Mr. Joseph Gorman, Supervisor
VISION AND MISSION
Our Vision: Health. Moves. Minds.
Our Mission: Empower children to acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to effectively answer the critical question:
“What do I need to know, feel and do to live a long, healthy and balanced life?”
Comprehensive, coordinated school Health, Wellness and Physical Education empowers all students to know, feel and do what is necessary to maintain active, healthy lifestyles and to exercise sound decision-making based on ethical values. It is predicated upon the belief that when students know how to acquire relevant information, practice skills, and reflect regularly upon the ethical implications of their choices, they will be adequately prepared to exercise the rights and responsibilities of adulthood successfully.
There are three (3) interdependent domains of health – physical, mental, and social / emotional; they are referred to as the “Mind – Body – Spirit Connection.” These physical, mental and social / emotional components of health continuously affect each other at all times. Each domain can, and usually does determine how well we feel, how well we think, and how well we act at any given time. Wellness is a reflection by degree of the fluid, symbiotic cross-relationships among the three domains.
“Wellness” is a dynamic quality that changes continuously as a result of these interactions throughout our lifetime. Often ambiguous health “facts” and information follow suit; they belong to a constantly evolving scientific field that frequently contradicts itself as a result of new findings uncovered through research. Consequently, students are best served when they are equipped to practice higher-order thinking and challenged to seek out health and fitness-related information from a variety of qualified sources, assess their validity through a “contrast and compare” approach, and then practice making informed decisions about applying what they learned to their general well-being, fitness, health care and lifestyle. Parents and community resources are inseparable from this goal.
Wellness requires action; effective action requires skill development. Skill development accrues best through frequent and sequential guided practice. All topics addressed in Health, Wellness and Physical Education are devoted to learning through doing; they are organized to be activity/project-based, interdisciplinary, and constructionist in nature throughout the entire PK-12 educational experience.
Behavioral choices are the endgame of health, wellness and lifestyle management education. Individual choices affect physical well-being, state of mind, resiliency, resistance to disease and/or mental illness and the quality of social and personal relationships one experiences. Choices are also ultimately inseparable from values. Health, Wellness and Physical Education is committed to helping children develop strong and resilient character by guiding their acquisition of the ethical commitment, consciousness, and competencies necessary to make sound decisions that impact lifelong physical, psychological and emotional well-being.
Health, Wellness and Physical Education instruction are integral, but parts of the larger Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model - a systems model designed to improve health and academic achievement. WSCC improves students’ health and well-being and their capacity to learn through the support of families, communities and schools working together.
This aligned approach leads to improved physical, mental and developmental outcomes for students. Research has consistently concluded that student health/fitness and academic achievement are directly connected and, in fact, that student health is one of the most significant influences on learning and achievement.
All Health, Wellness and Physical Education instruction aligns with the State of Connecticut Healthy and Balanced Living Framework K-12 Content Standards (CSDE 2021) and the SHAPE America National Standards.
All lessons utilize “Create – Perform – Respond” (CPR) design formatting that embeds interdisciplinary objectives in full alignment with the Common Core State Standards for ELA, Math, and Science PK-12. In addition, each lesson further embeds “weaved” simultaneous instruction in social and emotional learning (SEL). As such, all instruction seeks to simultaneously impact student learning in all three domains of the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection.
PK-12 Health, Wellness & Physical Education Curriculum:
Elementary School Physical Education
PK-5 Physical Education learning activities include a range of skill development tasks including, but not limited to: basic movement education, gross locomotor and non-locomotor skills, fine motor skills, balance and fitness training, cooperative games, basic tumbling, lead-up drills and mini-games for individual and team sports, dance and rhythmic activities, and outdoor/recreational challenges that help students to acquire the understandings, skills and abilities as specified in the content standards and elementary grade level performance outcomes.
Elementary School Health
The PK-5 Health and Wellness Curriculum is comprised of the six PK-12 universal instructional themes: Personal Health, Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, Nutrition, Personal Safety and lastly, Human Growth, Development and Family Life Education. These themes are standards-based and sequential throughout the entire PK-5 educational experience.
Throughout grades PK-5, Health instruction is the responsibility of Elementary classroom teachers, with the lone exception of Human Growth, Development and Family Life Education, which is taught by a certified Health Specialist. As such, classroom teachers at the elementary level are responsible for delivering Health instruction for the first five (5) units listed above. These units have been designed for interdisciplinary alignment with other academic learning activities in the core curricular areas.
Personal Health and Human Growth, Development and Family Life Education encompass portions of HIV/AIDS Prevention Education in all grades PK-5. Human Growth, Development and Family Life Education is taught exclusively by the Elementary Health Specialist in no less than two (2) thirty-minute (30 min.) classes in any grade PK-2, and no less than two (2) forty-five minute (45 min.) classes in grades 3-5.
Middle School Physical Education
Grades 6-8 Physical Education learning activities include a range of skill development tasks including, but not limited to: beginner to advanced swimming, fine motor skills, physical fitness training, cooperative games, individual and team sport lead-up drills and modified games, dance and rhythmic activities, net and invasion games, and outdoor/recreational challenges that help students to acquire the understandings, skills and abilities as specified in the content standards and middle school grade level performance outcomes.
Middle School Health
Health instruction encompassing the six instructional themes throughout grades six, seven and eight are taught by a certified Health Specialist. The WPS Middle School Health and Wellness Curriculum is skills-based, and fully aligned with the Connecticut Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2021). Students attend Health instead of Physical Education classes for one marking period per year in grades 6,7 and 8.
High School Health and Physical Education
2.0 credit pathway of Health and Physical Education Courses Required for High School Graduation.
WPS High School Health and Physical Education courses are designed to support and guide students’ personal and academic achievement through acquisition of skills needed to: Live a healthy and balanced lifestyle; access, evaluate and use information from various sources to achieve overall health and well-being; comprehend concepts related to health, wellness and fitness and implement realistic plans for lifelong healthy and balanced living; make plans and take actions that lead to healthy and balanced living for themselves and for the world around them.
The WPS Health and Physical Education curriculum is a standards-based program that promotes student understanding that health and fitness are lifelong responsibilities to self and others that promote personal wellness, prevent disease, and contribute to both the quality and duration of human life.
Each WPS Health and Physical Education course is designed to provide students with opportunities and methods to acquire and continually develop knowledge, concepts, skills, behaviors, and attitudes related to health and well-being. All WPS Health and Physical Education courses include medically accurate, developmentally and culturally appropriate content in a planned, sequential, comprehensive health and physical education curriculum that is fully aligned with the SHAPE America National Standards and the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2021). Content includes: Individual physical fitness planning and execution, Nutrition, Individual and team sport skills, Injury Prevention, Wellness, Substance Abuse Prevention, Disease Prevention, Mental Health, Fitness, Lifelong Recreation Skills and Sexual Health Education. The WPS Health and Physical Education curriculum also complies with Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) for required content of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (10-19a), Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (10-19b) and sexual health education (10-16f).
Interdisciplinary instruction supporting academic literacy, numeracy and research skills embedded within social and emotional learning themes are integral instructional delivery systems to all Health and Physical Education courses, but particularly so in high school.