Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
Successful preparation of students for the opportunities, rigors and advances of the 21st Century cannot be accomplished without a strong and sustained emphasis on the health and wellness of all students. Today’s students are continually bombarded with physical, mental and social influences that affect not only learning in school, but also lifelong health. To that end, the New Jersey Student Learning Standards — Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (NJSLS-CHPE) were revised to address the need for students to gain knowledge and skills in caring for themselves, interact effectively with others, and analyze the impact of choices and consequences.
2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards for
Comprehensive Health & Physical Education
Intent and Spirit
The NJSLS-CHPE highlights the expectation that all students participate in a high-quality, K–12 sequential health and physical education program that emphasizes 21st Century skills and interdisciplinary connections to empower students to live a healthy active lifestyle. The standards provide a blueprint for curriculum development, instruction, and assessment, and reflect the latest research for effective health and physical education programs. The primary focus of the standards consists of the development of concepts and skills that promote and influence healthy behaviors.
All students will acquire the knowledge and skills of what is most essential to become individuals who possess health and physical literacy and pursue a life of wellness. They develop the habits necessary to live healthy, productive lives that positively impact their families, schools and communities.
A quality comprehensive health and physical education program fosters a population that:
- Maintains mental health awareness and relies on social/emotional support systems;
- Engages in a physically active lifestyle;
- Maintains awareness of health and wellness and how to access resources;
- Recognizes the influence of media, peers, technology, and cultural norms in making informed health-related decisions as a consumer of health products and wellness services;
- Practices effective cross-cultural communication and conflict resolution skills;
- Builds and maintains healthy relationships;
- Accepts and respects individual and cultural differences; and
- Advocates for personal, family, community, and global wellness and is aware of local, national and global public health and climate change.
Personal Growth and Development
Personal Growth and Development are lifelong processes of physical, behavioral, emotional and cognitive change throughout one’s lifetime. Personal Growth and Development pertains to keeping your body healthy and understanding hormonal changes (all body systems) and their impact on sexuality. It encompasses the human condition: who we are, how we grow or evolve, and how interaction with others affects the process of growth physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally from infancy through advanced age.
Pregnancy and Parenting
Pregnancy and parenting are stages in life that impact all aspects on one’s wellness. Regardless of the circumstance, pregnancy and parenting brings changes to an individual’s emotional, financial, physical, mental, and social well-being. These stages can include many happy experiences but can also be the source of great challenges. Like any new skill, parenting takes knowledge, skills, and practice to be successful. However, other factors such as medical and financial challenges can make this stage in life more difficult. Preparation is the key to a healthy pregnancy, delivery and transition to parenting.
Emotional Health encompasses the views, feelings, and expressions about oneself. Emotional health includes a person’s emotional, mental, psychological, and social well-being. It also helps determine how to handle stress and make choices related to others. Emotionally healthy people consciously develop coping mechanisms that are situationally appropriate to resolve and gather positive outcomes, develop strategies for mental health emergencies, respond to situations in a positive and appropriate manner, connect with resources and trusted individuals to assist, communicate feelings with confidence, and recognize support systems.
Social and Sexual Health
Social and Sexual Health is a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others efficiently. Individuals are able to form meaningful relationships with others and interact in healthy, appropriate ways. They encompass respect and accept differences of an individual’s race, religion, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic background, and perspectives of health-related decisions. The extent to which people connect with others in different environments, adapt to various social and sexual situations, feel supported by individuals, institutions, and experience a sense of belonging, all contribute to social and sexual health.
Community Health Services and Support
Community Health Services provide informational resources and assistance to communities and individuals to support disease and injury prevention, disaster relief, and improve the quality of services provided to all individuals. Community Health Services promote public health, health equity, healthy lifestyles and reduce health disparities. Services and support can include the provision of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS), medical/dental health services, nursing, clothing, shelter, hunger relief, and allied health professional care to people in need, or people maintaining regular wellness screenings in the person’s home, other residential settings, or a community health care facility.
Movement Skills and Concepts
Movement Skills and Concepts include learning and investigating the fundamentals of movement (on land, water, snow, sand and ice) from one place to another and the understanding of biomechanics (how the body moves, grows and matures). Movement skills fall into three main categories: locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills. Concepts into categories such as spatial awareness (where the body moves), body awareness (what can the body do), qualities of movement (how the body moves and with whom/what does the body move).
Physical Fitness is the ability to move, perform daily tasks and unexpected physical challenges effectively without losing energy reserves. Fitness activities can be performed at many levels (low, moderate, and high), which will impact how efficiently the body functions.
Lifelong Fitness requires making fitness a part of a person’s daily life. It is about creating fitness habits that support individuals to plan and stay healthy throughout their lifetime. In addition, a person recognizes the medical consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and that the benefits of an active body and mind over time reduces diseases, injuries and pain. Lifelong fitness doesn’t focus on competition or high-level skill development, but rather on self-evaluation, personal goal setting, social engagement, sportsmanship, enjoyment of movement, and leisure-time fitness activities.
Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s nutritional needs. An adequate and well-balanced nutritional plan, in combination with regular physical activity, is a cornerstone of physical wellness. Nutritional wellness necessitates learning how to develop good eating habits, including choosing healthy foods and understanding the effects that portion size, sugars, fats, and high cholesterol foods have on a body. Additionally, balancing food intake with exercise, tempered by factors such as age, lifestyle, and hereditary are vitally important components of nutritional wellness.
Personal Safety involves being aware of your surroundings and understanding of how certain situations and/or unhealthy behaviors can lead to injury, illness or death. The ability to identify potential risks and an awareness of the steps that can likely prevent injuries and diseases are key to being safe. In addition, it is essential that individuals understand that there are circumstances that may make them feel uncomfortable or are unsafe/dangerous that are beyond their control. In those circumstances, it is essential that individuals know where and how to seek help and do not blame themselves.
Health Conditions, Diseases and Medicines
Health conditions are acute or chronic illnesses and diseases, which can be either controllable or life threatening. People contract different types of diseases, such as communicable diseases, Vector-borne diseases and Zoonotic diseases to name a few. Access to care and facilities affect the conditions of health. Health—enhancing behaviors help a person avoid and reduce health risks, and diseases. Early detection, treatment, screenings, and vaccines assist in preventing (personal, community and global) illnesses and outbreaks.
Medicines are substances that treat or relieve diseases and pain. Medications are prescribed by a physician or can be accessed over the counter. Medications can be misused and abused if not taken properly.
Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs
Alcohol, other drugs and tobacco can be found in a variety of forms. The use of alcohol and other drugs has both short-term and long-term effects. Alcohol and other drugs use refer to all types of legal and illicit drugs. Over the counter medicines and prescription medications, when taken correctly are drugs used to treat pain and illness. These drugs have both benefits and risks. There are many types of tobacco products such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and marijuana to name a few that can cause damage both physically and mentally. Tobacco, alcohol, and other illicit drug products can adversely affect the user, family members, and those in the community.
Dependency, Substances Disorder and Treatment
Dependency is when a person develops a tolerance and an increased need for a drug or substance. There are types of dependency such as physical, and psychological addictions. Disorder or a substance use disorder is when casual or experimental use of alcohol or other substances (including illegal drugs, medications prescribed or not) escalates. Treatment includes programs and facilities a person can enroll in, to seek assistance and to receive help to recovery.
There are many types of treatment facilities for a person to receive help to recovery. Students should know who to see and where to go for resources in the school and in the community (e.g., teacher, coach, school counselor, SAC, school nurse, resource officer, peer leadership individual, mental health specialist, parents, social worker).
The 10 Comprehensive Health and Physical Education practices describe the ways in which individuals in these field engage in their careers as well as reflect the actions and behaviors of active, informed, responsible individuals and contributing community members. Curriculum writers and educators will want to consider how they can design learning experiences that will enable their students to develop these skills in conjunction with the content knowledge reflected in the core ideas and performance expectations.
Acting as responsible and contributing member of society
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy understand the obligations and responsibilities of being a member of a community. They demonstrate this understanding every day through their interactions with others. They are conscientious of the impacts of their decisions on others and on their environment. They consider the short-term and long-term consequences of their actions and seek to act in ways that contribute to the betterment of their families, teams, community, and school. They are reliable and consistent in going beyond the minimum expectation and in participating in community outreach that serves the greater good.
Building and maintaining healthy relationships
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy establish and maintain healthy relationships by utilizing positive communication and social skills to interact effectively with others. They are aware of others’ feelings and ideas. They respect differences and identify ways to resist inappropriate social pressure. Students demonstrate the ability to prevent and resolve interpersonal conflicts in constructive ways. They identify who, when and where, or how to seek help for oneself or others when needed.
Communicating clearly and effectively (verbal and nonverbal)
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy communicate thoughts, ideas, emotions and action plans with clarity, using written, verbal and/or visual methods. They are excellent communicators who master movements, word choices, and use of effective tone and presentation skills to articulate ideas and movements. They are skilled at interacting with others as they are active listeners who speak clearly and with a purpose. They demonstrate and perform movements and skills with accuracy and balance. They consider the audience and prepare accordingly to ensure the desired outcome.
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy acknowledge problems in school and in the community and develop skills to create strategies to resolve the issue. They are aware of the reason(s) of the conflict and quickly take positive action to address the problem. They thoughtfully probe the root cause of the conflict prior to introducing a resolution. They carefully consider the consequences both positive and negative to resolve the conflict. Once a resolution is agreed upon, they follow through to ensure the conflict is resolved, whether through their own actions or the actions of others and they take the necessary steps to eliminate the conflict from recurring.
Attending to personal health, emotional, social and physical well-being
Individuals who possess health, emotional, social and physical literacy understand the relationship between the body and the mind. They create and implement a personal self-care plan that promotes a healthy lifestyle. They recognize the importance of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and promote mental health activities that lead to healthier behaviors. They also take regular actions that contribute to their personal, emotional, and social well-being by regulating emotions, understanding personal self-care, and engaging in appropriate self-expression. Establishing outlets that are safe and take place in healthy environments allow for positive social interaction for self and others. They recognize that an active body promotes an active healthy mind that contributes to their overall health.
Engaging in an active lifestyle
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy understand the importance of wellness and being active throughout their lifetime. They understand that daily activity is crucial to establishing and maintaining good health habits of regular exercise, a balanced diet, and healthy social and mental activities that encourage help seeking skills. They know that an active lifestyle lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases by strengthening the immune system. They also take regular action to contribute to their active lifestyle with regular health exams, a personalized fitness plan, and balanced daily schedule that provides the peace of mind and satisfaction required to fully enjoy an active lifestyle.
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy make informed, responsible decisions in order to lead a lifestyle that promotes wellness. Students examine their options and consider their values, their own beliefs, and consequences, that will impact their decisions. They develop, implement, and model effective critical thinking skills in their decision-making process. They consider the impacts of the decisions to self and others and evaluate whether the results of their decision promote one’s health or present a risk. They analyze if a decision can be made individually or collaboratively.
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy understand and practice strategies for managing one’s own emotions, thoughts and behaviors. They recognize the skills needed to establish and achieve success in situations. They identify and apply skills, such as self-regulating, self-control, asking questions, and setting goals to persevere and overcome barriers. They research reliable sources to inform and engage in healthy behaviors. They reflect on personal experiences, and recognize their strengths, traits and limitations to avoid risky or dangerous behaviors and situations.
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy are focused with a plan in mind and a task to complete. They set high but realistic standards, prioritize responsibilities, utilize time wisely and think short and long-term to achieve the intended results. Goal-setters are organized, self-directed, highly motivated, curious, and desirous of living healthy and productive lives.
Using technology tools responsibly
Individuals who possess health and physical literacy find and maximize the productive value of existing with new technology to accomplish personal and professional tasks. They are flexible and adaptive in acquiring and operating new technology. They are proficient with ubiquitous technology applications. They understand the laws, inherent risks—personal and organizational—of technology applications, and they take actions to prevent or mitigate these risks as responsible users.
Standard 2.1: Personal and Mental Health
Personal Growth and Development:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cancer Resources
- EVERFI Health Resources (K–12)
- Kids Health (K–8)
- Discovery Education & Rutgers Cancer Institute, Decoding Cancer (9–12)
Pregnancy and Parenting:
- Kids Health (K–8)
- New Jersey Department of Health (6–12)
- New Jersey Safe Haven (9–12)
- New Jersey Department of Children and Families (6–12)
- PBS Teen Pregnancy Lesson Plans (9–12)
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (9–12)
- Classroom Wise Mental Health Resources for Teacher (K–12)
- GLSEN (6–12)
- Mental Health First Aid (K–12)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (K–12)
- NJDOE Culturally Responsive Resources (K–12)
- NJDOE Quick Reference Mental Health Guide (K–12)
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (6–12)
Social and Sexual Health:
- CDC Dating Matters (6–12)
- Cyber Wise (6–12)
- EVERFI Digital Wellness (K–12)
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center (K–12)
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Curriculum Educators guide (6–12)
- National Sex Education Standards (K–12)
- Love Is Respect Toolkit (6–12)
- Rutgers Answers (K–12)
- Teens 4 Healthy Relationships (6–12)
Community Health Services and Support:
- CDC Healthy Schools
- CDC Physical Education & Physical Activity Guidelines for schools
- Learning For Justice
- Minding Your Mind Peer Presenters
- New Jersey Online Gang Free Community Resources
- National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Physical Health
- Trauma Sensitive Schools
- Trevor Project, Suicide Prevention, Professional Development and Resources
- Welcoming and Inclusive Schools
- Whole School Whole Community Whole Child (WSCC Model)
Standard 2.2: Physical Wellness
Movement Skills and Concepts:
- Special Olympics NJ Unified Physical Education (K–12)
- Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED Guide to Inclusive Physical Education (K–12)
- OPEN Physical Education Modules (K–2)
- OPEN Physical Education Modules (3–5)
- OPEN Physical Education Modules (6–8)
- OPEN Physical Education Modules (9–12)
- Unified Physical Education and Physical Activity (K–12)
- All Kids Bike
- First Tee New Jersey
- Health moves minds SEL (K-12)
- NFL Play 60 Discovery Education (K–8)
- New York Road Runners (9–12)
- United States Tennis Association Teachers Resources
- National Alliance for Eating Disorders (K–12)
- National Eating Disorder Educators Toolkit (K–12)
- New Jersey Farm to School Program (K–12)
- Rutgers New Jersey Health Kids Initiative (K–12)
Standard 2.3: Safety
- CDC Youth Violence Prevention (K–12)
- Cyberbullying Research Center (K–12)
- Cyberwise (6–12)
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (K–12)
- NJDOE Dating Violence, Keeping Our Kids Safe, Healthy & In School (K–12)
- New Jersey Drives Educators Resources (9–12)
- New Jersey Safe Routes (K–12)
- NJM Share The Keys (9–12)
- New Jersey State Bar Foundation Violence Prevention Anti-Bias Curriculum (K–12)
- Organ Donation (9-12)
Health Conditions, Diseases and Medicines:
- American Heart Association
- Discovery Education, Generation Health Lessons (K–12)
- Johns Hopkins: Kids & Teens Health
- Kids Health Lesson Plans (K–12)
- Mayo Clinic Health & Wellness
- PBS Disease, Illness and Disability (K–12)
- Youth Stroke Education Toolkit (6–12)
Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs:
- CDC E-Cigarettes and Alcohol
- EVERFI Truth Initiative Vaping
- Kids Health Drugs, Alcohol, Steroids & Tobacco
- NJDOE Keeping Our Kids Safe, Healthy & In School
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: How Nicotine Affects the Brain
- Scholastic The Real Cost of Vaping
Dependency, Substances Disorders and Treatment:
Recent CHPE related Legislation
Consent (N.J.S.A. 18A:35)
Requires age-appropriate instruction in grades six through 12 on the law and meaning of consent for physical contact and sexual activity as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The instruction shall be designed to increase discussion and awareness that consent is required before physical contact or sexual activity, as well as the social, emotional, and relational impact surrounding sexuality, the right to say no to unwanted physical contact or sexual activity, and the virtues of respecting the right of others to say no.
Mental Health (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.39)
A school district shall ensure that its health education programs for students in grades kindergarten through 12 recognize the multiple dimensions of health by including mental health and the relation of physical and mental health so as to enhance student understanding, attitudes, and behaviors that promote health, well-being, and human dignity. The instruction in mental health shall be adapted to the age and understanding of the students and shall be incorporated as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The instruction shall include, as appropriate, information on substance abuse provided pursuant to the implementation of these standards and to section 1 of P.L.2016, c.46 (C.18A:40A-2.1). The State Board of Education shall review and update the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education to ensure the incorporation of instruction in mental health in an appropriate place in the curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through 12. In its review, the State board shall consult with mental health experts including, but not limited to, representatives from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services.
New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.40 & 18A:35-4.41)
The Department of Education shall review the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education to ensure that information on the provisions of the "New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act," P.L.2000, c.58 (C.30:4C-15.5 et seq.) shall be included therein to public school students in grades 9 through 12.
Sexting (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.33)
A Board of education shall include instruction on the social, emotional, and legal consequences of distributing and soliciting sexually explicit images through electronic means once during middle school in an appropriate place in the curriculum as part as of the school district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The Commissioner of Education shall provide school districts with age-appropriate sample learning activities and resources designed to implement this requirement.
Sexual Abuse and Assault Awareness and Prevention Education (N.J.S.A 18A:35-4.5a.)
Requires each school district shall incorporate age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in grades preschool through 12 as part of the district's implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Department of Children and Families, the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, the New Jersey Children’s Alliance, and other entities with relevant expertise, shall provide school districts with age-appropriate sample learning activities and resources.
Legislation prior to 2014
Accident and Fire Prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-2)
Requires instruction in accident and fire prevention. Regular courses of instruction in accident prevention and fire prevention shall be given in every public and private school in this state. Instruction shall be adapted to the understanding of students at different grade levels.
Breast Self-Examination (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.4)
Requires instruction on breast self-examination. Each board of education which operates an educational program for students in grades 7 through 12 shall offer instruction in breast self-examination. The instruction shall take place as part of the district’s implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, and the comprehensive health and physical education curriculum framework shall provide school districts with sample activities that may be used to support implementation of the instructional requirement.
Bullying Prevention Programs (N.J.S.A. 18A:37- 17)
Requires the establishment of bullying prevention programs. Schools and school districts are encouraged to establish bullying prevention programs and other initiatives involving school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement, and community members. To the extent funds are appropriated for these purposes, a school district shall: (1) provide training on the school district’s harassment, intimidation, or bullying policies to school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students; and (2) develop a process for discussing the district’s harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy with students. Information regarding the school district policy against harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall be incorporated into a school’s employee training program.
CPR/ AED Instruction (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.28-4.29)
Requires public high schools to provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator to each student prior to graduation.
Cancer Awareness (N.J.S.A. 18A:40-33)
Requires the development of a school program on cancer awareness.
Dating Violence Education (N.J.S.A. 18A: 35-4.23a)
Requires instruction regarding dating violence in grades 7 through 12. Each school district shall incorporate dating violence education that is age appropriate into the health education curriculum as part of the district’s implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education for students in grades 7 through 12. The dating violence education shall include, but not be limited to, information on the definition of dating violence, recognizing dating violence warning signs, and the characteristics of healthy relationships.
Domestic Violence Education (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.23)
Allows instruction on problems related to domestic violence and child abuse. A board of education may include instruction on the problems of domestic violence and child abuse in an appropriate place in the curriculum of elementary school, middle school, and high school pupils. The instruction shall enable pupils to understand the psychology and dynamics of family violence, dating violence, and child abuse; the relationship of alcohol and drug use to such violence and abuse; and the relationship of animal cruelty to such violence and abuse; and to learn methods of nonviolent problem-solving.
Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco, Controlled Dangerous Substances, and Anabolic Steroids (N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-1)
Requires instructional programs on drugs, alcohol, anabolic steroids, tobacco, and controlled dangerous substances and the development of curriculum guidelines. Instructional programs on the nature of drugs, alcohol, anabolic steroids, tobacco, and controlled dangerous substances, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-2), and their physiological, psychological, sociological, and legal effects on the individual, the family, and society shall be taught in each public school and in each grade from kindergarten through 12 in a manner adapted to the age and understanding of the pupils. The programs shall be based upon the curriculum guidelines established by the Commissioner of Education and shall be included in the curriculum for each grade in such a manner as to provide a thorough and comprehensive treatment of the subject.
Gang Violence Prevention (18A:35-4.26)
Requires instruction in gang violence prevention for elementary school students. Each board of education that operates an educational program for elementary school students shall offer instruction in gang violence prevention and in ways to avoid membership in gangs. The instruction shall take place as part of the district’s implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, and the comprehensive health and physical education curriculum framework shall provide school districts with sample materials that may be used to support implementation of the instructional requirement.
Lyme Disease Prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.1)
Requires the development of Lyme disease curriculum guidelines. The guidelines shall emphasize disease prevention and sensitivity for victims of the disease. The Commissioner of Education shall periodically review and update the guidelines to ensure that the curriculum reflects the most current information available.
Organ Donation (N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-4.3)
Requires information relative to organ donation to be given to students in grades 9 through 12. The goals of the instruction shall be to:
- Emphasize the benefits of organ and tissue donation to the health and well-being of society generally and to individuals whose lives are saved by organ and tissue donations, so that students will be motivated to make an affirmative decision to register as donors when they become adults.
- Fully address myths and misunderstandings regarding organ and tissue donation.
- Explain the options available to adults, including the option of designating a decision-maker to make the donation decision on one’s
- Instill an understanding of the consequences when an individual does not make a decision to become an organ donor and does not register or otherwise record a designated decision-maker.
The instruction shall inform students that, beginning five years from the date of enactment of P.L.2008, c.48 (C.26:6-66 et al.), the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will not issue or renew a New Jersey driver’s license or personal identification card unless a prospective or renewing licensee or card holder makes an acknowledgement regarding the donor decision pursuant to section 8 of P.L.2008, c.48 (C.39:3-12.4).
Sexual Assault Prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.3)
Requires the development of a sexual assault prevention education program. The Department of Education in consultation with the advisory committee shall develop and establish guidelines for the teaching of sexual assault prevention techniques for utilization by local school districts in the establishment of a sexual assault prevention education program. Such program shall be adapted to the age and understanding of the pupils and shall be emphasized in appropriate places of the curriculum sufficiently for a full and adequate treatment of the subject.
Stress Abstinence (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.19-20)
Also known as the “AIDS Prevention Act of 1999,” requires sex education programs to stress abstinence. Any sex education that is given as part of any planned course, curriculum, or other instructional program and that is intended to impart information or promote discussion or understanding in regard to human sexual behavior, sexual feelings and sexual values, human sexuality and reproduction, pregnancy avoidance or termination, HIV infection or sexually transmitted diseases, regardless of whether such instruction is described as, or incorporated into, a description of “sex education,” “family life education,” “family health education,” “health education,” “family living,” “health,” “self-esteem,” or any other course, curriculum program, or goal of education, and any materials including, but not limited, to handouts, speakers, notes, or audiovisuals presented on school property concerning methods for the prevention of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), other sexually transmitted diseases, and of avoiding pregnancy, shall stress that abstinence from sexual activity is the only completely reliable means of eliminating the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and of avoiding pregnancy.
Suicide Prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A: 6-111)
Requires instruction in suicide prevention in public schools. Instruction in suicide prevention shall be provided as part of any continuing education that public-school teaching staff members must complete to maintain their certification; and inclusion of suicide prevention awareness shall be included in the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education.
Time devoted to course in Health, Safety and Physical Education (N.J.S.A. 18A: 35-5)
Requires each board of education shall conduct as a part of the instruction in the public schools’ courses in health, safety and physical education, which courses shall be adapted to the ages and capabilities of the pupils in the several grades and departments. To promote the aims of these courses any additional requirements or rules as to medical inspection of school children may be imposed. Every pupil, except kindergarten pupils, attending the public schools, insofar as he is physically fit and capable of doing so, as determined by the medical inspector, shall take such courses, which shall be a part of the curriculum prescribed for the several grades, and the conduct and attainment of the pupils shall be marked as in other courses or subjects, and the standing of the pupil in connection therewith shall form a part of the requirements for promotion or graduation (N.J.S.A. 18A: 35-7). The time devoted to such courses shall aggregate at least two and one-half hours in each school week, or proportionately less when holidays fall within the week (N.J.S.A. 18A: 35-8).
K-12 Universal Legislation
Amistad Law (N.J.S.A. 18A 52:16A-88)
Every board of education shall incorporate the information regarding the contributions of African Americans to our country in an appropriate place in the curriculum of elementary and secondary school students.
Diversity and Inclusion Law (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.36a)
Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, each school district shall incorporate instruction on diversity and inclusion in an appropriate place in the curriculum of students in grades kindergarten through 12 as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.
Holocaust Law (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-28)
Every board of education shall include instruction on the Holocaust and genocides in an appropriate place in the curriculum of all elementary and secondary school pupils. The instruction shall further emphasize the personal responsibility that each citizen bears to fight racism and hatred whenever and wherever it happens.
LGBT and Disabilities Law (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.35)
A board of education shall include instruction on the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in an appropriate place in the curriculum of middle school and high school students as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. A board of education shall have policies and procedures in place pertaining to the selection of instructional materials.
Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Coordinator
The resources provided on this webpage are for informational purposes only. All resources must meet the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) accessibility guidelines. Currently, the NJDOE aims to conform to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). However, the NJDOE does not guarantee that linked external sites conform to Level AA of the WCAG 2.1. Neither NJDOE nor its officers, employees or agents specifically endorse, recommend or favor these resources or the organizations that created them. Please note that the NJDOE has not reviewed or approved the materials related to the programs.