By Kate Robak
At the Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting on April 10, MBX Representative Gary Wayland presented ideas for a new online health program in coordination with the MBX booster umbrella organization.
MBX’s proposed online health program is not finalized and will require the Board to approve it in the coming future.
“We felt we could be a great provider of an online health program,” Wayland said. “Also, it could be a way for MBX to raise additional funds, which would be directly invested back into MBUSD.”
Costa requires each student to take one semester of health in order to graduate. The online health class would provide an additional period for class scheduling.
“Some of the students who can’t fit health in their schedules save this class for their senior years when the content is not as relevant,” MBUSD Board member Ellen Rosenberg said. “Also, there are very few one-semester classes that health can balance out, and online health would address this problem.”
If implemented, the online health course in MBUSD will use a computer program created by Da Vinci High School.
“We reviewed a variety of programs before eventually contracting with some representatives from Da Vinci in Hawthorne,” Wayland said. “Their director of technology agreed to develop the program for us.”
For the purpose of incorporating in-class learning, Mira Costa teachers will teach part of the online class curriculum.
“I do hope that this online health program is not something that in the future will result in the elimination of a teacher,” Costa health teacher James Beaumont said. “We are supposed to be a comprehensive high school. We should act more like one and maximize course offerings to the best of our ability.”
The program will include an online textbook and study materials for the class. Required check-in dates with a teacher will be set throughout the semester of the class. Also, a teacher will administer assigned tests in a class at Costa.
“The only downside to this program will be the loss of student-to-student contact during class,” Executive Director of Educational Services Carolyn Seaton said. “Thankfully, the program will be partially in-class so that students will not lose all personal interaction with teachers.”
The proposed online health program will include all of the state requirements, and its content is slated to be similar to the normal in-class health program. Also, the community service requirement from the regular health classes are supposed to be included in the online health program.
“We still have to make sure that the California content standards and HIV/AIDS prevention education are covered in the proposed program,” Seaton said. “[Online health] is not ready yet. There are still steps we need to take.”