The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is pleased to provide updated Health Education Standards that reflect the changing landscape and needs of the District of Columbia. These standards provide a clear, skill-based, and age-appropriate approach to the essential health topics that currently impact District students.
The District of Columbia’s Health Education Standards were last approved by the State Board of Education in December 2007. Over the past several months, OSSE has partnered with the State Board of Education to revise the standards, actively engaging with District agencies, health advocates, parents, teachers and other local stakeholders in the process of ensuring that these Standards reflect best-practices, evidence-based approaches, and align with the National Health Education Standards, second edition (NHES). Various experts— nutritionists, public health professionals, and master educators—have generously given their time and expertise in developing these robust standards.
These standards are grounded in the latest health trends within the District of Columbia and reflect the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model, considered the ideal framework in addressing health and academic outcomes. Reflecting a strong consensus among educators, these standards establish high expectations for all of our students. They detail the knowledge and skills that students need to maintain and improve their health and wellness, prevent disease, and reduce health-jeopardizing behaviors.
As you will see in this document, the new standards are arranged by grade bands, allowing for greater flexibility in implementation. Additionally, we have aligned each standard with its corresponding NHES strand. We have also removed pre-kindergarten health education standards, as health education is addressed through the District of Columbia Early Learning Standards for our youngest learners. Please see the glossary and acronyms list attached for additional information.
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