Health & Wellness: Physical Education Daily and Sex Education

Stephanie Achuara
The Physical Education, Health & Wellness Department believes strongly that daily physical activity is one of the reasons why our students do so well with their academics and perform better in school.  The more that our students engage in heart pumping exercises, the more blood flow is going through the brain which in turn is essential for learning. Physical activity is offered daily to our Middle School students and is treated as a normal subject at Island School. Students have the opportunity to get outside as they have a set time for P.E. at 55 minutes per day.  Additionally students’ have extended break times to play, socialize and be physically active. Students have the opportunity to be physically active daily as they focus on achieving overall fitness. Units that students participate in include sports such as soccer, basketball, volleyball to name a few, while also engaging in fun activities such as ultimate frisbee, kickball as well as capture the flag. In addition, students take part in weekly classes in health, yoga, circuit training, conditioning and learn about recreational activities they may want to pursue.  The Physical Education, Health and Wellness teachers promote healthy lifestyle habits, teach perseverance and self-motivation and help students to understand the benefits of physical activity in achieving their overall wellness. With wellness at the forefront of the lessons, students and teachers develop a positive correlation between exercise, the brain and academic performance.

Additionally, the Pono Choices curriculum has been added to our existing health education curriculum in grades 7 and 8. This curriculum has been developed with funding from the federal Office of Adolescent Health through the University of Hawai‘i’s Center on Disability Studies (UH-CDS). The goal of this program is to help students make decisions that promote healthy behaviors by providing age appropriate, medically accurate, sexual health education.  This informative program will help students gain knowledge and decision-making skills, promote developing safe, fulfilling relationships, and encourage communication and responsibility for their sexual health and well-being. Lessons will begin during the third quarter of school for the 7th and 8th Grade students who will be participating in the Pono Choices Curriculum. Sixth Grade students will continue to learn about Anatomy and Physiology, Puberty and Adolescent Development, Healthy Relationships and Personal Safety.