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Downey : AIDS Curriculum Accepted

November 17, 1988

The Downey Unified School District board has voted unanimously to accept the district's first AIDS education programs to be included in the curriculum beginning in February. The programs will be incorporated in science and health classes of seventh- and ninth-grade students and will cover various issues and questions regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

The board began discussing the programs after the state suggested them in June. The district will use state-approved materials designed for various grades and age brackets.

Seventh-graders will be instructed in their science classes with a curriculum designed by the American Red Cross. The materials include a brochure for parents explaining the program and giving information about AIDS.

Ninth-graders will be taught in their health classes, using a booklet entitled "AIDS: What Young Adults Should Know" and a video, depicting common misconceptions about the disease. The course will cover the same concepts as in the seventh grade, but with a more sophisticated approach, said Robert Cosgrove, administrator of instructional services.

Teachers will be introduced to the programs and discuss methods of teaching with Kathy Gorman, a mentor teacher who has attended AIDS conferences throughout the county for the past year and a half.

Both programs will take students about three class periods to finish and will be repeated each year with updated materials, Cosgrove said. Course materials will be available to the community for about three weeks from December to January at the district office.

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