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Kearney school district to create its own health curriculum standards

Kearney Public Schools will conduct its own review of district health curriculum standards...
Kearney Public Schools will conduct its own review of district health curriculum standards independent of the state board of education.(KSNB)
Published: Jun. 16, 2021 at 8:00 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 8:06 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Superintendent Kent Edwards said Tuesday that Kearney Public Schools will conduct its own review of the district’s health curriculum standards and prepare its own draft for school board approval.

The Nebraska State Board of Education began a review and comment process earlier this year on a set of standards which it will make available to local school districts to adopt at their option. At public hearings held recently in Kearney, an almost unanimous set of voices criticized the new standards. Much of the public comment reflected concern about what topics regarding sex education would be in the standards and at what age students would be taught those topics.

In a press release issued Tuesday Edwards said, “...we feel that we can no longer wait for this process to evolve and finalize. At the direction of the board, It is my intention to bring together a district team of educational leaders and teachers to review our current health education standards and to discuss if there are any omissions to our current standards that need consideration for a new adoption.”

In the press release, Edwards pointed out that Kearney Public School teachers have been guided by a set of health curriculum standards adopted in 2012 without incident or negative feedback. Edwards also said that comment at recent KPS board meetings came from patrons asking the board not to adopt the proposed state standards. Edwards said patrons have also asked the school board to take a formal position on health education standards.

The press release Tuesday did not indicate when the district team would meet, when it would present new or revised standards to the board, what public input would be solicited or when any new proposed standards would be formally adopted and put into practice.

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