The school year is off to a great start and the students at Latham are deeply engaged in all aspects of the curriculum. In addition to the standard academic courses such as Reading, Math and Social Studies, Latham School recognizes the unique needs of our students and places importance on offering comprehensive Health Education as a part of the curriculum each year for all students.
Our students deal with various health challenges on a daily basis, and face many potential health problems in the future. By providing an opportunity for learning on a regular basis, Latham seeks to help to build fundamental health knowledge and skills that are essential in reducing risk behavior and increasing healthy habits that promote a lifetime of overall wellness. Latham’s comprehensive and sequential health curriculum is designed specifically around the complex special needs of our students, including Prader-Willi Syndrome. By tailoring our Health Education to address both the needs of our students and the state curriculum standards, students at Latham are able to continuously build awareness of the various aspects of healthy living. As students progress through the program and transition to new classrooms, the health curriculum offers new perspectives on health related topics to ensure students have the skills they will need to make healthy choices as they enter adulthood.
The four Curriculum Framework Strands that make up the core part of the program are as follows
Social & Emotional Health
Safety & Prevention
Personal & Community Health Information
During the first term thus far, each class has focused on various aspects of Human Growth & Development, building on their understanding of body systems and how both healthy and unhealthy choices may affect those systems. Some classes took an inside tour of the body, while others experienced what it would be like to have certain disabilities or medical challenges through hands-on experiments. These activities helped students relate to others in their community and allowed them to experience first-hand how the body might feel if it was affected, which can often be hard to imagine for students that have difficulty with abstract ideas.
For the rest of this term, our students will be engaging in a unit on Nutrition, one of the most important topics for both our students and our country today. In addition to the serious health implications that improper nutrition can have on our students with Prader-Willi Syndrome, across the country nearly one-third of children are considered obese or overweight. It is important that all students understand the health consequences of obesity, including chronic diseases, and have the information and skills they need to make healthy eating choices.
I look forward to sharing more updates with you as we progress through the year!
Sincerely, Mary Ware Physical Education & Health Teacher