Comprehensive skills-based health education is a planned and sequential set of learning experiences focused on developing the skills needed to live healthy lives. Supporting students’ health literacy is a critical part of a well-rounded education.
Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR)
requires local education agencies to provide an instructional program in comprehensive health education for all students in grades PreK through 8 each year that meet the requirements of the State Framework. Local education agencies (LEAs) must also offer a comprehensive health education program in grades 9 through 12, which enables students to meet graduation requirements and select health education electives. Further, local education agencies must provide access to the comprehensive health education curriculum for non-diploma-bound students.
THE HEALTH EDUCATION FRAMEWORK:
Provides guidance to support LEAs as they make decisions about what curricula and instructional materials to use to ensure health education is taught in a medically accurate, scientific, research-based, best-in-class way;
based on topics required by legislation, the equity education regulation, and the health education regulation adopted by the Maryland State Board of Education on October 22, 2019;
aligned to the 2nd edition of the
National Health Education Standards;
- Was guided by data about Maryland’s youth through
Maryland's Youth Risk Behavior Survey, School Health Profiles Survey, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool;
developed by the Maryland State Department of Education in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Health and a broad cross-section of stakeholders (race, gender, geographic location, and experiences), including LEA health education coordinators, teachers, students, and national subject matter experts;
Was revised in June 2021 to align the high school topics and indicators with the newly adopted
health education graduation requirement;
will update the health education framework in the manner and time the State Superintendent determines is necessary; and
Is not curricula or instructional material – the sexual health and gender identity and expression terms used in the document are not used in classrooms unless they are deemed age-appropriate by a joint committee of educators and representatives of the community.
UNDER REGULATIONS ADOPTED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION (COMAR 13A.04.18.01), LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCIES ARE REQUIRED TO:
- Establish a joint committee of educators and representatives of the community to review and comment on instructional materials for the family life and human sexuality unit. If approval of instructional materials is necessary, it shall occur according to local policy;
- Provide an opportunity for
parents/guardians to view instructional materials used in teaching family life and human sexuality, including the topic of gender identity and expression;
opt-out policies, guidelines, and procedures for instruction on family life and human sexuality; and
- Make arrangements to permit students opting out of the objectives related to family life and human sexuality to receive instruction concerning menstruation.
TOPICS REQUIRED BY LEGISLATION INCLUDE:
To learn more about the health education curriculum, the joint committee, and/or the opt-out policy in your school district, please contact the
health education coordinator from your local education agency.|
Director of Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
Office: (410) 767-0327