The Kodiak Island Borough School District School Board heard from educators about the social studies curriculum, which is up for review, and expanded health offerings for middle school students next year.

“We’re planning on one of two options right now,” said Kodiak Middle School principal Jethro Jones during the school board’s Monday work session. “We’ll either have health as a full quarter for sixth and seventh grade or a semester for eighth grade, or it’ll be taught during (physical education) one week each month for sixth and seventh grade and two weeks per month for eighth grade, which is the equivalent of a quarter and semester.”

In a memo regarding current health-focused things the middle school has done, the school principals had a list of items including anti-bullying lessons taught by a counselor, instruction through the existing health and PE curriculum, and partnerships with outside organizations for activities about domestic violence, relational abuse and drug abuse.

However, the memo stated, “We know our students still need more help.”

Other initiatives in this area that are being worked on at the school include teacher training, intervention, a handbook update, and more outside organization partnership.

The school’s social studies curriculum has been the subject of eight meetings with staff and parents and a family and staff survey during the review process, according to the district’s curriculum coordinator.

The school found that on the positive side, students were “making connections to real life using the critical thinking skills that they’re getting in social studies,” said coordinator Lindsay Mochkatel.

“One thing that families felt was lacking was the integration of the Alaskan cultural and history standards across the board,” Mochkatel said.

Educators expressed on the survey that there was a lack of time and available materials made it difficult.

As a result, the curriculum document is being revised.

The staff plans to presentation the final curriculum document at the May 4 board meeting and propose materials to be purchased.

Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.

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