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Health Education and Physical Education

Health Education and Physical Education - Curriculum Documents and Resources

Published: 8/2/2022 3:52 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.

Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT)

A self-analysis tool and planning guide for schools to assess physical education curricula. PECAT is designed to help school districts and schools to conduct clear, complete and consistent analyses of physical education curricula based upon the national physical education standards.


CDC’s Recess Resources

Provides a description of what recess is, the benefits of recess and shares recess data and policies. There are also tools to provide strategies and resources for recess.  

SHAPE America’s Teacher Toolbox

This webpage explains what physical education is and the components that make up physical education. It provides the physical education national standards and guidelines and offers professional development opportunities. Tools and resources for current and potential physical education professionals are included.


Springboard to Active Schools

Springboard to Active Schools supports CDC-funded state agencies to promote active school environments in school districts and schools across the country. Their website includes resources for schools to provide opportunities for students to be physically active, including classroom physical activity.

Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Out-of-School Time

Out-of-school time (OST) programs are key partners in efforts to helping children grow up healthy. Programs can provide access to nutritious foods, promote healthy habits and keep students physically active. The healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA) standards for OST programs guide OST providers with best practices to be a high-quality program that promotes healthy behaviors.


Physical Education and Physical Activity Resources from CDC

It is recommended that students participate in 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. By utilizing a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP), schools can help students attain this recommendation. The CDC provides information, data and resources on the five CSPAP components.

Integrating Physical Education and Physical Activity Across the WSCC Framework

This one-pager shares the importance of implementing physical daily into school settings. Provides some evidence-based strategies and promising practices for using the WSCC approach to promote physical education and physical activity across the school setting.

Classroom Physical Activity Resources

Additional Helath Education Curriculum Documents and Resources

Please contact the standards team with any questions.

Jessica Napier, 2020 SHAPE America's National Health Education Teacher of the Year

Jessica Napier

Lee County Middle High School, Lee County

2020 SHAPE America's National Health Education Teacher of the Year

2020 SHAPE America Southern District Health Education Teacher of the Year and 

Jessica Napier teaching

“Health education is vital to the education of the whole child. I hope that the recent experience of a worldwide health crisis has illuminated this fact. Health education in  Kentucky has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years by the adoption of skills-based health education. I love that our standards now ensure that students will walk out of their health class everyday having learned “how” to keep themselves healthy. Not only the “why” and the “what.”  They are being equipped with skills that will evolve throughout their lifetime. I love getting to spend my days with a room full of amazing minds and hearts, the students breathe life into me everyday. I hope that I return the favor," says Napier.LaDonda Porter, 2020 Shape America Southern District Middle School PE Teacher of the Year

LaDonda Porter

Beaumont Middle School, Fayette County

2020 Finalist for SHAPE America Middle School PE Teacher of the Year

2020 Southern District Middle School Teacher of the Year

LaDonda Porter teaching

"Physical Education serves as the platform to develop physically literate individuals. I am equipping students with the knowledge and skills to help them develop healthy behaviors not only now, but for the rest of their lives," says Porter. 

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