Health Education, Physical Education and Career Studies

Health Education and Physical Education - Curriculum Documents and Resources

Published: 1/16/2019 8:04 AM
Health Education Curriculum Documents and Resources
Health education provides students with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy, adopting health-enhancing behaviors and promoting the health of others. Comprehensive school health education includes courses of study (curricula) 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. 

In Kentucky schools, the Kentucky Academic Standards for Health Education direct schools and districts to address the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health; while developing health knowledge, attitudes and skills for students at an age appropriate level. The vision of health education is to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease and reduce health-related risk behaviors. 

Resources for Schools and Districts to Consider When Developing Curriculum
The Drug Use Prevention Curriculum Resource Guide provides many recommendations of evidence-based curriculum, and enhancing projects and activities, for use by schools and districts in developing health education curriculum. The guide, focused on the instruction of drug abuse prevention, was developed by the Office of Drug Control Policy as a result of the passage of House Bill (HB) 3 (2018)

The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) can help schools and districts conduct a clear, complete and consistent analysis of health education curricula.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) set of characteristics of an effective health education curriculum according to reviews of effective programs, curricula and experts in the field of health education.

Physical Education Curriculum Documents and Resources
Physical education is a school-based instructional opportunity for students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for lifelong participation in physical activity. Physical education is characterized by a planned, sequential K-12 curriculum (course of study) that provides cognitive content and learning experiences in a variety of activity areas In Kentucky schools, the Kentucky Academic Standards for Physical Education direct schools and districts to develop quality physical education programs for students at an age appropriate level. The vision of a quality physical education program is a physically-educated person who has the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Qualified, trained teachers teach physical education.


​Physical activity is bodily movement of any type and may include recreational, fitness and sport activities such as jumping rope, playing soccer, lifting weights, as well as daily activities such as walking to the store, taking the stairs or raking the leaves.

Opportunities to accumulate physical activity during the school day include time spent in physical education class, classroom-based movement, recess, walking or biking to school, and recreational sport and play that occurs before, during, and after school.

Benefits of regular physical activity:
  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles.
  • Helps reduce the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.
  • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety and promotes psychological well-being.
  • May help improve students’ academic performance, including:
    • Academic achievement and grades;
    • Academic behavior, such as time on task; and
    • Factors that influence academic achievement, such as concentration and attentiveness in the classroom.

Classroom Physical Activity Resources

Please contact the standards team with any questions.

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