Formal, structured health education consists of a combination of planned learning experiences that provides opportunity to acquire information and skills needed to make quality health decisions. When taught by qualified, trained teachers, health education helps students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy, adopting health-enhancing behaviors, and promoting the health of others. Comprehensive school health education includes curricula and instruction for students in pre-K through grade 12 that address a variety of topics such as alcohol and other drug use and abuse, healthy eating/nutrition, mental and emotional health, personal health and wellness, physical activity, safety and injury prevention, sexual health, tobacco use, and violence prevention. Health education curricula and instruction should address the National Health Education Standards and incorporate the characteristics of an effective health education curriculum. Health education, based on an assessment of student health needs and planned in collaboration with the community, ensures reinforcement of health messages that are relevant for students and meet community needs. Students might also acquire health information through education that occurs as part of a patient visit with a school nurse, through posters or public service announcements, or through conversations with family and peers.
Health-risk behaviors such as violence, and physical inactivity are consistently linked to poor grades and test scores and lower educational attainment.2-4 Research also has shown that school health programs can reduce the prevalence of health risk behaviors among young people and have a positive effect on academic performance. Visit the CDC link below to learn more about the relationship between specific health risk behaviors and academic achievement.
CDC Health Risk Behaviors and Academics: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/health_risk_behaviors.pdf
The Ferguson-Florissant School District requires comprehensive health education in all grades (elementary) and requires middle and high school students to take and pass at least one health education course consistent with National and State standards. All district schools shall meet or exceed the state recommendation of health and physical education instruction.