Middle School Health and PE
Description of the Lake Braddock Middle School Health and PE program:
Virginia requires all students to receive health and physical education instruction at all instructional levels from grades K-10. Course content for health and physical education, including family life education and driver education is identified in Virginia Board of Education regulations and in the Virginia Health, Physical Education for high school graduation for both the 21 and 23 credit diploma. Students with disabilities have access to adapted physical education programs.
The health and physical education program is designed to teach students the skills, knowledge and attitudes essential to live a healthy lifestyle and select healthy and safe behaviors. Physical education content includes: fitness and conditioning, fitness planning, rhythmic activities and dances, stunts, tumbling and gymnastics; and lifetime sport activities. Health education content includes: alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention education, mental health education, nutrition education, personal and community health and safety; lifetime survival skills, health and lifestyle, first aid, CPR, and disease and the human body. Sex education content begins in grades 5 and continues through high school.
In 1988, the State Board of Education established regulations regarding the Family Life Education (FLE) program. The DOE encouraged this program in response to a decade of rising teenage pregnancy rates, rising sexually transmitted disease rates, and the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. The regulations also required local school districts to include the following ten topics in their FLE programs:
- Family living and community relationships
- The value of postponing sexual activity until marriage
- Human sexuality
- Human reproduction and contraception
- The etiology, prevention, and effects of sexually transmitted diseases
- Stress management and resistance to peer pressure of positive self-concepts and respect for others, including people of other races, religions, and origins
- Parenting skills
- Alcohol, Tobacco, and other drug use prevention
- Abuse prevention
In order to provide parents with alternatives, the regulations required that an opt-out provision be included for parents to remove their child(ren) from any lesson or all lessons at a particular grade level and that alternative, non-FLE lessons be available to students removed from FLE lessons. In addition, school districts were required to establish an advisory committee with broad community representation to review and make recommendations regarding the FLE content. Fairfax County Public Schools' (FCPS) FLE program was fully implemented in 1990. In order to address the issues of HIV and substance abuse with older adolescents, FCPS requires FLE to be taught in grades K-12.
The FLE program for students in grades seven and eight is taught by health and physical education teachers. Students are taught that abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only way to guarantee the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Students learn about behaviors that put them at risk for substance use and abuse as well as sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Building on information learned in late elementary school, students continue their study of basic anatomy and physiology and the development of sexuality as an aspect of total personality as well as the physical, psychological, and social changes that occur during adolescence.