Health Education

The purpose of health education is to positively influence the health behavior of individuals and communities as well as the living and working conditions that influence their health. Health education improves the health status of individuals, families, communities, states and the nation.

Health Standards, Assessments and Graduation Requirements
All school districts in Minnesota are required to identify standards, benchmarks, curriculum and assessments in health education. All students must receive instruction in health education K-8, or by district-determined grade bands. High school students must receive instruction in health education at least once. The amount of credit and graduation requirement is determined at the district level.

The Minnesota Department of Education recommends that districts use the National Health Education Standards (NHES). These standards establish, promote and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels, K-12. They provide a framework for teachers, administrators and policymakers in designing and selecting curriculum and instructional resources, and in assessing student achievement. The NHES are behavior based, with health education content integrated across each standard.

The National Health Education Standards and Minnesota Benchmarks were developed by the Minnesota Department of Education to serve as a guide for districts for locally developed standards providing sample grade-specific benchmarks for K-12 health education.

For more information about health education, contact Mary Thissen-Milder.