Health Education Program
The goal of the K-12 Comprehensive Health Education Program is to support the development of the whole and healthy child. Major goals of health education include the development of skills, attitudes and functional knowledge that support physical, emotional and social wellness, as well as the prevention of substance abuse, bullying, violence and other risky behaviors. Health literate students are empowered with the knowledge and skills to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles over the course of their lifetimes.
Guiding Principles and Beliefs
Guiding principles form the basis of an effective comprehensive health education program. They drive all decisions related to instruction-- content, pedagogy, curriculum and assessment. They clearly define the attributes of a quality health curriculum at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
- Health education is a subject that is equally important as other core subjects. It is recognized as critical to students’ education and development. The time, instruction and support devoted to health education should be similar to that of other core subjects.
- Health education has specific content and skills that are crucial for students to know, understand, and be able to do in order to achieve and maintain optimal health and minimize negative health behaviors.
- Health education skills focus heavily on personal behaviors used in real-world interactions both inside and outside the school setting and throughout life.
- Instruction focuses not only on teaching content knowledge but on teaching skills, including: decision-making, problem-solving, accessing reliable health information, goal-setting, interpersonal communication and resistance skills, negotiation and refusal, assertiveness, advocacy and understanding the consequences of health decisions.
- Health education involves parents and families.
- Health education is unique in that it typically occurs in multiple arenas throughout the school setting. Students learn about health concepts in other classes such as science, social studies, and physical education as well as from other school service providers such as nutrition services professionals, counselors, and school nurses. These learning experiences can occur in structured class settings and through observation of and learning from adults.
- Effective health education engages many aspects of the school and the community at large. Health education should be collaborative, integrative and vital within a school system and community.
- Best practice in health education includes having certified and/or highly trained health educators teaching health at all levels.