as a way to prevent HIV
  • Healthy decisions using a decision making model and ways to apply it to risky situations
  • Assertive behaviors

Grades 5 and 6 Adolescent Growth and Development

Fifth Grade

  • The students will have knowledge of the normal body changes occurring with their gender during puberty.
  • The students will understand the names and functions of the parts of the reproductive system of their gender.
  • The students will have knowledge of personal hygiene practices.

Videos: What is Puberty?, Girls and Puberty or Boys and Puberty by Human Relations Media

Note: Permission is needed for these classes

Sixth Grade

First class:

  • Emotional and social changes and growth during puberty
    • Video: New Emotions, New Feelings by Human Relations Media

Second class:

  • Review the normal body changes that occur to both genders during puberty.
  • Review of both the male and female reproductive systems and fertilization.
  • Review personal hygiene practices needed.

Note: Permission is needed for these classes by Friday, October 9.

Ground Rules

  • It’s okay to feel uncomfortable.
  • It’s okay to ask questions anonymously using the question box.
  • No put downs.
  • All questions are good questions.
  • Listen when others are talking.
  • Classroom discussions stay in the classroom. Do not discuss on the bus, playground or in front of younger children.

Methods of Instruction for Adolescent Development Classes

  • Group discussion
  • Anonymous questions
  • Vocabulary
  • DVDs


District K-6 Health Teacher

Physical Education Teachers

  • Mr. Mark Ambrosio (Blue Creek)
  • Mr. Chris Marsh (Forts Ferry)
  • Mr. Mike Michela (Latham Ridge)
  • Mr. Ron Beaudoin (Loudonville)
  • Mr. Pete Mravlja (Southgate)
  • Mr. Sean Williams (Boght Hills)

Junior High Health (Grades 7 and 8)

Seventh Grade

Students will:

  • Recognize personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Understand steps to planning and goal setting
  • Learn effective ways to communicate
  • Practice the ability to be assertive, including the use of refusal skills
  • Develop skills in decision making
  • Recognize signs of peer pressure
  • Participate in social media safety
  • Identify their personal/family values
  • Study the negative effects of gateway drugs
  • Review and discuss adolescent changes/puberty
  • Review and build HIV/AIDS education
  • Review and build skill in disease prevention with emphasis on abstinence

Eighth Grade

Students will:

  • Identify factors to increase longevity
  • Discuss online behavior related to personal values
  • Research the effects of stress on overall wellness
  • Recognize risk factors for mental health and sources of support
  • Identify the effects of substance abuse
  • Review and examine HIV/AIDS information
  • Discuss adolescent changes
  • Consider the signs of a healthy dating relationship and reiterate abstinence

Junior High School Support

  • Guidance office
  • Colonie Police
  • Student assistance counselor
    • Stacey Angell
  • 5th grade video preview – Media Center/Library
  • 6th grade video preview – Auditorium
  • 7th and 8th grade curriculum details – email classroom teacher