The New and Improved Health Class


//PICTURED ABOVE: Students from Coach Nunez’s sophomore health class work on an identity activity.

In previous years, Hockaday Upper School students would take quarter-long health classes. Now, sophomores and seniors take a semester-long health course while the freshmen and juniors sit out for the year.

Jennifer Johnson, Health and Physical educator, has been working with the athletic department and administration in the new arrangement of this class.

“The change was made to help match the Upper School schedule with semester classes,” Jennifer Johnson said. “It is beneficial in terms of scheduling classes for students.”

Another positive effect of the longer course is that it allows the students to build deeper on topics and ideas learned in the class, while the topics remain the same as previous years.

Melina Nunez, Health and Physical educator and 5th grade coordinator, is a current teacher of Health 101 with the sophomores and was told of her new position by late summer of 2018.

“The teachers get to know their students better,” Nunez said.

The PE and Health department and Upper School administration have been working on this idea for a few years and started it the school year of 2018 and plan to continue it.

The sophomores are taught fitness, nutrition, stress, drugs, alcohol, mental illness, communication, relationships and reproductive health in Health 101 by Nunez, Johnson, and Coach A.D. Ebeniro, group fitness coordinator. Managing personal fitness, sexual health, emotional well-being, and self-defense are topics that are covered in the senior class, Health 201, by Upper School Health Teacher Rebekah Calhoun and Upper School Self Defense Instructor Meg Hinkley.

The first semester 201 health class has been adjusted to be taught from August 27 to September 27 and then from November 7 to February 4. The reason for the break in the semester is to allow the seniors to work on college applications. The students on their break are required to check in with Mrs. Calhoun at the beginning of their health classes in the Senior Commons.

“First Semester Health students may use this time to meet with college counselors, work on college applications, work on coursework, etc,” Calhoun said.

The second semester health class will continue according to plan and starts from January 22 to May 9.

A current student in the health class 101, Nancy Dedman, agrees that if the class was shorter, the students would not be able to do as many inclusive projects and activities.  

An example of a project that the sophomore class did for their fitness unit was a chart of at least fifteen exercises for the upper body, core and lower body. Along with the chart, the students were asked to write a personal workout schedule and a paper. The paper discussed how and why the students chose the workouts on their schedules.

“My favorite part about the class is that we learn more about the necessary action you need to take to improve your physical and mental health,” Dedman said.

Story and Picture by Julia Donovan