The Great Debate: Health at Morgan


Written by Amanda Thompson
Photos by Amanda Thompson |

There has been a lot of controversy circulating the halls of Morgan reguarding schedule of the new school. One of the hottest topics is the new health requirement and who needs to take health next year. The Morgan PawPrint did some investigating and here is what we found out:

  • The school required more health than the state mandates.
    • Currently students need to take a full credit of health. This is split into quarter credit segments split up between all four years at Morgan. According to The Morgan School’s principal, Keri Hagness, the state only requires three-quarters of what students at The Morgan School are used to taking (in other words students only need .75 or three quarters of health). Mrs. Hagness expalins, “If juniors have already met the requirement they will not have to take health next year.” So for those juniors that have taken a quarter of health all three years, they will not have health in their schedule.
  • Health will be a class taken in a student’s junior year at Morgan. 
    • Freeing up some schedule space in student’s schedules by taking health only one year will provide, “more choice and give [the students] what the school needs to require for health” explains Mrs. Hagness. In the past many students had a hard time fitting some AP or other IMG_0571elective courses into their schedule because of the health requirement. Many students have resorted to taking these classes online to account for the credits. Mrs. Hagness also comments: “It is going to take time to adjust” to the new implementation of health class because obviously the students at Morgan have already started to fulfill the health requirements. 
    • Health Teacher  Steve Redes reponded when asked if this transition makes sense to him. He stated, “No, it does not from an educational standpoint. There are many times in my freshman class kids say they should have learned this sooner and instead [the course] is being pushed later.” 
    • Senior Sami Ashton shares, “I highly disagree with the choice that people will only take health junior year. Students aren’t allowed to take AP classes freshman or sophomore year. Therefore, junior year, when we were able to, we wanted to fill our schedule with rigorous courses so that [schedules] looks better for colleges. When I did take AP classes, health did not fit into my schedule so I had to push it to my senior year which also did not look good for my transcript.”
  • Mr. Redes will not be retiring. 
    • Mr. Redes said, “I heavily considered retirement. I’ve told students in the past I would retire when I couldn’t be an effective teacher. After careful consideration I’ve decided that I IMG_0573can be effective, just not as effective. I reversed my decision and will return to The new Morgan School and see how it works out. I can always retire, but I can’t always come back.”
  • Advisory and “X-Block” will be utilized to incorporate some of Mr. Redes’ teachings to all grades. 
    • Mrs. Hagness explained that the advisory and x-block programs can provide, “workshops on stress, wellness and nutrition, and other topics that [students] feel they would want someone from the outside to talk to them about.”  This is a great resource that would be voluntary. Those who want to partake in these discussions or lectures can if they want to, but they can spend the time doing other things as well. Other topics covered in Mr. Redes’ early health classes might be discussed in these programs as well. Mr. Redes says this could work “if a students have the right advisor.” Redes’ doubts come from some of the topics covered in the freshman curriculum such as depression and contraception. Redes expresses worry that some teachers “may feel uncomfortable” discussing these topics.”

Senior Sami Ashton has expressed concerns about the changes in the health curriculum, “At the beginning of my time here at Morgan, freshman year, I was unable to open my mind up to the ideas, information, and opinions of Mr. Redes. But as I grew to my senior year, with a more open mind, I was able to absorb every single thing that Mr. Redes had to share with the class.

Mr. Redes taught me very important topics throughout my four years that enabled me to develop opinions on very important health topics and general topics that maybe I was unable to grasp with a lack of IMG_0572maturity freshman year, but as time went on, the different ideas he introduced me to in each different year made me realize the different importances of some of the topics he discussed. As I developed a more open mind throughout my time at Morgan, I was able to relate, understand, and apply different concepts to my life, and to the people around me. I could not imagine only having Mr. Redes for only one year due to the impact he had on me in different stages in my life.”

It will be interesting to see how things play out at the new Morgan next year. Next year will be a daunting and scary (in both good and bad ways) change for everyone, so students, staff, and community members should keep an open  mind and be willing to try new things.