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 and updated Physical 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.
- 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.
- Work with your school schedule at the elementary level and include a specific timeframe for health instruction during the day.
- Offer health education courses in middle and high school that ensure students can demonstrate mastery of skills and concepts articulated in Colorado’s Comprehensive Health Education Standards
School Board Members
- 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.
- Create health standards tools and lessons relevant to your school’s and peer’s needs.
- Design campaigns to create awareness, advocate for, and advertise health and how to be healthy.
- Plan and run assemblies to K-8.
- Use portfolios, presentations, and projects that you create in health education, science or family and consumer sciences classes to promote healthy messages throughout the entire school.
- Find and promote “Health Buddies”; keep each other accountable.
- Create Morning Announcements that are relevant to health; e.g. Health Tips, Wellness Videos
- Present information and presentations on the Comprehensive Health Content Standards.
- Talk to your school leaders about having an anti-bullying week or events throughout the year.
- Make connections between physical, social and emotional health (e.g. posters, presentations).
- Promote and model being healthy; promote the benefits with posters of the youth leaders in your school (e.g., similar to Got Milk? posters).
- 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:
Find research on the link between healthy students and positive academic outcomes.
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.
This site provides a hub of Comprehensive Health and Physical Education information and resources to support the academic achievement of all students in Colorado
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.
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.
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