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Connecting Kids to Real-world Health Science Health science encompasses a broad group of disciplines focused on the delivery of health care. Simply put, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge is applied to research and clinical practice in order to diagnose and treat disease, and to maintain and improve health and quality of life. Global population growth, increased longevity and other factors are combining to make health science more important than ever before. As a result, demand for health science professionals is expected to grow by 20-40 percent or more through the year 2022 (bls.gov). El Toro Elementary School has taken on a new role as a Health Science Academy under the leadership of its new principal, Darren McDonald. He was previously the lead teacher, teaching 6th grade at P. A.Walsh through that school’s successful implementation of its STEAM program. “El Toro is breaking new ground with our focus on health science,” McDonald said. “We’re partnering with Kaiser Permanente, St. Louise Regional Hospital and local health professionals, to provide educational pathways for our kids to explore health-related fields. Health science will have a huge role to play in their future.” “We’re also partnering with San José State University, Santa Clara University and Stanford Medical School. Their graduate students will come and teach our kids how to do triage, for 28 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN example. Health professionals at Stanford Medical are taking our teachers on ‘instructional rounds’ so the teachers can learn how it’s done and simulate the experience with our students.” “There are tremendous resources available through organizations such as NASA, Google, eBay and others. We want our students to take the Next Generation Science Standards to the next level, so we’re designing curriculum and programs that allow them to explore physical, mental and emotional health in their academic studies. Our health science focus is tightly integrated with Common Core. It’s all about learning how to explore real-world problems, model solutions, and then present results effectively. Our kids will be working together in a science lab-style environment, which works really well.” Modeling Restorative Justice, Embracing Diversity gmh In speaking with Principal Heather Nursement, TODAY learned that Martin Murphy is the first MHUSD school practicing restorative justice. Now in the second year of following this model, she said “It’s a powerful approach to dealing with students’ behavior on campus that shows them how their actions affect others and holds them responsible for those actions.” (GUSD’s Solorsano Middle School implemented restorative justice last year. To create a sense of community, students create “restorative justice circles.” Working together they come up with a common SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 gmhtoday.com