All students must take Health Education. This includes lessons on HIV and AIDS prevention, every year. It’s part of NY State law. The State also sets learning standards for Health Education.
As in any subject, NY State sets learning standards at each grade level. They describe:
- what students should know
- what they should be able to do
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
- who can teach Health Education
- what the curriculum includes
New York City Public Schools requires that middle and high school students have sexual health education lessons as part of their Health Education classes.
Students in grades kindergarten through five must have Health Education every year. There is no specific time requirement.
- New York City Public Schools recommends 45 minutes (one class period) of Health Education per week.
- Students in grades kindergarten through five must have five HIV lessons per year.
Middle school students must have Health Education every day for one semester. The health instruction time must add up to 54 hours.
- Students in grade six must have five HIV lessons per year.
- Students in grades seven and eight must have six HIV lessons per year.
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.
- Students in grades nine through twelve must have six HIV lessons per year.
For all grades, certified health education teachers are the most qualified to teach Health Education. A certified teacher has completed the education and training that NY State law requires.
Certified health education teachers or classroom teachers may provide Health Education instruction.
Middle School and High School
Health Education must be taught by a certified health education teacher. In some cases, schools may allow a teacher who does not have a health education certificate to teach one health class.
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 and AIDS.
- how to avoid health risks like alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
We encourage you to speak with your child’s health education teacher or the principal to learn more about the health education curriculum.
For more information about Health Education requirements, email firstname.lastname@example.org.