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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

 October 20, 2008

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

Subject:          Middle and Junior High School Health Education Instruction and Coordinated School Health Programs

The purpose of this correspondence is to clarify the requirements for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-based health education instruction and Coordinated School Health Programs in middle and junior high schools.  Middle and junior high school TEKS-based health education has been a part of the enrichment curriculum for middle school students since 1998.  In 2007,
19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §74.3(a) strengthened TEKS-based health education as a requirement for students in grades 6-8. School districts must provide health education instruction in the middle school as a part of a school district’s required curriculum.

School districts may provide health education instruction in a variety of arrangements and settings, including mixed-age programs designed to permit flexible learning arrangements in accordance with 19 TAC §74.3(a).  However, the rule stipulates that the district must ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and for students to learn the TEKS of health education. School districts may add elements, but they may not delete or omit components of the middle school TEKS-based health education curriculum. This requirement is posted on our website and may be viewed at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/ch074a.html

In addition, the Texas Education Code (TEC), §38.014, provides that every school district shall implement health education in middle and junior high schools as one of the four components of a Coordinated School Health Program.  This regulation was passed in response to the escalating health disparities in Texas youth and built upon the existing requirement in elementary schools to implement a Coordinated School Health Program per Senate Bill 19.  The statutory requirement may be viewed on our website at http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/ED/content/htm/ed.002.00.000038.00.htm#38.014.00.

If you have questions regarding middle and junior high school health education TEKS-based curriculum and standards, contact Phyllis Simpson, Director of Health and Physical Education, at (512) 463-9581 or via e-mail at phyllis.simpson@tea.state.tx.us.  For questions related to Coordinated School Health Programs, contact Marissa Rathbone, Director of School Health, at (512) 463-3064 or via e-mail at marissa.rathbone@tea.state.tx.us.

Sincerely,

Anita Givens
Acting Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs

ag/ps

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