5th Grade Health and Human Sexuality Education at SVCS

This class will be taught by Carol Menck Keefe. She is a certified Science teacher with many years experience teaching this Health topic. Classes will begin on Tuesday, May 8th. If you have questions or concerns, please email her: carolmk@surryvillagecharterschool.org, or call the school 603-357-9700 to talk with her directly. 

We teach facts. We do not teach values, except for SVCS values that are already promoted through our social curriculum such as, “It is important to respect others” and “It is not okay to tease others (about their puberty changes)”. Since questions often arise after the sessions, if students come to us, we will answer simply and factually. We will encourage students to talk further with their parents or another trusted adult throughout the unit, but also through an assigned homework task each night that will involve sharing with parents the topic we talked about that day. 

We believe it can be rich and rewarding for a child to learn this information (and check in about new questions or topics) from a parent or other adult family member. If you’re inclined to be the one to share this info with your child, go for it! Don’t worry about wording things perfectly or being embarrassed. Using a book (see below) can be a huge help. Using accurate biological words can take away some of the uncomfortable connotations of certain words. Keep it simple, and stop when your child seems to have had enough. It’s a lot to process.

Of course, if you prefer that your child not participate in these sessions, send Carol a note or an email letting her know that you will discuss these topics with your child at home and that you would not like them to attend these sessions. We will make arrangements for them to be doing something else, somewhere else, during that time.
A few notes and tips:
Offering your child 1 or 2 resource books can put both of you more at ease, and give you a starting point for discussion at home. I have a few here at school that I can lend out to parents and there are some in the lending library cart for students.

Don’t assume your child already knows this material – even the things we go over in class may need to be covered several times before they really get it.

Most kids will be relieved if you ask about the class. They may not want to broach it themselves but may need to process things they’ve learned. Rather than asking “What did you learn?” try asking, “What surprised you?” or “What was one cool thing you heard today?” or “How did kids react to that?”
Even kids who deflect parent attempts at discussion tend to end up thanking their parents later!

Link to summary and slide presentation of sessions:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/13UQF1zqwDvcB5y7HDa94mftTjVx3vqiMGItswva4jUk/edit?usp=sharing

 

7th and 8th Grade Health and Human Sexuality Education at SVCS
These classes will be taught by Carol Menck Keefe. She is a certified Science teacher with many years experience teaching this Health topic. Classes will begin on Tuesday, May 8th. If you have questions or concerns, please email her: carolmk@surryvillagecharterschool.org, or call the school 603-357-9700 to talk with her directly. 

We teach facts. We do not teach values, except for SVCS values that are already promoted through our social curriculum such as, “It is important to respect others” (about their choices or personal values)”. We will be presenting information that could aid students in their future life choices, not making suggestions for what those life choices are. Carol will be referring students to talk about their family values with their parents throughout the discussions. 

Since questions often arise after the sessions, if students come to us, we will answer simply and factually. We will encourage students to talk further with their parents or another trusted adult throughout the unit, but also through an assigned homework task that will involve sharing with parents each night. We believe it can be rich and rewarding for a child to learn this information (and check in about new questions or topics) from a parent or other adult family member. 

Of course, if you prefer that your child not participate in these sessions, send Carol a note or an email letting her know that you will discuss these topics with your child at home and that you would not like them to attend these sessions. We will make arrangements for them to be doing something else, somewhere else, during that time.

A few notes and tips:
Don’t assume your child already knows this material – the things we go over in class may need some processing time (and several discussions).
Most kids will be relieved if you ask about the class. They may not want to broach it themselves but may need to process things they’ve learned. Rather than asking “What did you learn?” try asking, “What surprised you?” or “How did kids react to that?”
Even kids who deflect parent attempts at discussion tend to end up thanking their parents later!

Surry Village Charter School: 7th - 8th gr. Human Sexuality classes

SVCS Objectives for Students:
To be able to understand the concepts and know what to expect for themselves and their peers
To be able to ask questions when they don’t understand or have concerns
To understand that all body types are normal and that they are normal
To understand that sexual feelings are healthy and normal
To increase their comfort level when discussing this topic in a group and with their parents
Also:
To understand that there is more to human sexuality than just growing bodies (changing relationships, dating, being comfortable in their changing body)
To understand the role peer pressure and media have on both their perception of themselves and on their behavior choices
To encourage and facilitate conversations between the adolescent and their parents regarding family values and expectations
To understand the different health problems that are related to their reproductive bodies and how they can protect themselves
To understand choices that they can make regarding their body (includes topics: setting limits, sexting, unwanted sexual advances and date rape, abstinence, contraception)

7th and 8th grade: 4 sessions (2 sessions each, separately)

Overview of Lessons -
7th graders - Session One: Our Changing Bodies and the View through the eyes of Media and Cultural Expectations. 
Review of general puberty changes and whether they are physical, emotional, social/behavioral; Potential effects of these changes on our thoughts, friends, family.
Discuss perceptions that exist in media regarding puberty and sexually mature bodies; also discuss the idea that puberty brings sexual feelings and the capability of reproducing, but that doesn’t mean you should act on those feelings and capabilities until you are older. 

*Homework: Students assigned to have a discussion with parents about family values - Students are assigned to have a discussion with parents about family values - When can I “go out” with someone?, When can I date?, What are the expectations for me regarding physical relationships? What are the expectations for me regarding my behavior choices regarding curfew, friends and hanging out, alcohol or drug use? What about my friend choice? What about when my friends make bad choices, what are your expectations for me in that situation? What are the expectations for my use of Social media? 

Use “What are my family values?” homework sheet to collect information from the discussion. (It may take several days to collect answers to these questions.)

7th graders - Session Two: Healthy relationships and Peer pressure
Follow up discussion regarding an interview with parents about family values - When can you date? What are the expectations for you in relationships? What are the expectations for you regarding your behavior choices (friendships, alcohol, drug use)?
Healthy relationships - what are they and how can you tell? And what to do when relationships are ending? or How to break up respectfully
role modeling; words that can be used; discussion of when these words might be needed (gets into the idea of being pressured behaviorally and sexually); 

*Homework: Students assigned to have continued discussion/collecting information for “What are my family values?” homework sheet.


8th graders - Session One: Human diseases that are sexually transmitted (and can also be transmitted through physical contact that isn’t sexual intercourse)
To understand the different health problems that are related to their reproductive bodies and how they can protect themselves

8th graders - Session Two: Physical relationships, preventing unplanned pregnancy through abstinence* or contraception, protection from disease, setting limits 
To understand choices that they can make regarding their body (includes topics: setting limits, sexting, unwanted sexual advances and date rape, abstinence, contraception)
*even the student choosing abstinence should be familiar with the vocabulary in this discussion because allusions will be made in the world we live in and I’d like for them to be knowledgeable of what is being said.

Here is the link to a shared google document containing more the detailed learning objectives for each session:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Jb9Ia1ire266_T1LKuo5B2pGcxJ3eFeOwmAQNch-2IU/edit?usp=sharing

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