The Importance of Creating a Health “Re-entry” Unit

It is our time to shine and it is important to seize this moment. 2020 has made it glaringly obvious that our mental, physical, and social health are at the core of what determines our quality of life. Finding that balance and maintaining wellness while navigating through these unprecedented and unknown times has been challenging personally and professionally. To say that I have experienced self-growth is an understatement, and I say that humbly. It required self-reflection, feeling uncomfortable, needing help, an abundance of new learning, and accepting change. 

I will say it again. It is our time to shine and it is important to seize this moment. And yes…I am speaking directly to Health and Physical Education teachers. We must be vocal about the importance of our curriculums while advocating that Health and Physical Education is an essential component of an in-person, hybrid, or online schedule. We must also be intentional in our instruction and content by creating a Health “Re-entry” Unit.


SHAPE PA re-entry guidelines suggest that health education reinforce habits that prevent the spread of communicable disease, hygiene habits, health skills related to emotional and mental health, managing stress, and risky behaviors. While these topics naturally surface in the PSAHPERD (soon to be SHAPE) and SHAPE standards, it is essential that we should be intentional in the 2020-2021 school year regarding our re-entry response prior to re-visiting our regularly scheduled curriculums. Our students need to know that we are willing to address their needs by focusing on topics that are relevant and specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Focus first on relationships. Take the EXTRA time to build your classroom community.
Create, collaborate, and share. I am the curriculum coordinator for Health and PE at Keith Valley Middle school. Part of our professional development in-service time at the end of the 2020 school year was dedicated to developing lessons for a re-entry health unit. Each teacher focused on specific topics while using the same lesson template. The topics were: prevention habits, hygiene habits, COVID-19 prevention/symptoms/treatments, COVID-19 literacy, CASEL’s social and emotional core competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making) and stress management. The lessons created guided the development of the unit comprised of 9 lessons, a PowerPoint presentation, and a pacing guide addressing SHAPE health standards. Considerations and recommendations regarding in-person and virtual teaching are provided.


Here it is! 
Please feel free to use, edit, modify, and/or adjust to fit the needs of the students you teach. Please share within your own educational communities in the spirit of community well-being.

Wishing you health, happiness, and strength this school year. We got this.

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