Health & Physical Education

  • Health and Physical Education at Essex High School embrace the belief that: "...intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; that hardy spirits and tough minds usually inhabit sound bodies." John F. Kennedy

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    Health Education

    To graduate from Essex High school, a student must earn one-half credit in Health education. This course is offered in a split block, full year format. Two Health education courses are available. Both Health courses address the skills and course content described below. The courses are designed to be developmentally appropriate for their participants.

    The course for 9th graders is designed to meet the developmental needs of young adolescents as they transition from middle school to high school. Health for 10th-12th graders is designed for students preparing to transition from high school to their future life, college, or career pursuits. 

    Course Number: P008       .5 Health Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    Students will gather, research, understand and critically analyze information to make informed healthy choices. They will acquire the skills needed to interact in positive ways with others and become contributing members of a healthy society.  Students will learn to predict the consequences of their decisions recognizing that what they choose today will make a significant difference in their futures. Students will use acquired skills and information to take responsibility for their behavior as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. Students will practice and learn the following skills: 

    • Assertive communication
    • Decision making
    • Goal setting
    • Research methods
    • Risk assessment

    Content areas include alcohol, tobacco & other drugs, family & social health, growth & development, human sexuality, nutrition, personal safety, self-image and stress.

    Physical Education

    All students are required to accumulate 1.5 credits in physical education. “Give Me Five” is the required course to satisfy the Personal Fitness requirement for graduation. Every course is offered in both semesters. Students will not receive credit for enrolling in a course more than once. Because the foundation of each course is activity, a student must participate daily to receive PE credit. All courses include both fitness training and skill development. There are no medical exemptions from physical education. Courses will be adapted for students with special needs.

    Course Number: P220       .5 Physical Education Credit      Grades: 9-12  

    This required course provides instruction in the 5 health related aspects of fitness - cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, muscular strength/muscular endurance and body composition. Students will participate in a developmentally appropriate training program designed to achieve and maintain aerobic capacity, flexibility, and muscular strength/endurance within a healthy fitness zone. Training will include instruction and participation in a variety of activities that support fitness outcomes. This training may include: cardiovascular training progressions and games, Pilates, plyometrics, yoga, and strength training using equipment such as kettle bells, dynabands, bosu balls, physioballs, medicine balls, and free weights. The academic component of the course will focus on the principles of training as they apply to these areas of fitness. Students will study the anatomy and physiology of muscle and will understand the body’s physiological response to training.

    Course Number: P221       .5 Physical Education Credit      Grades: 9-12   

    This course provides a non-traditional approach to physical education.  Participants engage in experiences that focus on both intrapersonal and interpersonal development. There are four broad units of instruction: Initiatives, Team Building, Trust, and Problem Solving. Course participation enhances students’ communication skills, decision making, compassion, tolerance, leadership, trust, and collaboration. Due to the nature of activities, students must expect and be comfortable with physical contact. The course climate encourages the development of community, creativity and risk taking in a structured environment.  In addition to the four primary units of instruction students will experience a low ropes course, learn to belay and climb and also geocache.

    Course Number: P223       .5 Physical Education Credit      Grades: 9-12  

    This course includes instruction in a variety of traditional team sports. These may include: volleyball, basketball, soccer, football, softball, whiffleball, speedaway, and rugby. This course may best be suited for students with a competitive spirit. 

    Course Number: P222       .5 Physical Education Credit      Grades: 9-12      

    This course includes instruction in a variety of target sports/activities. These may include such activities as archery, tennis, badminton, frisbee golf, floor hockey, and pickleball.

    Course Number: PIND       .5 Physical Education Credit      Grades: 11-12   

    In this course students will design and participate in a Personal Learning Plan for physical education credit. Requirements include five areas of activity identified by the student, approved by a teacher, and including at least 200 minutes per week of physical activity. Students will relate all activity to the health components of fitness learned in the PE course “Give Me Five”. Students will show proof of activities through weekly documentation, projects and/or video, and will hand in quarterly reflection papers. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.   Independent Study PE may not be repeated and must be completed before semester two of 12th grade.   
    Prerequisites:   Give me Five

    Course Number: K400        Credit      Grades: 9-12

    This course is designed to meet the needs of students with intensive special needs. It includes a rotating curriculum of fitness, sports, games, and lifetime activities that are aligned with student Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) with an an emphasis on social interaction and teamwork. Students are evaluated on the growth of their skills and participation over time and are graded on a pass/fail basis. Students interested in acting as helpers/partners may enroll in this course for .5 Elective credit.

    Course Number: P300       .5 Physical Education Credit      Grades: 10-12      

    This course is designed to introduce students to the care and prevention of athletic injuries. The course is a comprehensive introduction to preventing, recognizing, evaluating, treating, and rehabilitating basic athletic injuries. Units of instruction will include human anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, protective taping and wrapping techniques, first aid and CPR. Students will also explore different career opportunities within athletic training and related fields. The course includes classroom and laboratory/practical instruction. Students successfully completing the course may be certified in basic first aid, CPR, and AED. They will be capable of assisting a professional certified athletic trainer and be prepared for advanced study of sports medicine. 
    Prerequisites:   Students may enroll in this course concurrently with their third P.E. course or after receiving 1.5 P.E. credits.