(1) The goal of health education is to provide instruction
that allows youth to develop and sustain health-promoting behaviors
throughout their lives. The understanding and application of these
standards will allow students the ability to gather, interpret, and
understand health information; achieve health literacy; and adapt
to the ever-evolving science of health. The health education knowledge
and skills should be presented to students in a positive manner to
support the development of a healthy self-concept and responsible
decision making. The standards will help students reinforce, foster,
and apply positive character traits.
(2) There are essential skills that repeat throughout
the six strands and embody the interconnection of health literacy.
These skills include decision making, problem solving, goal setting,
maintaining healthy relationships with self and others, seeking help
and support, and recognizing various influences on health such as
social, environmental, media, and genetic. These skills, developed
early on and reinforced throughout a student's education, will foster
mastery of health concepts. Health class educators are encouraged
to partner with school counselors where available to schedule time
for them to deliver classroom guidance lessons to help teach these
essential competencies. In addition, areas in the standards related
to abuse, neglect, violence, loss, grief, trauma, and suicide may
directly affect some students in the classroom. Should the educator
recognize signs of discomfort with instruction in these areas, students
should be referred to the appropriate resource, identified ahead of
such instruction, for additional help and support.
(3) Students gain an understanding of health information
and skills through six strands: physical health and hygiene; mental
health and wellness; healthy eating and physical activity; injury
and violence prevention and safety; alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs;
and reproductive and sexual health.
(A) Physical health and hygiene education helps to
prepare students for improved lifelong health outcomes. Learning about
body systems lays the foundation for personal health and hygiene.
Health literacy and preventative behaviors empower students to make
informed choices to support self, family, and community.
(B) The mental health and wellness strand recognizes
that the knowledge and skills necessary to manage emotions, reactions,
and relationships are essential to reaching one's full potential.
Students gain knowledge about social and emotional health, including
developing a healthy self-concept, understanding risk and protective
factors, and identifying and managing mental health and wellness concerns.
In the early grades, students develop fluency around emotions and
self-regulation and understand the relationship between feelings,
thoughts, and behavior. In subsequent grades, students learn and practice
appropriate ways to solve interpersonal conflicts, work to develop
a positive self-image, and develop healthy self-management skills.
(C) The healthy eating and physical activity strand
addresses the importance of nutrition and physical activity to support
a healthy lifestyle. Students apply critical-thinking and decision-making
skills to make positive health choices. Students learn about essential
nutrients, food groups, portion control, government nutritional recommendations,
and the health benefits of being physically active. Students evaluate
the connection between physical activity and nutrition and the prevention
of chronic diseases.
(D) By focusing on injury and violence prevention and
safety, the standards promote student well-being and awareness of
dangerous situations. Supporting student well-being and providing
instruction in digital citizenship, bullying prevention, first aid,
and identification of safe and unsafe situations creates empowered
and educated students who are able to make decisions that keep themselves
and others safe. Beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through
high school, students gain knowledge and skills to support safety
and wellness at school, at home, online, and in the community.
(E) The standards under the alcohol, tobacco, and other
drugs strand focus on a number of protective factors that develop
empowered students who are able to make better-informed decisions,
including understanding the impact of substance use on physical, mental,
and social health. Through this strand, students learn key concepts
about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, including the use, misuse,
and physiological effects; short- and long-term impacts on health;
treatment; risk and protective factors; and prevention. These concepts
introduce healthy alternatives and ways for students to ask for and
seek out help from parents and other trusted adults.
(F) Beginning in Grade 4, students learn about changes
associated with adolescent development in the reproductive and sexual
health strand. In subsequent grade levels, students identify the purpose
of these changes and their role in fertilization and reproduction.
Students learn the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships
and how to use communication and refusal skills to set personal boundaries
in dating/romantic relationships. Students also identify how to respond
to sexual harassment and abuse.
(4) An integral part of health education involves educators
being aware of state laws relevant to human sexuality instruction.
These laws include affirming:
(A) a local school district's control over the provision
of human sexuality instruction to ensure that local community values
are reflected in that instruction (Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.004(e)-(h));
(B) the right of a parent or legal guardian to be informed
of the provision of human sexuality instruction to their child and
review the content of that instruction (TEC, §28.004(i)-(j));
(C) the right of a parent or legal guardian to remove
their child from any portion of human sexuality instruction without
penalty to the child (TEC, §28.004(i));
(D) the centrality of abstinence education in any human
sexuality curriculum (TEC, §28.004(e)); and
(E) the right of a parent or legal guardian to be informed
of and consent to an abortion performed on their pregnant child (with
judicially authorized or medical emergency exceptions) (Texas Family
Code, Chapter 33).
(5) Educators also should be aware of and abide by
the statutory prohibition on taxpayer resource transactions between
state governmental entities, including public schools, and abortion
providers or an affiliate of an abortion provider (Texas Government
Code, Chapter 2272).
(6) Statements containing the word "including" reference
content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such
as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.
(7) Students should first seek guidance in the area
of health from a parent or legal guardian.
(b) Knowledge and skills.
(1) Physical health and hygiene--body systems. The
student examines the structures, functions, and relationships of body
systems and their relevance to personal health. The student is expected
to describe the relationships among the body systems.
(2) Physical health and hygiene--personal health and
hygiene. The student understands health literacy, preventative health
behaviors, and how to access and evaluate health care information
to make informed decisions. The student is expected to:
(A) list specific resources or facilities where members
of the community can obtain medical care;
(B) explain ways to use health information to help
self and others, including seizure awareness, diabetes education,
and response plans such as first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(C) identify barriers related to solving health problems
and ways to overcome barriers; and
(D) explain the course, signs, symptoms, and treatments
of vector-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease or West Nile Virus.
(3) Mental health and wellness--social and emotional
health. The student identifies and applies strategies to develop socio-emotional
health, self-regulation, and healthy relationships. The student is
(A) identify and analyze different emotions and causal
thoughts in self;
(B) analyze the relationship between thoughts, feelings,
and behaviors and demonstrate healthy techniques for managing reactions
in times of emotional stress;
(C) evaluate the importance of social groups and peer
influences and explain how they can affect individual mental health
(D) demonstrate perspective-taking and communication
skills for building and maintaining healthy relationships and determining
when and how to end unhealthy relationships;
(E) analyze similarities and differences between one's
own and others' perspectives; and
(F) practice conflict resolution and mediation skills.
(4) Mental health and wellness--developing a healthy
self-concept. The student develops the capacity for self-assessment
and evaluation, goal setting, and decision making in order to develop
a healthy self-concept. The student is expected to:
(A) describe how internal and external factors influence
(B) identify and develop strategies for setting long-term
(C) create and discuss personal life goals that one
wishes to achieve and consider the financial impact of graduating
from high school, having a full-time job, and waiting until marriage
if one plans to have children; and
(D) identify decision-making skills that promote individual,
family, and community mental health.
(5) Mental health and wellness--risk and protective
factors. The student recognizes the influence of various factors on
mental health and wellness. The student is expected to:
(A) explain how adolescent brain development influences
cognitive processing, emotions, and decision making;
(B) identify and describe how environmental influences
such as air, water, or noise can affect an individual's mental health;
(C) discuss the influence of childhood trauma and how
to recognize, process, and overcome negative events.
(6) Mental health and wellness--identifying and managing
mental health and wellness concerns. The student develops and uses
appropriate skills to identify and manage conditions related to mental
health and wellness. The student is expected to:
(A) describe methods to support others who have long-term
physical health conditions;
(B) examine ways to influence peers positively and
promote resiliency in others in stressful situations;
(C) differentiate between healthy and unhealthy self-management
strategies for stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, loss, and grief;
(D) describe the consequences of disordered eating
and eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorder
and the importance of seeking help from a parent or another trusted
adult for oneself or others related to disordered eating;
(E) discuss the suicide risk and suicide protective
factors identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) and the importance of telling a parent or another trusted adult
if one observes the warning signs in self or others;
(F) research and discuss protective factors and healthy
self-management strategies to avoid self-harming behaviors; and
(G) examine how the use of suicide prevention resources
such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can reduce the likelihood
(7) Healthy eating and physical activity--food and
beverage daily recommendations. The student analyzes and applies healthy
eating strategies for enhancing and maintaining personal health throughout
the lifespan. The student is expected to:
(A) analyze food labels and menus to determine the
nutritional value of foods and make healthy decisions about daily
(B) develop a personal dietary plan; and
(C) identify and practice strategies for choosing healthy
foods and beverages in diverse social environments, including at home,
at school, and while dining out.
(8) Healthy eating and physical activity--physical
activity. The student identifies, analyzes, and applies strategies
for enhancing and maintaining optimal personal physical fitness throughout
the lifespan. The student is expected to:
(A) explain the relationships between nutrition, physical
activity, quality of life, and disease in terms of their mental, physical,
and social benefits;
(B) identify how to balance caloric intake and physical
(C) apply the CDC guidelines for daily physical activity
to develop a physical fitness plan using appropriate technology.
(9) Healthy eating and physical activity--nutrition
and physical activity literacy. The student obtains, processes, and
understands basic physical activity and nutrition information needed
to make health-promoting decisions. The student is expected to:
(A) develop and examine progress of short- and long-term
goals toward achieving appropriate levels of physical activity, improving
personal physical fitness level, and making healthy personal food