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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Ocean City Board of Education Adopts Revised Health and PE Standards

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By From Ocean City Schools

OCEAN CITY – September is just around the corner, and with it – the start of a new school year. Parents and students are shifting their thoughts from sun and sand towards school supplies, special activities, and most importantly, academics.
In recent weeks, New Jersey’s 2020 Health and Physical Education Standards have been receiving increased attention by communities statewide. The state’s public schools are required to teach the health curriculum according to the state standards, however the curriculum and instructional resources used to meet these standards is a local decision made by each district, based on its respective curriculum development and review process.
At its regular meeting on Wednesday, August 24, the Ocean City School Board of Education adopted the revised Health and Physical Education standards that meets the minimum requirements for age- appropriate instruction, while respecting the values of the community’s families and encouraging collaboration with parents.
“We amended our health and physical education curriculum with a team of teachers and administrators with the goal of compliance with the minimum requirements,” said OCSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Friedman. “We made revisions in a thoughtful manner and want our school families to be involved.”
The health and physical education standards are posted on the district’s website for parents to review. The amended curriculum and supporting documents will be posted in September. Teachers are preparing lessons to meet these new learning goals in an age-appropriate manner.
“Parents have always and will always play an important role in supporting their child’s learning and health,” said Dr. Lauren Gunther, OCSD Director of Student Services. “We’ve recognized that in our values here at Ocean City and genuinely want parents to be a collaborative part of the health and physical education curriculum and teaching process throughout their child’s years in Ocean City Schools.”
Ocean City School District follows District Policy 5250: Health and Physical Education, which states, “Any student whose parent presents to the principal a signed statement that any part of the instruction in health, family life education, or sex education is in conflict with his/her conscience or sincerely held moral or religious beliefs shall be excused from that portion of the course where such instruction is being given and no penalties as to credit or graduation shall result.”
Parents who wish to excuse their children from certain parts of the health program can submit a signed statement to the school principal. Students who opt-out will be placed in a supervised alternate location during the lesson and given a different assignment.
“We respect every parent’s personal choices concerning their child’s health education,” said Dr. Patrick Kane, OCSD Board of Education President. “Although we will assure lessons are planned in an age- appropriate manner, parents can always opt-out of a specific part of the health curriculum. The opt-out option exemplifies our commitment to collaborate with our Ocean City families and we will continue to provide that option as education evolves.”
Parent meetings regarding the revised health program will be held at the primary, intermediate, and high schools during the month of September. Parents will receive information about the meetings and are encouraged to check the district and school websites for dates and times.

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