DESE approves updates to state’s health and physical education curriculum
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News is getting answers after Governor Maura Healy’s framework for an updated health and physical education curriculum at Massachusetts public school students was unanimously approved this week. It maps out what students should know by the end of different grades and is the first time the guidelines have been updated since 1999.
We’re told the curriculum framework is LGBTQ+ inclusive, medically accurate, and age appropriate. The guidelines include mental and emotional health, personal safety, physical health and hygiene, nutrition and balanced eating, physical activity, fitness, substance use and misuse, and sexual health. However, parents can choose to opt their kids out of lessons relating to sex education under state law which, according to officials, only plays a small part in the curriculum.
It’s important to note, local school districts choose what curriculum and materials to use.
After taking a look at the framework ourselves, we spoke with West Springfield Mayor and School Committee member Will Reichelt.
“I think it’s important, you know, especially since it hasn’t been looked at since pre-COVID. A lot’s changed in our schools since COVID, especially with students and mental health and how they’ve racketed the shutdowns and come back out and learn,” Reichelt explained.
We’re told by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE, this framework is for public schools, but publicly accessible to others. Districts can implement the program as soon as they like, but they expect it to be largely implemented next school year.
Copyright 2023. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.