Student Health and Wellness 

Physical Education & Health Education

Physical education and health education are components of the Healthy CPS Instruction badge. CPS aims to ensure students are provided with high-quality instruction that motivates and enables students /to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease, and reduce health-related risk behaviors.

Physical Education

Physical education is an academic subject that provides a planned, sequential, K-12 standards-based curricula and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge and behaviors for healthy, active living and physical fitness. Physical education is distinct from physical activity integrated throughout the school day.


The CPS Physical Education Policy requires that all students in grades K-12 receive daily physical education. Learn more about the PE Policy requirements for each school level.This policy also sets standards for high quality physical education programs for the district.

Research shows that students receiving high quality physical education:

  • Improved Brain Function: Physically active students scored higher in reading comprehension with just 20 minutes of physical activity.

  • Improved Test Scores: Active students scored higher on standardized tests.

  • Improved Behavior: Disciplinary action among students and suspensions decreased by 50-60% when PE is offered for 5 days per week.

  • Improved Health: Regular physical activity led to better health, fewer diseases and improved mental health.

For more information, download The Movement Movement CPS PE Strategic Plan and the complete CPS Physical Education Policy.


 

Sexual Health Education

The CPS sexual health education curriculum builds a foundation of knowledge and skills for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. To help students make informed decisions and safe choices, the CPS curriculum covers topics such as human development, healthy relationships, decision making, abstinence, contraception and disease prevention.  According to the CPS Sexual  Health Education Policy:

  • Schools must teach sexual health education every year (300 minutes/year in k-4th grade and 675 minutes/year in 5th-12th grades).

  • Every school has two trained instructors who have completed the district’s instructor training.

  • The CPS curriculum is medically accurate, age appropriate, and comprehensive.  It is also aligned with the National Sexuality Education Standards.

  • In alignment with Illinois law, parents/guardians have the right to opt out their child(ren) from instruction.  Schools must send home written notification to alert parents/guardians that instruction will take place.

  • CPS views parents/guardians as the primary educators of their children for sexual health

For more information, download the CPS Sexual Health Education Policy.


Sexual Health Education Resources:

 

Comprehensive Health Education

Comprehensive and Coordinated Health Education (CCHE) enables students to establish and practice health-enhancing behaviors over a lifetime in order to become healthy, successful adults. CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness offers CPS-specific scope and sequence and subsequent curriculum. Topics that can be taught include:

  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Healthy Eating*
  • Mental and Emotional Health
  • Personal Health and Wellness
  • Physical Activity*
  • Safety and Injury Prevention
  • Sexual Health*
  • Tobacco
  • Violence Prevention

*Indicates required components of CCHE by CPS Board Policy (Sexual Health Education and Local School Wellness policies).


Health Education

After updating CPS Sexual Health and Wellness Policies, the Office of Student Health and Wellness recognized the need for a comprehensive health education policy to better serve our students and support our teachers. The Office of Student Health and Wellness has assembled a Health Education Advisory Committee with health professionals from across the state of Illinois. This group is currently developing a plan for district-wide comprehensive health education that includes curriculum, scope and sequence and parent education. The plan will include lessons and activities with these subjects:

  • Alcohol & Other Drugs
  • Anatomy
  • Community & Environment
  • Injury Prevention
  • Mental & Emotional Health
  • Nutrition
  • Personal & Consumer Health
  • Physical Activity
  • Tobacco
  • Sexual Health

Sexual Health Education

Students in every grade receive sexual health education from trained school staff. The Office of Student Health and Wellness has two primary goals for sexual health education:

  • To provide all students (K-12) with sexual health education that is comprehensive, developmentally appropriate and medically accurate, with abstinence included as a component of healthy sexual decision-making.
  • To decrease sexual risk-taking behaviors that lead to STIs/HIV and unintended pregnancies.

Minute Requirement

Grades K-4 –Requires 300 teaching minutes per grade, annually. Instruction for these grades lays the foundational comprehensive sexual health education and is comprised of lessons on the following four topic areas specified in the National Sexuality Education Standards: anatomy and physiology, reproduction, healthy relationships and personal safety. This foundational instruction is often referred to as Family Life Education.

Grades 5-12 – Requires 675 teaching minutes per grade, annually. Education expands upon the foundational instruction by providing lessons on the following five topic areas specified in the National Sexuality Education Standards: abstinence, healthy relationships (including informed decision-making, sexual orientation, gender identity and personal safety) medically-recommended contraceptives, transmission and prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Parents as the Primary Educators Chicago Public Schools recognize parents as the primary educators. Therefore, CPS encourages parents to have open communication with their child/ren about sexual health. Parents are to receive at least three notifications about the instruction including the time that it will occur. Parents have the right to opt their child out of all of the instruction or by specific lessons.  In addition, schools shall make lesson plans and student instruction materials available for parents to review. No student whose parent/guardian provides a timely written objection shall be required to participate in any sexual health education lesson and no student shall be suspended or expelled for refusal to participate in any such lesson or program. Any student whose parent/guardian does not provide a written objection to participation in a sexual health education lesson or program shall be required to participate.

Parent/Guardian Opt-Out
No student whose parent/guardian provides a timely written objection shall be required to participate in any sexual health education lesson and no student shall be suspended or expelled for refusal to participate in any such lesson or program. Any student whose parent/guardian does not provide a written objection to participation in a sexual health education lesson or program shall be required to participate.

Sexual Health Education Resources:

  • Parent Notification Letters [English, Spanish]
  • Sexual Health Education Overview (English and Spanish)
  • Sample Scope and Sequence of Sexual Health Education [English]
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    Page Last Modified on Thursday, September 22, 2016