Students at Briar Middle School will get lessons in self-esteem, decision-making, how to deal with stress, and communication skills as part of the Botvin social-emotional curriculum that will be introduced during the 2022-2023 school year.
During the Perkins Local School District Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Briar Principal Jeff Thom discussed the curriculum that will be taught in health classes across grades 6, 7 and 8.
Students have increased social-emotional needs, especially as the pandemic continues, Mr. Thom explained. The Botvin curriculum, named after Gilbert Botwin of the Cornell University Medical College, is expected to help students cope with challenging times and increased pressure to experiment with vaping and other unhealthy habits.
The curriculum will be paid for by the Erie County Health Department. Each student will have a workbook to take notes and answer questions.
Meantime, teachers will report the number of students who complete the program, and share data with the Erie County Health Department.
Grade 6 content has eight lessons to the well-being of an adolescent child as they enter their middle school years. Topics include self-esteem, smoking and vaping, social skills, and assertiveness.
Grade 7 content has 10 lessons that build on foundations from the first year. Topics include drug abuse and violence, making decisions, coping with anxiety and anger, and conflict resolution.
Grade 8 content bridges to more high school-oriented themes. The seven lessons include the value of good health, healthy relationships, family communications, and the media and health.