City of Falls Church

The following were among actions taken at the June 19 meeting of the Falls Church School Board. For more information, call 241-7648.

FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION REPORT -- A state-required curriculum addressing sexuality and other family life topics in kindergarten through 10th grade drew few complaints during its first year of implementation, according to a report presented to the School Board by representatives of a citizens committee that crafted the program.

An alternative program for students whose parents objected to the family life curriculum, however, was difficult to administer and needs a tighter focus, according to the report. The alternative program is based primarily on independent study of health-related topics.

Most students participated in the family life curriculum, which addresses 10 state-mandated topics ranging from stress reduction to reproduction. About 28 students, or 2.5 percent of the total school population, were enrolled in the alternative program.

While teachers, students and parents had no serious complaints about the family life program, some teachers found the alternative program difficult to administer, the representatives said.

A few primary-grade teachers complained that their discussions with students in the family life curriculum had to be cut short when students in the alternative program returned from the library. These teachers reported spending less class time on the family life curriculum than teachers who had no students in the alternative program.

In addition, the alternative program was time-consuming for teachers to administer to sixth through 10th-grade students, the representatives reported, because teachers had to prepare coursework on different topics chosen by students from a list of options. The program also lacked logical progression from one topic to the next, the representatives said.

To smooth administration of the alternative program, the representatives announced that their committee will seek ways to make schedules more flexible for primary-grade teachers, to decrease the number of topics offered to secondary students and to organize the topics in a logical sequence.