Health Education is one of the eight interactive
components of a coordinated school health program. Health Education is
aligned with the approved
Maryland State Curriculum and the
National Health Standards. Schools by themselves cannot and should
not be expected to solve the nation’s most serious health and social
problems. Schools do provide a critical facility in which students are
provided a comprehensive program taught by certified health educators.
Health Education courses in Anne Arundel County are
focused on building health literate students. Health Literacy refers to
the ability to obtain, interpret, and understand basic health
information and services. These courses prepare students to become
health literate 21st Century learners as responsible members
of society; self-directed learners, effective communicators, critical
thinkers and problem solvers.
The goal of Health Education at AACPS:
prepares students to meet the challenges of healthy living
focuses on the whole person
requires collaboration of home, school, and community
provides knowledge and skills to enable individuals to make
responsible and informed decisions and adapt and maintain healthy
prepares students to obtain, interpret, and understand basic health
information and services
prepares students to meet the challenge of healthy living
focuses on all aspects of health and well-being—physical, mental,
emotional, and social
High School Health Education offers a one semester
course for required graduation ½ credit, “Health Competencies for the
21st Century”. In this course, students are prepared
with the skills to identify the impact of family, peers, culture, media
and technology on health behaviors and teach students to access valid
health information. Through these skills students acquire the functional
knowledge about the core health concepts. Core health concepts include:
mental and emotional health, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, personal
and consumer health, family life and human sexuality, safety and injury
prevention, nutrition and fitness and disease prevention and control.
Health skills include analyzing influences, accessing information,
communicating effectively, self-management, decision making, goal
setting and the skills to live and be an advocate for a healthy
lifestyle. A county –wide assessment is given at the end of the
course, “Health Competencies for the 21st Century”
The unit dealing with Family Life
and Human Sexuality is an approved health education curriculum for
Anne Arundel County that is abstinence based. This promotes abstinence
as the behavior of choice for young adults. However, information on
contraception and sexually transmitted infections is
presented as consequences of engaging in sexual risk taking behaviors.
Due to the sensitive nature of this instruction, the Maryland State
Regulation (COMAR 13 A.04.18.03.) states that parents or guardians may
choose that their child NOT PARTICIPATE in the lessons that deal
with contraception and sexually transmitted infections. Any student who
does not participate in this instruction will be provided with
independent alternative activities related to other health education
materials of instruction are reviewed by a county-level committee Health
Education Review and Evaluation committee comprised of educators, parent
representatives, and health professionals. Materials are approved based
on the established criteria that meet the curriculum objectives. Any
materials dealing with Family Life and Human Sexuality units must be
reviewed and evaluated by a Family Life and Human Sexuality Advisory
Committee. This committee submits their recommendations to the Board of
Education and are kept at the Review and Evaluation Center for 60 days.
If no specific challenges have been raised after the allotted time,
Family Life and Human Sexuality materials will be approved and available
Three additional Health Education
electives are offered to high school students, Drug Education, Human
Sexuality, and Introduction to Health Professions.
Examines the issues related to use, misuse and abuse
of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Students will take an
in-depth look at specific substances of abuse and explore methods of
prevention, intervention and treatment for addiction.
An emphasis on the skills to identify
the impact of family, peers, culture, media and technology on
drug-abuse behaviors; to know how to access valid drug prevention
information, use interpersonal communication, decision –making, goal
setting, and advocacy skills; and to enact personal health enhancing
An advanced level course with an emphasis
on promoting life enhancing health behaviors relating to one’s sexuality
Content focus is on sexuality, decision
making, relationships, protecting one’s own health, human reproduction,
and social issues.
Introduction to Health Professions
Students are introduced to professional
health careers, medical terminology, and technology.
Education and certification required for
professional health careers are explored.
Guest speakers provide work-based learning
Education/Health Class is offered for
one marking period of Physical Education in grades six, seven and eight,
as part of the state mandated Comprehensive Health Education Program.
This course is based on
the National Health Education Standards and the Maryland State
Curriculum for Health Education. The student outcomes are
developmentally appropriate and include what students should know and be
able to do in the following areas: Mental and Emotional Health; Alcohol,
Tobacco and Other Drugs; Personal and Consumer Health; Family Life and
Human Sexuality; Safety and Injury Prevention; Nutrition and Fitness;
and Disease Prevention and Control. The 21st Century Competencies of
decision making, goal setting, accessing information and communication
skills are imbedded throughout all of the units of study at each grade
level. Emphasis is placed on the ability to access school, home and
community health resources.
course is designed to provide students the content and skills necessary
to make healthier decisions as they navigate through the many physical,
social, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence. This
Analyzing factors that influence decisions and practice refusal
skills for situations involving tobacco use.
Exploring ways to
reduce personal risk for injury and acquire skills to assist others in
need of first aid.
Students will be given the opportunity to understand
the changes during puberty including the development of male and female
reproductive systems as well as the social and emotional changes that
Learning the role of the immune system in
combating disease and describe methods of transmission and prevention
for communicable disease including HIV/AIDS.
in grade 7 explore the decision making process and importance of setting goals for building and maintaining physical,
mental, emotional, and social health. This includes:
Examination of the influence of
peer groups and developing healthy responses to harassing and intimidating
behaviors including cyberbullying.
relationship between food intake, physical activity and weight management
while analyzing the relationship between body image, obesity and eating
Recognizing the importance of early detection, intervention and treatment
for these diseases.
Understanding the effects and impact
of alcohol abuse on the individual, family, and society and apply
refusal and decision-making skills to alcohol related situations.
Reviewing the changes that occur during
adolescent sexual development and identify abstinence from sexual
activity as the healthiest lifestyle choice. They will understand the
importance of effective communication with trusted adults regarding
accurate sexual health information.
Topics also include risk factors and health behaviors to
reduce the risk for non-communicable diseases such as cancer,
cardiovascular disease and sun exposure related disease.
course is designed to provide students in grade 8 the opportunity to
apply the decision making and goal setting skills to one’s health,
wellness/personal well-being. This includes:
Analyzing the consequences of drug
use/abuse and apply refusal and decision-making skills to situations
involving illegal drug use and prescription medications.
Identifying types of harassment including sexual harassment and
inappropriate use of technology and evaluate ways to avoid threatening
Learning sources of stress and their effects on health
as well as strategies to manage stress will be evaluated.
Recognizing depression and suicide as effects of unmanaged distress
and develop effective coping skills and responses to suicide threats.
Analyzing the components of healthy relationships and
generate guidelines for healthy dating relationships, learning
the influences and consequences of adolescent sexual activity and how to apply
communication skills to support abstinence.
This course also examines risk
factors and behaviors that influence contraction and transmission of
sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, and presents the
evidence that abstinence from
sexual activity is the safest and healthiest choice to prevent sexually
*Note: The family
life and human sexuality unit, and HIV/AIDS prevention education
were developed in accordance with the standards and procedures
established in Maryland State Regulation
Students may be excused from these units of the program upon a
written request from their parent or guardian. Appropriate alternate
instruction will be
Health Lessons are
integrated throughout the elementary school curriculum.
Affording students with
resources to make healthy choices is vital to their development. The
Healthy Body Lessons were created as an initiative to provide students
with information on how to make healthy decisions. Each lesson
incorporates Maryland State Curriculum standards in both Reading and
Health Education. These lessons are taught in the third and fourth grade.
Additional lessons on nutrition and fitness are addressed in the third
quarter of the science curriculum. New lessons are being
developed for 5th grade through Reading/Language Arts and
NOTE: Elementary School
counselors and nurses support many health education objectives Pre K-5.