K-12 Health Instruction
Health education is viewed as important to whole child education in Kirkwood and essential to our District Wellness Plan. Health is frequently paired in K-5 with physical education instruction, while serving as stand-alone class in the middle school wellness experience. Students at Kirkwood High School are required to complete a semester-long health courses (.5 credit) to graduate.
- All K-5 students attend physical education class every other day for 45-50 minutes. While some schools have health instruction periodically separated from PE, most elementary schools intentionally weave health skills and understandings into physical education activities.
- Students in middle school participate in wellness classes as part of their yearly schedule. Wellness classes include two 4-week rotations focused specifically on health instruction, each year in grades 6-8. At Nipher, 6th grade Health is woven into a Wellness class. 7th and 8th grades have a semester of Health and a semester of PE.
- While health classes at KHS are widely viewed as exceptional, a percentage of students have historically opted to take health online, in lieu of a seated course, in order to free time in their schedule for other courses.
- As of 2017, all students in Missouri are required before graduation to receive 30 minutes of CPR instruction and training in the Heimlich maneuver or another first aid for choking. This training can be included in Health or PE instruction.
The National Health Education Standards were last revised in 2007, updating standards originally written in 1995. The Missouri Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for health education were likewise last updated in 2007. Kirkwood’s curriculum is presently aligned with these standards.
Kirkwood’s Health and PE teachers are highly knowledgeable, well-connected within local, regional, and national networks, and deeply passionate about the physical, social-emotional, and mental wellness of students. Several staff members, current and previously, have been recognized for teaching excellence within the district and/or their affiliated organizations. Our teachers tend to stay abreast of recent research and new standards, seeking opportunities to learn best instructional practices whenever possible.