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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 4 months ago

OCPS offering mental, emotional health classes

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Students in grades six through 12 will receive a minimum of five hours of mental and emotional health instruction.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

The Florida Department of Education approved Rule 6A-1.094121, F.A.C., which requires that students in grades six through 12 receive a minimum of five hours of mental and emotional health instruction every year, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

To comply with this requirement, Orange County Public Schools has designated five days in which students will receive one hour of instruction from a classroom teacher. The remaining dates are: Feb. 20, 25 and 27. 

The state-mandated curriculum components include:

  • Recognition of signs and symptoms of mental health disorders
  • Prevention of mental health disorders
  • Mental health awareness and assistance
  • How to reduce the stigma around mental health disorders
  • Awareness of resources, including local school and community resources
  • The process for accessing treatment
  • Strategies to develop healthy coping techniques
  • Strategies to support a peer, friend or family member with a mental health disorder 
  • Prevention of suicide 
  • Prevention of the abuse of and addiction to alcohol, nicotine and drugs

Students will not be graded on this material.

Tim Freed was the managing editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Southwest Orange Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.

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