Office of Health Education
Health Requirements

Health Education is mandated by the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Mandate: Section §7-401 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland mandates that each county board of education, with the assistance of the county health department, shall establish a school health program that includes school health services, health education, and healthful school environments. Health Education is also addressed in §2-205(h), §7-410, §7-411, §7-411.1, and §7-413 of the Maryland Code.

Excerpts from the Annotated Code of Maryland:

§ 2-205.  State Board of Education

(h) Policy and guidelines for programs of instruction.

(1) With the advice of the State Superintendent, the State Board shall establish basic policy and guidelines for the program of instruction for the public schools.

(2) The policy and guidelines shall be printed in sufficient quantities to provide copies to:

(i) Public school officials and teachers;

(ii) Private schools; and

(iii) Interested citizens of this State.

(3) The State Board of Education shall require the establishment of criteria in each county for the selection of applicants for enrollment in public secondary school career and technology education programs. Enrollment criteria developed for this purpose shall ensure equal access to programs.

§ 7-401. School health program

(a) Duty of county board. -- With the assistance of the county health department, each county board shall provide:

(1) Adequate school health services;

(2) Instruction in health education, including the importance of physical activity in maintaining good health; and

(3) A healthful school environment.

§ 7-410. Safety education program

Each public school shall have a program of safety education that is organized and administered under the bylaws, rules, and regulations of the State Board.

§ 7-411. Drug education program

(a) State Board to implement program.  The State Board shall develop and implement a program of drug education in the public schools.

(b) Teachers to be trained in drug education.

(1) This program shall be started before the sixth grade in each public school by teachers who are trained in the field of drug education.

(2) The State Board shall establish standards for determining how a teacher is considered to be "trained in the field of drug education" for the purposes of this section.

(c) Coordination with other State agencies. -- This program shall be coordinated with other State agencies that are responsible for drug abuse education and control.

§ 7-411.1. Dating violence lessons in health education curriculum

The State Board shall encourage the county boards to incorporate age-appropriate lessons on dating violence into the county boards' health education curriculum.

§ 7-413. Alcohol abuse program

(a) State Board to implement program.

(1) By the fall of 1978, the State Board shall develop and implement a program of health education that deals specifically with the abuse of alcohol.

(2) This program may be included in the drug education program under § 7-411 of this subtitle.
(b) Coordination with other State agencies.  This program shall be coordinated with other State agencies that are responsible for alcohol abuse education and control.

The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) guides Health Education program development and implementation. It provides guidance regarding content, topics, selection of instructional materials, and teacher qualifications.

Excerpts from COMAR 13A.04.18.01:

A. Each local school system shall:

(1) Provide in public schools an instructional program in comprehensive health education each year with sufficient frequency and duration to meet the requirements of the State curriculum for all students in grades prekindergarten—8;

(2) Offer in public schools a comprehensive health education program in grades 9—12 which enables students to meet graduation requirements and to select health education electives (Regulation 13A.03.02.04 requires high school students to complete ½ credit of health coursework among 21 credits needed to graduate.); and

(3) Provide access to the curriculum for non-diploma-bound students.

Curriculum Content: Required goals and sub-goals for a skills-based comprehensive health education program are detailed in Regulation 13A.04.18.01. (Maryland also reports that it has a state curriculum for health education, which addresses content and is aligned to the National Health Education Standards.)

C – I. Health Education Curriculum Content Areas:

C. Mental and Emotional Health – Students will demonstrate the ability to use mental and emotional health knowledge, skills, and strategies to enhance wellness.

D. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs – Students will demonstrate the ability to use drug knowledge, decision-making skills, and health enhancing strategies to address, the non-use, use, and abuse of medications, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

E. Personal and Consumer Health – Students will demonstrate the ability to use consumer knowledge, skills, and strategies to develop sound personal health practices involving the use of health care products, services, and community resources.

F. Family Life and Human Sexuality – Students will demonstrate the ability to use human development knowledge, social skills, and health enhancing strategies to promote positive relationships and healthy growth and development throughout the lifecycle.  (Regulation 13A.04.18.01(F) mandates Family Life and Human Sexuality Education within specific grade spans and as part of a Comprehensive Health Education Program. It details content, resource selection, and professional development requirements. Students may be excused from this unit of the program upon written request from their parent/guardian.)

G. Safety and Injury Prevention – Students will demonstrate the ability to apply prevention and intervention knowledge, skills, and processes to promote safe living in the home, school, and community.

H. Nutrition and Fitness – Students will demonstrate the ability to use nutrition and fitness knowledge, skills, and strategies to promote a healthy lifestyle.

I. Disease Prevention and Control – Students will demonstrate the ability to apply prevention and treatment knowledge, skills, and strategies to reduce susceptibility and manage disease.  (Regulation 13A.04.18.01(I) mandates HIV/AIDS Prevention Education within specific grade spans and as part of a Comprehensive Health Education Program. It details content, resource selection, and professional development requirements. Students may be excused from this unit of the program upon written request from their parent/guardian.)

State Assessment: None.

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