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Health Education

Alaska

Last Updated: 5/8/2008

Mandate: Health education is not a required course for students. However, 04 AAC 06.075 (2005) requires students to complete a 1 credit of either health or physical education in order to graduate from high school. Statute 14.30.360 (1998) encourages each school district to implement a K-12 program in health education.

Curriculum Content: While health education is not a required course, the state has adopted standards for what students should be able to learn and know. The State Board formally adopted content standards, Skills for a Healthy Life, per 04 AAC 04.140 (2005).

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Alabama

Last Updated: 12/20/2010

Interscholastic Athletics: RS 17:176 (1997) require the superintendent of each school system to review all co-curricular and extracurricular activities and programs and urge principals and faculty of middle, junior high, and high schools to appropriately upgrade the standards of student athletes. The statute allows the right to film, videotape or otherwise record an extracurricular event so long as it does not cause significant disruption or distraction to the participants in the activity.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: No state policy. 


Last Updated: 9/30/2012

Mandate: Code of Alabama 16-35-4 (1975) and 16-35-5 (1975) grant authority to the Alabama State Board of Education to prescribe courses of study. Health education is required for students in grades K-8, although the amount is not specified. The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2009) recommends that schools teach 60 minutes weekly in grades 1-6.

Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02 (1998) requires one-half credit of health education for high school graduation. 
  
Curriculum Content: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2009) provides the legal foundation for the minimum content of a locally developed health education curriculum. It is based on the National Health Education Standards and addresses eight major content areas: consumer and community health, environmental health, family health, personal health and safety, mental and emotional health, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, and substance use and abuse Instruction in health education must be provided by certified teachers.
 
Administrative Code 290-2-3 (1997) requires schools to purchase from the list of Health and Physical Education Textbooks Adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education unless another textbook is recommended by the local textbook committee, recommended by the local superintendent, and adopted by the local board of education. 
  
State Assessment Requirement: None.

 


Last Updated: 4/21/2013

Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires public schools to provide health instruction within a planned, sequential, pre K-12 comprehensive school health education curriculum that includes the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health and well-being. Comprehensive school health education shall be defined as age appropriate instruction that improves the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of students so they choose a health enhancing lifestyle and avoid behaviors that may jeopardize their immediate long term health status. Eleven content areas, including “tobacco, alcohol and other drug education” are identified.


Arkansas

Last Updated: 11/17/2013

Mandate: The Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools (2009) detail the course requirements for students: in grades K-8 all students must receive instruction in health and safety (the amount is not specified), and students in grades 9-12 must complete a unit course for graduation.

Curriculum Content:
 Arkansas has not formally adopted state standards for health education. However, the state does require schools to follow the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Health and Wellness Curriculum for grades 9-12(2011), the health portion of which is based on the National Health Education Standards and includes detailed student learning expectations.

State Assessment Requirement:
None.


Arizona

Last Updated: 4/28/2012

Mandate: Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 15-701 (no date available) grants the Arizona State Board of Education authority to prescribe a minimum course of study and academic standards. Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-301 (1993) establishes the minimum course of study and competency goals for students, which includes health/physical education. The code does not specify grades, levels, or a minimum amount of instruction. Health education is not required for high school graduation.

Curriculum Content: The state adopted the Health Education Standards (2009), which includes the rationale, standards, and major content areas for comprehensive health education for local districts to use in developing their own curricula.

ARS 15-718 (2005) requires all school districts to incorporate skin cancer prevention into existing health education curricula.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


California

Last Updated: 2/16/2009
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Mandates: California has several specific requirements for health education. Education Code 51210 (1976/2001) requires instruction in grades 1 through 6 in "health, including instruction in the principles and practices of individual, family, and community health." Education Code 51934 (2003) requires HIV/AIDS prevention instruction to all pupils in grades 7 to 12 at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school. Education Code 51220.5 (1992/1993) requires parenting education to be included in either grade 7 or grade 8. Education Code 51262 (1986/1994) encourages a lesson on the effects of anabolic steroids in grades 7 to 12. Education Code 51202 (1976/1992) requires instruction on personal and public safety and accident prevention; the effects of the use of tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, dangerous drugs, and other dangerous substances; venereal disease; and prenatal care at the appropriate elementary and secondary grade levels." A number of other provisions to support effective substance abuse and gang prevention are contained in Education Codes 51260 to 51269 (1986/90).


Last Updated: 9/30/2012

Some sections of the Education Code express general support for school health education but do not establish mandates. Education Code 51880-81.5 (1977), also known as the Comprehensive Health Education Act," contain a strong endorsement of K-12 health education: The Legislature finds and declares that an adequate health education program in the public schools is essential to continued progress and improvement in the quality of public health in this state, and the Legislature further believes that comprehensive health education, taught by properly trained persons, is effective in the prevention of disease and disability." However, this law does not actually require any additional health education in California. Education Code 51890 (1977/2003) also discusses the goals for K-12 comprehensive health education but does not establish mandates.

Health coursework is not one of the requirements for high school graduation listed in Education Code 51225.3 (1985/2000), although two years of physical education are required.

Curriculum Content:  The Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools (2008) provide guidance for local school districts to develop health education curricula. The Health Framework for California Public Schools (2003) provides voluntary guidelines to districts and schools, including additional supporting information and an update of school health laws.

State Assessment Requirement: None specified.


Colorado

Last Updated: 11/9/2010

Mandate: Colorado does not require students to take coursework in health education, nor is it a requirement for graduation.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum framework . The Department of Education provides curriculum guidance in the Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Standards (2009). In the Colorado Comprehensive Health Education Act, Statute 22-25-104 (2000) the legislature declared that comprehensive health education is an essential element of public education in the state of Colorado" and encouraged every school district to voluntarily provide a pre K-12 grade planned, sequential health education program.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Connecticut

Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Mandate: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b (1997) of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) requires instruction in health education, but does not specify grades, levels or amounts. However, each local and regional board of education must offer health and other curriculum that is planned, ongoing and systematic. The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas. Commencing with classes graduating in 2018, one-half credit in health and safety education, as described in section10-16b, will be required for graduation from high school (PA 10-111). 

Curriculum Content: The state does not have coursework requirements in health education in order to graduate from high school. However, Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b defines what content must be offered in health and safety education. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) defines what students should know and be able to do in grades prek-12. This curriculum framework provides content standards and performance indicators for health and safety education, HIV/AIDS and alcohol, nicotine and tobacco prevention education.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


District of Columbia

Last Updated: 4/22/2013
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Mandate: Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires all schools to provide health instruction within a planned, sequential, pre-K-12 comprehensive school health education curriculum that includes the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health and well-being. The Rule defines comprehensive school health education and specifies eleven required content areas (specified under Curriculum content).

Section 402 § 38-824.02 requires public schools and public charter schools to provide health education to students in Grades Kindergarten through 8 as follows: (1) School years 2010-2011 to 2013-2014: an average of at least 15 minutes per week or the same level of health education as provided in school year 2009-2010, whichever is greater; and (2) School year 2014-2015 and after: an average of at least 75 minutes per week.

Section 602 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires that on or before January 15 of each year, each public school and public charter school must submit information about the average amount of weekly health education that students receive in each grade to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. This information must be posted online if the school has a website and make the form available to parents in its office. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education is required to post the information on its website within 14 days of receipt.

Curriculum Content:  Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires instruction in the following content areas of health education: HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; Human sexuality and family; Prevention and control of disease; Nutrition and dietary patterns that contribute to disease; Tobacco, alcohol, and other drug education; Physical education; Parenting; Coping with life situations; CPR, first aid, safety; injury and violence prevention; Consumer health; and Environmental health.

Section 402 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 states that the health education required by this section shall meet the curricular standards adopted by the State Board of Education. DC State Board of Education adopted Health Education Standards in 2007.
 


Delaware

Last Updated: 1/11/2010
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Mandate: Delaware State Board of Education Administrative Code 14:851 (2009) requires schools to provide instruction to students in grades K-12 in health education and to follow the Delaware Health Education Standards (2008). Students in grades K-4 must receive a minimum of 30 hours of comprehensive health education and family life education" in each grade. The health education requirement increases to 35 hours in grade 5 and grade 6, and a total 60 hours within grades 7 and 8. Administrative Code 14:505 (2004) requires high school students to complete 1/2 credit in health education coursework in order to graduate.


Last Updated: 9/30/2012

Curriculum Content: Administrative Code 14:501 (2004) provides the formal approval of the state content standards in health education, which are embedded within the Delaware Recommended Curriculum for Health Education. The recommended scope and sequence with representative units, assessments and transfer tasks must be demonstrated through grade clusters showing Delaware standards, explicitly based on the National Health Education Standards, grade cluster expectations and enduring understandings    Units of instruction are based on priority health risk behaviors of children and adolescents and must be addressed to reduce risk behavior and promote healthy outcomes.


Florida

Last Updated: 3/27/2013
Mandate: Statute 1003.41 (2010) specifies that “Public K-12 educational instruction in Florida is based on the ‘Sunshine State Standards’” including the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) adopted by the State Board of Education. The standards delineate the academic achievement of students, for which the state will hold schools accountable, in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9-12.
 
Statute 1003.42 (2010) requires comprehensive health education that addresses concepts of community health; consumer health; environmental health; family life, including an awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy; mental and emotional health; injury prevention and safety; Internet safety; nutrition; personal health; prevention and control of disease; and substance use and abuse. The health education curriculum for students in grades 7 through 12 shall include a teen dating violence and abuse component that includes, but is not limited to, the definition of dating violence and abuse, the warning signs of dating violence and abusive behavior, the characteristics of healthy relationships, measures to prevent and stop dating violence and abuse, and community resources available to victims of dating violence and abuse.

There is no stand alone health education course required for graduation. However, Statute 1003.428 includes the following language regarding the inclusion of health education within the required physical education credit: “One credit in physical education to include integration of health.” Districts may  choose the Health Education Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) course which contains health education content and skills or the physical education Personal Fitness course and a physical education activity course which include health-related fitness skills to meet this requirement.

Curriculum Content
The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) which are based on the National Health Education Standards, describe the state’s learning expectations for grades 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9-12..

State Assessment Requirement: No policy.

 


Georgia

Last Updated: 7/18/2013

Mandate: Georgia Code 20-2-142 (no date available) requires the State Board of Education to prescribe a course of study in health and physical education for all grade levels. State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.12 (2011), adopted by the Georgia State Board of Education, requires a minimum of 90 contact hours of instruction at each grade level K-5 in health and physical education. Each school containing any grade 6-12 shall make available instruction in health and physical education. State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.47 (2002) requires high school students to complete one unit of Health and Physical Education (out of 22 units) in order to graduate.

Curriculum Content: The state has adopted standards, the Quality Core Curriculum and Student Competencies, found in State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.01 (2002). The eight standards for health education, written in general terms, are based on the National Health Education Standards. The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum, nor does it provide suggestions.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Hawaii

Last Updated: 7/22/2013

Mandate: State Board of Education Policy 2100 (1999) charges the Department of Education with providing an academic program that will allow students to take part in learning experiences that include health and fitness, however, no specific content, grades, or levels are specified. Students are required to complete credit in health education newly-developed proficiency based for high school graduation per State Board of Education Policy 4540 (2004).

The state Wellness Guidelines (2006), which schools are require to implement over a four year period through 2010-11, require 45 minutes of standards-based health education classes per week for grades K-3, 55 minutes per week for grades 4-5, 107 minutes per week for elementary grade 6, and 200 minutes per week for secondary grades 6-12. 

Curriculum Content: The state has adopted Content and Performance Standards for Health (2005). However, Hawaii does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Iowa

Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Mandate: Code 256.11 (2005) and 281 IAC 12.5 specifies that schools teach about health topics in grades 1-12, although it does not address amounts of instruction. More detail about the required health instructional topics is included in the school accreditation standards. The policies also mandate that the high school program include one unit of credit of health education, but the state does not require that students complete the course for graduation.

Curriculum Content: 281 IAC 12.5(1) pre-kindergarten program specifies the program shall help children work and play with others, to express themselves, to learn to use and manage their bodies, and to extend their interests and understanding of the world about them. In section 12.5(2) states that the program shall include experiences designed to develop healthy emotional and social habits and protect and increase physical well-being with experiences relating to the development of life skills and human growth and development. The Department of Education provides a list of age-appropriate and research-based materials and resources which schools and school districts may use to update their  human growth and development curricula, including health and wellness literacy. 

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Idaho

Last Updated: 2/25/2013

Mandate: Statute 33-1605 (no date available) requires all school districts to provide instruction in health and physical fitness. State Board of Education Administrative Rule 08.02.03.104 (1997) requires instruction in health education for students in grades K- 8. State Board of Education Administrative Rule 08.02.03.105.01 (2010) (page 13) requires a one credit course in positive health habits for graduation from high school.

Curriculum Content: The Idaho Content Standards for Health Education (2010) sets uniform content standards for health education for elementary, middle, and high school. Curriculum review is conducted in six year cycles as documented in State Board of Education Administrative Rule 08.02.03.128.01 (page 32).

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Illinois

Last Updated: 12/26/2012

Mandate: The Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act, 105 ILCS 110/3 (2009), and  State Board of Education 23 Illinois Administrative Code Ch. 1, Section 420 (2005) requires all Illinois elementary and secondary schools to provide health education instruction. ISBE, Rules on Instructional Program, Section n (Health Education) – 1.420 Subtitle A, Subchapter a requires students to take 16 weeks of health during the middle school (or junior high) years and another 16 weeks during high school.  The 16 weeks can be divided any way within the middle school years and within the high school years (i.e., 8 weeks in 7th grade, 8 weeks in 8th grade;  4 weeks in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades, etc.)  The daily time spent should be equivalent to that of any other academic subject.  

General health education topics required in 105 ILCS 110/3 (2009) include human ecology and health, human growth and development, public and environmental health, consumer health, safety education and disaster survival, personal health habits, early prevention and detection of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and information about cancer, including without limitation types of cancer, signs and symptoms, risk factors, the importance of early prevention and detection, and dating violence. 

The state does not have a specific health education requirement for high school graduation.

Curriculum Content: In 1997, the state approved the Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health.

State Assessment Requirement: No state policy.


Indiana

Last Updated: 9/30/2012

Mandate: Indiana's health education requirements found in Code 20-30-5-7 (2005) directs school corporations (local school districts) to provide health education without specifying grades, levels, or amounts of instruction. Code 20-30-5-8 (2005) requires that A course in safety education for no less than one full semester shall be taught in the eighth grade of each public and nonpublic school."

Code 20-30-5-9 (2005) mandates that the principles of hygiene and sanitary science shall be taught in the fifth grade of each public school and may be taught in other grades; this instruction must explain the ways of dangerous communicable diseases are spread and the sanitary methods for disease prevention and restriction." Code 20-30-5-10 (2005) says that each school board shall provide in each of their public schools for the illustrative teaching of the spread of disease by rats, flies, and mosquitoes, and its effects, and of disease prevention by the proper selection and consumption of food," again without specifying grade levels or amounts of instruction. It goes on to say, A school official who fails to comply with this section commits a Class C infraction."

Code 20-30-5-15 (2005) requires school corporations to include in the high school health education curriculum instruction regarding breast cancer and testicular cancer as adopted by the state board, including the significance of early detection of these diseases through monthly self-examinations and, in the case of breast cancer, regularly-scheduled mammographies." Code 20-30-5-16 (2005) requires the high school health education curriculum to include instruction regarding the human organ donor program and blood donor program." Finally, 511 IAC 6-7-6.1 (2000) (also found in graduation requirement table) requires students who enter high school in 2000-2001 to complete at least one credit (out of 24) of coursework in health in order to graduate.

Curriculum Content: In December 2002 the Indiana State Board of Education formally adopted the Indiana Academic Standards for Health Education (2007), which is aligned with the National Health Education Standards. Schools are not required to follow a specific curriculum, but the document includes suggested examples.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Kansas

Last Updated: 7/22/2013

Mandate: Statute 72-1101 (1979) mandates that every accredited elementary school teach health and hygiene." The minimally stated law does not provide any further detail. For graduation from high school, Regulation 91-31-35 (2005) requires one unit of physical education, which shall include health and may include safety, first aid, or physiology."

Regulation 91-31-32 (2005) requires that as a prerequisite for accreditation, each school should provide physical education, which shall include instruction in health and human sexuality." 

Curriculum Content:  The state does not have a required or suggested curriculum.  However, the Department of Education encourages the use of the Kansas Model Curricular Standards for Health Education (2007) to plan and implement health education in the schools.

State Assessment Requirement: No state policy.


Kentucky

Last Updated: 5/19/2013

Mandate: Kentucky schools must follow the Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Kentucky Schools Grades P-12 (2010), which outlines minimum state education requirements and provides curriculum guidelines. The standards require health education for students in primary, intermediate, and middle school, although the amount of instruction is not specified. In addition, high school students must complete a unit of health and a unit of physical education to graduate. 

Curriculum Content:The Kentucky Board of Education's Learning Goals and Academic Expectations detail the state's standards for health, which are imbedded within the “Practical Living” content area.

KRS 158.301 (2006) encourages each public school to provide age-appropriate education to all students on the risks associated with exposure to ultraviolet rays from natural sunlight and artificial sources.  The education should be included in the existing health curriculum. [DW: 156.160(1) (a) does not explicitly relate to health curriculum] The curriculum should include the facts, statistics, causes and impact of skin cancer and strategies and behaviors to reduce individual risk for skin cancer.

Assessment Requirement: No state requirement.


Louisiana

Last Updated: 9/5/2013

Mandate: RS 17:154 (1998) requires elementary schools to teach health education, including alcohol, tobacco, drug, and substance abuse prevention and education. It also requires every secondary school to provide instruction in alcohol, tobacco, drug, and substance abuse prevention and education. 

LAC 28:CXV.2313.F (the Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, 2008) requires 150 minutes of instruction per week in health, music, arts, and crafts for grades 1-6, and 250 minutes per week in grades 7-8. LAC 28: CXV.2318 requires that each student complete one half credit in health for public high school graduation. The Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators (2005), requires 2 units of health and physical education for non-public high school graduation. (2008)

RS 17:404 (1994) requires a minimum of 16 hours per year of substance abuse prevention education per year for grades K-9 and a minimum of 8 hours of substance abuse prevention education for students in grades 10-12. RS 17:275 (1980) states that all public junior and senior high schools shall provide instruction to all female students in the proper procedure for breast self-examination and the need for an annual Pap test for cervical cancer, although no student shall be required to take such instruction if his parent or tutor submits a written statement indicating that such instruction conflicts with religious beliefs of the student. RS 17:279 (1993) Requires all public high schools to provide instruction in parenthood education; instruction must include “family living and community relationships, the consequences of the lack of adequate prenatal care, home management, and the responsibilities of parenthood. RS 17:1702 (2006) Requires all city, parish and local school boards to disseminate information on meningococcal meningitis and vaccines to parents and guardians; DOE and DHH shall develop and make available information to each city, parish, and other local public school board that provides information relative to immunizations, which shall provide such information to each student's parent or legal guardian.

Curriculum Content: Bulletin 103 outlines Louisiana’s Health Education Content Standards (2011).
 

Massachusetts

Last Updated: 4/7/2014

Mandate: General Law 71.1 (no date available) requires all schools to provide instruction in health education, but grade levels or amounts of instruction are not specified. High school students are not required to complete specified units of health education to graduate.

 

Curriculum Content: General Law 71.1 specifies that, instruction in health education shall include, but shall not be limited to: consumer health, ecology, community health, body structure and function, safety, nutrition, fitness and body dynamics, dental health, emotional development, and training in the administration of first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation." The Common Core of Learning (1994) outlines the state's basic standards for students and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework (1999) provides a more detailed vision of standards for what students should be able to learn and know in health education in grades preK-12. The framework serves as a suggested curriculum for local schools. The School Health Manual (2007) includes topics on the school's role in child and adolescent health, school health services, and prevention and health promotion, and provides further detail on policy and practice in the state.  

 

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Maryland

Last Updated: 8/5/2012

Mandate: Code 7-401 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland (hereinafter referred to as 'Maryland Code') (1978) mandates that each county board of education, with the assistance of the county health department, shall establish a school health program that includes school health services, health education, and healthful school environments, including the importance of physical activity in maintaining good health. Health Education is also addressed in 2-205, 7-407, 7-409 (2005) and 7-411 of the Maryland Code.

State Board of Education Regulation 13A.04.18.01 (1990) mandates that students in grades K-8 shall receive instruction in comprehensive health education each year, although the amount of instruction is not specified. It also requires schools to offer comprehensive health education in grades 9-12. State Board of Education Regulation 13A.03.02.04 (1985) requires high school students to complete 1/2 credit of health coursework for graduation.

Curriculum Content: Required goals and sub-goals for a skills-based comprehensive health education program are detailed in State Board of Education Regulation 13A.04.18.02 (1994). Maryland also reports that it has a voluntary state curriculum for health education, which addresses content and will be included in the National Assessment Project.

HB9 (2012) encourages county boards of education to incporporate age-appropriate lessons on dating violence and diabetes and its treatment and prevention into the health education curriculum.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Maine

Last Updated: 6/3/2013

Mandate: Statutes Title 20-A 4711 (2009) and 4721 (2009) require schools to provide instruction to students in elementary and secondary levels, however, grades or amount of time are not specified. According to Statute Title 20-A 4723 (1983), the secondary course of study shall include instruction in health, safety and physical education, as prescribed by the commissioner, and physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants and narcotics upon the human system."

Education Rule Chapter 132 (2007), adopted by the Maine State Board of Education, provides standards for health and physical education (beginning on page 33). Chapter 127 (2002) requires. 5 credit hours in Health and 1 credit hour in Physical Education in order to graduate. However, students must demonstrate proficiency in the health education standards from the Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction.

Curriculum Content: Chapter 127 requires instruction to be given in the following 10 content areas:  community health, consumer health, environmental health, family life, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health including mental and emotional health, prevention and control of disease and disorders, safety and accident prevention which may include CPR, and  substance abuse, including the effects of alcohol, drinks, stimulants, and narcotics upon the human system.

State Assessment Requirement: Title 20-A Chapter 207-A & Chapter 222 §6209  provide guidance on the instruction standards and assessment requirements for health education.


Michigan

Last Updated: 8/14/2011

Mandate: MCL 380.1502 (1993), referred to as Act 451, states that, health and physical education for pupils of both sexes shall be established and provided in all public schools of this state."

MCL 380.1278a (2003) (Michigan Merit Curriculum) requires one credit of health and physical education for graduation. Schools have flexibility in how they meet the requirement.

The Michigan State Board of Education's nonbinding Policy on Comprehensive School Health Education (2004) recommends that each school adopt, implement, and evaluate a research-based, theory driven comprehensive health education program and that schools provide at least 50 hours of health education at every grade, pre-K through 12. The state board also adopted the Policy on Quality Character Education (2004) to promote healthy, safe, and supportive learning environments.

Curriculum Content: The State Board of Education approved Health Education Content Standards and Benchmarks in 1998.  The Content Standards were revised in 2006. While the state does not require local districts to follow a specific curriculum, the Department of Education has developed Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE) (2006) in health education for grades K-8 and High School Merit Credit Guidelines (2007). The State Board's Policy on Integrating Mental Health in School (2010) recommends schools implement a research-based health education curriculum such as the Michigan Model for Health.

State Assessment Requirement: No statewide exam is required. The Michigan State Board of Education recommends in its Policy on Comprehensive School Health Education (2004), that student work in health education courses be regularly assessed and graded using only performance-based items that are aligned with the health education content standards, curriculum, and instruction; that course grades should be determined in the same manner as other subject areas; and that such grades should be included in calculations of grade point average, class rank, and academic recognition programs such as honor roll.


Minnesota

Last Updated: 10/1/2012

Mandate: Statute 120B.021 (2005) requires health education and assigns the responsibility of developing standards to local districts.

Curriculum Content: Standards are to be developed locally. The state has developed health education standards and benchmarks (2010) to assist local districts as they develop their own standards.

State Assessment Requirement: Local districts are required to develop assessments for health education.


Missouri

Last Updated: 8/28/2013

Mandate: The Missouri School Improvement Program, which includes school accreditation standards (2001), requires that elementary schools provide comprehensive health education that meets the state's academic standards. Junior high/middle schools must teach health (including tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse prevention education, and HIV/AIDS prevention education) and safety education" for a minimum of 1,500 minutes each year. High schools must offer at least unit of health education out of 40.5 units. However, students are not required to complete a course in health education for high school graduation.

Curriculum Content: Revised Statute 160.514 (1993) requires the State Board of Education to develop academic standards and voluntary curriculum frameworks, and requires all schools to adopt or develop a written curriculum that meets the standards. 5 CSR 50-375.100 (1996) lists the Show-Me" academic standards for health and physical education. The state's voluntary framework is Missouri's Framework for Curriculum Development in Health Education and Physical Education (2009).

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Mississippi

Last Updated: 12/28/2013

MandateMandateCode 37-13-134 (2007) and State Board of Education Policy 4012 (2008) requires 45 minutes of instruction in health education for grades K-8.  The Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards (2012) requires ½ unit requirement of health education for graduation.  JROTC or Allied Health/Health science credit may be accepted in lieu of a comprehensive health or individual/family health course. Code 37-13-21 (1972) authorizes the state board of health and the various county health departments to establish and provide for health education programs in the public schools and to employ county health educators. Code 37-13-135 (1990) requires the Commission on School Accreditation to encourage local school districts to develop plans for implementing comprehensive school health education.

 

Curriculum Content: The Mississippi Comprehensive Health Framework (2006) serves as a guideline for Comprehensive health teachers. The framework provides minimum content standards, which must be taught by the teachers, to ensure that all students will gain the information and skills necessary to make quality age appropriate health decisions.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Montana

Last Updated: 10/29/2013

Mandates: In Montana, elementary, middle/junior high, and high school students are required to take health enhancement courses per standards for school accreditation outlined in State Board of Public Education Administrative Rule 10.54.2501 (2001). State Board of Public Education Administrative Rule 10.55.905 (2013) requires high school students to complete 1 unit of health enhancement, with one-half unit each year, for two years. (Note: In the Montana School Accreditation Standards, the traditional disciplines of ‘health education’ and ‘physical education’ are combined into one content area called Health Enhancement. Simply put, Health Enhancement is a health outcome approach (rather than a performance outcome approach) that uses the combination of classroom and activity-based instruction to mutually reinforce the content mater in each of the two disciplines.)

Curriculum Content: With State Board of Public Education Administrative Rule 10.54.7010-7073 (1999), the State Board adopted the Health Enhancement K-12 Content and Performance Standards for grade levels (by end of grade 4, 8 and 12). The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


North Carolina

Last Updated: 9/17/2013
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Mandate: Statute §115C-81 (2003) requires North Carolina schools to provide comprehensive health education in Kindergarten through grade 9, though the law does not specify amounts of instructional time. State Board of Education Policy GCS-N-004 16 NCAC 6D.0503 (2002) requires high school students to complete 1 credit (out of 20) in health and physical education in order to graduate. (Details are also provided in NC Course of Study Graduation Requirements table.

Curriculum Content: North Carolina's Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) includes standards and a recommended curriculum which districts are expected to follow.

 

 

State Assessment Requirement: None specified.


North Dakota

Last Updated: 12/13/2012

Mandate: Code 15.1-21 (no date available) requires health education to be provided to students. For purposes of high school graduation, grades 9-12 require 1 unit of physical education, of which ½ unit may be health, for high school graduation according to NDCC 15.1-21.

Curriculum Content: The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has approved K-12 content and achievement standards for health education as of September 2008. The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum framework.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Nebraska

Last Updated: 11/27/2011

Mandate: 92 NAC 10-004.02A5 (no date available) for elementary school and 92 NAC 10-004.03A6 (no date available) for middle school requires instruction in health education. 92 NAC 10-004.04B7 (no date available) requires that the high school program include 20 instructional units" (out of a total of 400) or two years of daily classes or the equivalent in personal health and physical fitness. 92 NAC 10-004.04B6 (no date available) requires that the high school program include 80 instructional units" of Career and Technical Education that includes Health Occupations.

Curriculum Content: 92 NAC 10-004.02A5, 92 NAC 10-004.03A6, and 92 NAC 10-004.04B6 outline the required K-12 curriculum for Nebraska schools. While the state has not formally adopted standards for health education, Nebraska Health Education Frameworks (1998) is the recommended curriculum framework.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


New Hampshire

Last Updated: 6/3/2013

Mandate: State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.40 (2005) requires local boards to ensure that there is instruction in elementary, middle, and high school in health education. The rule contains a brief summary of required topics. State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.26 (2005) gives local school boards the authority to adopt instructional time requirements for K-8 health education. State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.27 (2005) requires that high school students complete credit in health education coursework in order to graduate (out of 20 required), and at least credits of health education courses must be offered by each high school.

Curriculum Content: The state developed voluntary Health Education Curriculum Guidelines (2003), based on the National Health Education Standards, to provide districts and schools a model of standards-based instruction and assessment.

State Assessment Requirement: None, though the Health Education Curriculum Guidelines contains recommendations for local assessment.


New Jersey

Last Updated: 12/26/2011
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Mandate:   N.J.S.A.  18A:35-7 (1967) requires every pupil, except those in kindergarten, attending public schools to take courses in health education. N.J.S.A. 18A:35-8 (1967) require that all students in grades one through twelve participate in 150 minutes of instruction in health, safety, and physical education in each school week.  State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1 (2002) clarifies this to mean that high school students must earn at least 3.75 credits in health, safety, and physical education during each year of enrollment (a total of 110 credits are required to graduate).

New Jersey has also legislated a number of content-specific mandates, including instruction on breast self examination in grades 7-12 (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.4, 1999); Lyme disease prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.1, 1991); accident and fire prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-2, 1967); suicide prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-112 (2005); domestic violence prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.23 (2003), and cancer awareness (N.J.S.A. 18A:40-32 and 18A:40-33, 1993). N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-4.3 (2008) also requires secondary schools to provide curriculum regarding the donation of lifesaving and life enhancing organs and tissues, as well as dispelling myths, providing accurate information about donation, and emphasizing indivudal responsibility.   

Other: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.7 provides that “portions of classes which deal exclusively with human sexuality may be conducted in separate developmentally appropriate sessions for male and female students, provided that the course content for such separately conducted sessions is the same.”


Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Curriculum Content: To help districts and schools reconcile these mandates, the state department of education developed the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009). Pursuant to State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.1 (2002), the CCCS "define what all student should know and be able to do by the end of their public school education." Additionally, State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1 (2002) states, "district boards of education must ensure that curriculum and instruction are designed and delivered in such a way that all students are able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills specified by the Core Curriculum Content Standards." In other words, the standards are mandatory.

The standards are accompanied by a framework that is designed to suggest a variety of activities and strategies that may assist in the development of local curricula aligned with the CCCS. The New Jersey Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Curriculum Framework (2009) provides detailed suggestions for instructional strategies and assessment methods.
 
State Assessment Requirement: None.

New Mexico

Last Updated: 12/27/2011

Mandate: 22-13-1.1 NMSA (1978) requires students entering the eighth grade in 2012-13 and beyond to complete a course in health education prior to graduation. Thise course may be required in either middle school or high school, according to the district.  22-13-1 NMSA (1978) requires students in grades 1-12 to receive instruction in health education.

6.12.6 NMAC (2006) requires local school districts to adopt wellness policies that address student and school employee wellness through a coordinated school health approach which shall include a planned, sequential, K-12 health education curriculum that addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health and is aligned to the health education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as set forth in 6.30.2.19 NMAC.

Curriculum Content: 6.29.6.8  NMAC (2009) outlines content standards with Benchmarks and Performance Standards for Health Education K-12. Each local school district is required to develop a K-12 Health Education curriculum that is aligned to NMPED Health Education Standards content standards (1997, revised 2006), with benchmarks and performance standards.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Nevada

Last Updated: 9/9/2009

Mandate: NRS 389.018 (2003) requires health education be taught, as practicable, in all public schools. Various sections within State Board of Education Administrative Code 389.2423, 389.281, 389.2944, 389.381, and 389.455 (2000) require instruction in health for students in grades 2, 3, 5, and 8. In addition, Administrative Code 389.664 (2002) requires that high school students must earn credit in health (out of 22) in order to graduate.

Curriculum Content: The various provisions of Board of Education Administrative Code 389.281, 389.2944, 389.381, 389.2425 and 389.455 also include student performance standards for health for grades 2, 3, 5, 8 and 12. The state department of education's website offers documents that summarize the Health Content Standards (2000). Schools are not required to follow a specific curriculum.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


New York

Last Updated: 9/9/2013

MandateNew York State Commissioner's Regulation 135.3 (2004) requires local school boards to provide health education in elementary and secondary schools that shall include, but shall not be limited to, the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. State Board of Education Regulation 100.3(a) (2004) and100.4(b) (2004) outline program requirements for students in grades 1-4 and 5-8, respectively, which include required instruction in health education. One half-unit course in health education is required for students in grade 7 or 8. Regulation 100.5 (2004) requires high school students to earn 1/2 unit in health education (out of 22) in order to graduate.

Curriculum Content: The New York State Board of Regents Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences (1996) outlines learning standards for health education at three tier levels (Elementary, Intermediate, and Commencement). Local school districts are not required to follow a specific curriculum.

 
State Assessment Requirement: None.

Ohio

Last Updated: 4/22/2013

Mandate: ORC §3313.60 (2001) requires schools to offer a curriculum that includes health education coursework, however, there are no specifics about grades, levels, or amounts of instructional time. ORC §3313.603 (2001) requires high school students to complete ½ unit of coursework in health in order to graduate.

Curriculum Content: None.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Oklahoma

Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Mandate: Schools in Oklahoma are not required to provide instruction in health education at any level. Health education is not a high school graduation requirement. However, Statute 70-11-103.6 (2005) strongly recommends high schools encourage students to complete two units of health and physical education.

Curriculum Content:
 The state has formally approved standards for what students should be able to learn and know, called the Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) Integrated Curriculum: Health, Safety and Physical Education (2002). The standards are clustered into grades 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12.

State Assessment Requirement: 
None


Oregon

Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Mandate: OAR 581-022-1210 (2005) requires school districts to provide a K-12 instructional program that includes health education. OAR 581-022-1130 (2002) requires students to complete 1 unit of coursework in health education in order to graduate from high school.

Curriculum Content
The Health Education Standards (2005) provides standards for students in grades K-12 and provides benchmarks for grades 3, 5, 8, and high school in nine specific areas. OAR 581-022-1210 requires each district to have a planned K-12 instructional program with common curriculum goals and content standards in health education.

State Assessment Requirement
None.


Pennsylvania

Last Updated: 9/13/2013

Mandate: 022 PA Code 4.21 (1999) requires planned instruction in health education aligned to the academic standards for each year in the elementary grades, although the amount of instructional time is not specified. 022 PA Code 4.22 (1999) requires health instruction in middle schools, but does not specify grade levels or amounts of time. Similarly 022 PA Code 4.23 (1999) requires health instruction in high schools, but does not specify grade levels or amounts. 022 PA Code 57.31 (1988) requires the completion of one health and physical education credit for high school students to graduate.

Curriculum Content: The Academic Standards for Health, Safety, and Physical Education (2003) describe what students should know and be able to do by the end of third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades. The standards are mandated and binding. Schools are not required to follow a specific curriculum but are required to use the standards as a curricular framework for the development of the local curriculum.  Local districts are required to develop performance assessments for their districts.

State Assessment RequirementNo specific policy. However, school districts, according to 022 PA Code 4.12(h)(1999), are required to assess individual student attainment of the academic standards.  School districts are required by 022 PA Code 4.52 (1999) to develop and implement a local assessment system.

Rhode Island

Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Mandate: Statute 16-22-4 (1956) requires health and physical education instruction in grades 1 through 12 for an average of at least 20 minutes in each school day. Health education is not listed among the state’s high school graduation requirements. 

Section 2.1 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009), approved by the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, requires that all public and private schools “have a comprehensive school health program consisting of health education, health services and a healthful school environment, approved by the State Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.” This section also establishes local accountability to ensure program implementation; the development of local manuals of procedure; the assignment of adequate personnel; and reports to the state.

Curriculum Content: Statute 16-22-4 (2008) requires the required health education curriculum to be based on the health education standards of the Rhode Island Health Education Framework: Health Literacy for All Students (2010). 

Statute 16-1-5 (2004) assigns the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a state mandated health education curriculum in grades K-12 and a mandated assessment program in areas of health and fitness. This requirement is satisfied by Section 5 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009). The rules outline the state’s Mandated Health Instructional Outcomes: Required Content Areas and provide for formal approval of Rhode Island Health Education Framework: Health Literacy for All Students (2010), which contains standards and student performance descriptions (performance indicators) and is based on the National Health Education Standards.

Rhode Island’s Early Learning Standards  framework for early childhood programs includes standards for Physical Health and Development.

More specifically, Statute 16-22-15 (1987) requires a cardiopulmonary resuscitation training course for students and Statute 16-22-16 (1987) requires a blocked air passage training course.

Statutes 16-2-9(a) and 16-21-28 (2005) requires that the school committee of each school district establish a school health and wellness subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged with making recommendations regarding health education curriculum and instruction, physical education curriculum and instruction, and nutrition and physical activity policies. This subcommittee is to be chaired by a member of the school committee, and consist of a majority of non-school employees, including at least one parent.

State Assessment Requirement: None specified.


South Carolina

Last Updated: 6/3/2012
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Mandate: The Comprehensive Health Education Act Code of Laws 59-32-30 (2002) requires students in grades Kindergarten through 8 to receive instruction in health each year, and for students in grades 9 through 12 to receive instruction at least once.  Time requirements are 75 minutes weekly for elementary school, and 250 minutes per week for nine weeks for middle school. For grades 9-12, at least at least one time during the four years each student must receive instruction in comprehensive health education, including at least 750 minutes of reproductive health education and pregnancy prevention education. State Board of Education Regulation R 43-238 (1992) provides various options for the delivery of instruction in grades 9-12, although students are not explicitly required to take health in order to graduate.


Last Updated: 1/18/2012

Code 59-10-320 (2005) requires the State Department of Education to make available to each district a coordinated school health model to address children's health issues, including health education. The Department of Education is required to develop or adopt an assessment program to evaluate district and school health education programs, to be implemented by the 2008-09 school year.

Curriculum Content: The Board of Education adopted the Health and Safety Education Curriculum Standards in 2000. The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum, nor does it provide one.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


South Dakota

Last Updated: 1/1/2013

Mandate: South Dakota schools are not required to provide instruction in health education at any specific grade level.  However, beginning with students who are freshman in the fall of 2013, a .5 unit of either health or health integration will be required for high school graduation (2009).

Curriculum Content: The State Board of Education approved voluntary South Dakota Health Education Standards (2010) that broadly and collectively articulate what students should know and be able to do to adopt or maintain health-enhancing behaviors. Knowledge of core health concepts and underlying principles of health promotion and disease prevention are included in Standard 1. Standards 2 through 8 identify key processes and skills that are applicable to healthy living. Each of the 8 health education standards include performance indicators that are specific to what students should know or be able to do in support of each standard by the conclusion of each of four grade spans. (Pre-K-Grade 2, Grade 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grade 9-12.)

There are nine health education content areas which are organized around a combination of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adolescent Risk Behaviors and traditional health education content areas. The content areas include: Alcohol and Other Drugs, Injury Prevention, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Family Life and Sexuality, Tobacco, Mental Health, Personal and Consumer Health and Community and Environmental Health. 
The state does not require or recommend a specific curriculum framework or curriculum materials.

State Assessment Requirement: None.

Tennessee

Last Updated: 12/29/2013

Mandate: The Rules of the State Board of Education, Minimum Requirements for the Approval of Public Schools 0520-1-3-.06 (2010) requires students in grades K-8 to receive health education annually, and  students in grades 9-12 to complete 1 unit of wellness that includes health and physical fitness. Graduation requirements include 1.5 credits of physical education and wellness.

Curriculum Content
: The state board of education provides required curriculum standards: Health Education Standards Grades: pre K – 8 (2008) and Lifetime Wellness: Grades: 9 – 12 (2009). 

The Tennessee State Board of Education Physical Activity Policy 4.206 (2005) requires, in subsequent years after 2006, that each LEA implement the Health Education Module of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) School Health Index (SHI) to plan and assess each school’s health education program. 

State Assessment Requirement
: None

 



Texas

Last Updated: 11/6/2012
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Mandate: Education Code §28.002 (2001) requires instruction in health education as part of the “enrichment curriculum” for Kindergarten through grade 12, subject to additional rules by the Texas State Board of Education. State Board of Education Administrative Code §74.1 (1998) specifies that each “district must ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and for students to learn… health [and] physical education” in grades K-8, but at the high school level school districts only need to offer a health course and maintain evidence that students have the opportunity to take the course. Per State Board of Education Administrative Code §74.41 (2010), high school students must earn at least ½ credits in health education or health science in order to graduate.

 

 

 

Last Updated: 9/24/2009

Curriculum Content: The state does not currently require that schools use a specific health education curriculum. However, State Board of Education Administrative Code §115 (1997) outlines the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education(1997), which are guidelines for instruction. Local school districts are free to decide for themselves what parts of the Health Education TEKS they choose to teach and the extent to which they choose to address a particular health topic. Also, under the terms of Statute §38.013 - §38.014 (2001), part of what is commonly referred to as “Senate Bill 19”, the Texas Education Agency is required to “make available to each school district a coordinated health program designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type II diabetes in elementary school students” and every school system is required to be trained in its implementation by 2007. To date, the TEA has approved the use of two specific curriculum programs that satisfy this requirement and the state is coordinating training opportunities in their use.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Utah

Last Updated: 2/8/2012

Mandate: The State Board of Education requires instruction in health education by grade levels (K-2, 3-6, 7-8, and 9-12) in R277-700 (2004). The rule includes a requirement for the completion of unit in grades 7-8, and at least unit for graduation, earned in grades 9-12.

Curriculum Content: As part of the Rule, the state board also established the Health Education Core - Secondary (2009) and Health Education Core - Elementary (1997), a set of standards for students in grades K-12. The Health Education Core also includes a suggested curriculum for schools to follow should they wish to do so.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Virginia

Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Mandate: Code §22.1-207 (1991) requires that “physical and health education shall be emphasized throughout the public school curriculum by lessons, drills and physical exercises, and all pupils in the public elementary, middle, and high schools shall receive as part of the educational program such health instruction and physical training as shall be prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the State Board of Health,” but the statute does not specify grades levels or amounts of instructional time. 8VAC20-320-10 (1980), adopted by the Virginia State Board of Education, requires that “elementary and secondary schools shall present a comprehensive health education program which focuses on instruction related to alcohol and drug abuse, smoking and health, personal growth and personal health, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, physical fitness, accident prevention, personal and family survival, environmental health, mental health, and consumer education,” but again grades levels or amounts of instructional time are not specified. 8VAC20-131-50 (2000) requires high school students to earn at least 2 credits in health and physical education (out of 22) in order to graduate.

Code §22.1-200 (1985) and 8VAC20-131-80 (2000) requires elementary schools to provide instruction in health education. 8VAC20-131-90 (2000) requires middle schools to provide instruction and 8VAC20-131-100 (2000) requires secondary schools to provide instruction.

 
Curriculum Content:Curriculum matters are left to the local schools, as outlined in 8VAC20-170-10 (1980). Code §22.1-253.13:1 (2003) provides the basis for the Health Education Standards of Learning (2008), which “delineate the concepts, processes, and skills for health education in kindergarten through grade 10 for Virginia’s public schools... Each school division’s school board is responsible for incorporating the Virginia Standards of Learning into its curriculum. The Health Education Standards of Learning do not prescribe the grade level at which the standards must be taught. The Board of Education recognizes that school divisions [school districts] will adopt an instructional sequence that best serves their own students.”
 

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Vermont

Last Updated: 3/26/2013

Mandate: 16 VSA 906 (1998) requires Physical education and comprehensive health education including the effects of tobacco, alcoholic drinks, and drugs on the human system and on society;" however grades, levels, or amount of instruction time are not specified. 16 VSA 131 (2005) defines a comprehensive health education program as a systematic and extensive elementary and secondary educational program designed to provide a variety of learning experiences based upon knowledge of the human organism as it functions within its environment;" but again this statute does not specify grades, levels, or amounts of instruction. Health education is not a coursework requirement for high school graduation.

Curriculum Content: The Vermont's Frameworks for Standards and Learning Opportunities (2000) and the Health Education Grade Expectations (2008) set health knowledge and skills standards for students in grades preK-12.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


Washington

Last Updated: 3/6/2012

Mandate: RCW 28A.150.210 (1993) requires health education, but grade levels and amounts of instruction are not specified. The state does not currently have graduation requirements for health education, however, in WAC 180-51-061 (2001) the Washington State Board of Education requires two credits of health and fitness courses (out of 19 required credits). Details are also provided in High School Graduation Requirements (2004).

Curriculum Content: State standards, called the Health and Fitness Essential Academic Learning Requirements (2002), provide guidelines for what students should be able to learn and know, as well as providing a suggested curriculum framework for schools. RCW 28A.210.360 (2004) requires each district board of directors to adopt a policy on access to nutritious foods and developmentally appropriate exercise by August 1, 2005, based on the model policy developed by the Washington state school directors association. This model policy addresses the availability of quality health education.

State Assessment Requirement: Students in Washington are not required to take a statewide assessment covering health education topics. However, there will be voluntary health & fitness assessments available in 2005-6, which will be mandatory in 2008-9 for middle and high school grades and in 2009-10 for elementary grades.


Wisconsin

Last Updated: 12/13/2012

Mandate: Statute 118.01 (1997) requires school to provide instruction in health education in elementary and secondary grades; however, grades, instructional time, and curriculum materials are local decisions. Statute 118.33 (2001) and Code PI 18.03 (1986) specify that students in grades 7 through 12 must complete at least credit of health education in order to graduate from high school. Statute 115.35 (1997) requires the State Department of Public Instruction to establish a program on health problems instruction" in order to provide assistance and guidance to local districts. Statute 121.02(i)(j) requires each school board to ensure that instruction in health education is provided by qualified teachers. Code PI 8.01(2)(j)1 requires health instruction to be provided in accordance with a written comprehensive health education curriculum which includes the curricular areas defined in ss.115.35 and 118.01 (2), It requires designation of a professional staff member as coordinator of health education. It also requires health education in grades K-6 must be under the direction of a licensed health teacher. In grades 7-12 health education must be conducted by or under the direction of a licensed health teacher must include one structured course in health taught by a licensed health teacher.

Curriculum Content: The Department of Public Instruction has published Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Health Education (2011), which are voluntary. Schools are not required to use a specific curriculum program.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


West Virginia

Last Updated: 3/14/2012

Mandate: State Board of Education Policy 2510 (2008) requires instruction in health education for students by level, K-2, 3-4, and 5-8, but does not specify amounts of instruction. The policy also requires students to complete 1 unit in health education in order to graduate from high school.

Curriculum Content:  State Board of Education Policy 2520.5 (2012), Health Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools, addresses health education content standards for grades 5-12 for topics of nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, drug and alcohol use, injury, and sexual activity. State Board Policy 2520.55 created wellness content standards for grades pre-K through 4, combining health education and physical education content standards into one package that are to be delivered collaboratively by the physical education specialist and classroom teacher.

State Assessment Requirement: In accordance with West Virginia Code §18-2-9, the West Virginia Department of Education shall provide a standardized health education assessment to be administered in sixth, eighth, and high school health education classes in order to measure student health knowledge and program effectiveness. §18-2-9 is reinforced through State Board of Education Policy 2520.5 (2012).


Wyoming

Last Updated: 8/30/2013

MandateStatute 21-9-101 requires each school district within the state to provide educational programs sufficient to meet uniform student content and performance standards at the level established by the state board of education in a variety of areas of knowledge and skills, including health and safety. Wyoming does not require students to complete a specified amount of health education. While not listed as a high school graduation requirement, students must demonstrate proficient performance in core knowledge and skills, including health education, to obtain approval to graduate.

Curriculum Content: The state mandates that districts meet the Wyoming Health Content and Performance Standards (2011). The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum framework, nor does it provide a suggested one. The standards specify what a student must master.

State Assessment Requirement: None.


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