Health education is a required academic subject for students in all grades. In this class, students learn how to take care of their minds, their bodies, and their relationships with others. They learn the concepts and skills they need to be healthy for life, social and emotional skills, how to set goals for life and health, how to find and use health services, good communication and relationship skills, and how to set boundaries and resist negative social pressure.
To learn more about Health Education in NYC Dept of Education, Click Here.
Health Education Curriculum
The Health Education curriculum must follow NY State and City standards. We recommend a curriculum that helps students learn:
- social and emotional skills, including how to prevent bullying.
- about their growth, their development, and their identity.
- how to stay healthy and fit, both physically and mentally.
- how to create a safe and healthy environment.
- about their personal health and safety, including how to find the health services and information they need.
- how to prevent disease and illness, including HIV/AIDS.
- how to avoid health risks like alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.
We encourage you to speak with your child’s health education teacher or the principal to learn more about the health education curriculum.
Health Education Requirements
NY State law also sets health education requirements for all students in grades K-12. They determine the amount of time per semester students must have Health Education, the number of HIV/AIDS lessons students must have per year, who can teach Health Education, and what the curriculum includes.
New York City law requires that middle and high school students have sexual health education lessons as part of their Health Education classes.
High school students must have Health Education every day for one semester. The health instruction time must add up to 54 hours. All high school students must earn the equivalent of one credit in Health Education to graduate and all high school students must have six HIV/AIDS lessons per year.
Health Education Topics
As in any other school subject, each year students learn skills that build on the last year’s lessons. In health class, your child will receive lessons on:
- Mental, emotional, and social health, including how to prevent bullying
- Nutrition and physical activity
- Personal health and safety
- Growth, development, and identity
- Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention
- How to prevent disease and illness, including HIV /AIDS
Sexual Health Education
We are require to have all students to have take part of sexual health education as part of their comprehensive health education lessons. We are not require to a separate “sex ed” course in any grade.
Our school will send you a letter before sexual health education lessons begin in your child’s health class. You may ask that the school will not give lessons to your child about birth control and about how to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections. The school will let you know about this opt-out process.