Health Education Best Practices
A comprehensive approach to health education includes physical, social-emotional and personal wellness as well as high-risk behavior prevention, which includes injury, alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, violence, and bullying.
How does your district measure up?
- Our sequential, mastery-based, P12 health education curriculum is consistent with the new Comprehensive Health Education State Standards.
- The Joint Committee on National Health Education Standards recommends that students in Pre-K to grade 2 receive a minimum of 40 hours and students in grades 3 to 12 receive a minimum of 80 hours of instruction in health education per academic year.
- All health education units or modules are research-based or consistent with recognized best practices criteria, such as the Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum.
- Our health education staff is well-trained, utilizes experiential instructional strategies, and receives ongoing, current professional development.
- Our comprehensive health education curriculum is compliant with Colorado legislation, The Comprehensive Health Education Act of 1990 and The Healthy Youth Act, HB07-1292, and is science-based, culturally relevant and sensitive, medically accurate, and fosters a positive self-concept.
Districts & Schools
Some districts and schools in Colorado are leading the way to ensure students receive a comprehensive health education.
- Durango School District, Durango, Colorado
Coordinating a Comprehensive Approach to Healthier Schools
- Rural spotlight: Center School District, Center, Colorado
Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles
- Review the district’s current health education program. What areas of the program are strong? Deficient?
- Develop a plan for updating and strengthening the health education program district-wide. Be sure to reach out to the staff, students, parents and community for input.
- Make health education a priority across all grade levels.
- Integrate health education where possible within core curriculum.
- Engage the community to gain deeper insights into its priorities regarding health education and include an analysis of any community health behavior data.
- Develop a board policy to provide an equitable, safe, healthy, positive learning environment district-wide that teaches and practices lifelong wellness skills for the entire school community — students, teachers and administrators. Use the standards as a common, consistent, and age appropriate framework.
- Build awareness among constituents about what health education is and why it’s relevant to today’s students. See CDE’s Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Promotional Tools.
- Advocate for Pre-K to grade 2 students to receive a minimum of 40 hours and students in grades 3 to 12 to receive a minimum of 80 hours of health instruction annually.
- Develop partnerships with community organizations and health specialists who can complement the district’s approach to health education with additional resources, programs and professional development.
- Support student leadership/voice in health-related activities.
- Become a leader or a supporter of health education in your school district.
- Participate in conversations led by administrators and school board members about health education. Help identify community issues, priorities and values.
- Develop partnerships with districts to provide additional resources, programs and professional development focused on health education.
There’s a wealth of resources available to get you started. Among the most relevant to health education:
Colorado Department of Education — Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Standards
See state content standards that provide intentional opportunities to integrate and differentiate health concepts and skills.
Colorado Department of Education — Colorado Coalition for Healthy Schools
Find out more about comprehensive health education grants, guidelines and model policies.
Colorado Legacy Foundation’s Comprehensive Health & PE Standards promotional and instructional resources
Get a few resources to get started in using the standards to promote life-long healthy behaviors in all students.
Get comprehensive school health education programs and training for educators, parents and others committed to improving health. Resources include curricula and training, events, and standards and assessments. Click here to see a quick comparison of some of the programs RMC Health can support you in implementing.
Colorado Youth Matter
Get help selecting and implementing an evidence-based program.
EdNews Parent Colorado
Access news, tip sheets and background information on the most talked about issues affecting students, including healthy schools.
The Colorado Legacy Foundation believes that increased student achievement for all Colorado students requires effective leaders in every school, effective educators in every classroom, and healthy and engaged students who come to school ready to learn.