4.4.2 Health Education Curriculum

Health Education Curriculum

Health Education is part of the required instructional program at all grade levels in San Francisco schools.  The goals of health education are to supplement and reinforce discussions about health in the home and to teach knowledge and skills necessary for youth to make health-promoting decisions.

Classroom lessons and supplementary programs promote:  1) personal responsibility for lifelong health, 2) respect for and promotion of the health of others, 3) understanding of the process of growth and development, and 4) informed use of health-related information, products, and services. 

All students in grades 7 to 12 receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education at least once in middle grades and once in high school. (CA Healthy Youth Act AB 239)

The following section describes age-appropriate concepts and supplementary programs presented at elementary school, middle school, and high school levels.  The written and audiovisual educational materials used in comprehensive sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention education are  available for inspection.  An overview of curriculum and other health-related resources and programs can be viewed at www.sfusd.edu/health-education.

Transitional Kindergarten

Personal and Community Health: Identifies and practices basic hygiene.

Growth and Development: Names and describes the five senses.

Elementary School

Curriculum: HealthSmart (ETR); Second Step (Committee for Children); Planned Parenthood Puberty Lessons (Planned Parenthood); LGBTQ Family Diversity literature books and lessons; Curriculum and Materials Task Force approved literature books (various authors).

Policy: Students receive a minimum of 20 health lessons per grade per year. 

Recommended implementation:

  • Mental and Emotional Health
  • Injury Prevention and Safety
  • Personal and Community Health
  • Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs
  • LGBTQ, Family Diversity, and Gender
  • Growth and Development
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity

 Per existing law,  CA Education Code sections 51930-51939, students are not separated by gender for health instruction.

Middle School (Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8)

Curriculum:  Healthy Me, Healthy Us. comprehensive sexuality (SFUSD 2017); Project Alert drug education (BEST Foundation, 2000); Stanford Tobacco Tool KitSecond Step social emotional learning (Committee for Children, 2017)

Policy:  30 lessons per grade per year.  

Recommended for implementation:

  • 6 lessons on mental, emotional, and social health
  • 6 lessons on growth and development
  • 6 lessons on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • 6 lessons on nutrition and physical activity
  • 3 lessons on injury prevention and safety
  • 2 lessons on family diversity and LGBTQ awareness
  • 1 lesson on other health content areas and relevant health issues based on students’ needs and concerns

High School

Curriculum:  Be Real. Be Ready. Smart Sexuality Curriculum; selected lessons from Health Smart; Stanford's Safety First Tobacco Prevention Tool Kit and Cannabis Awareness and Prevention Toolkit.

Policy:  A one-semester health education course is required for graduation. 

Recommended for implementation:

  • 15 Lessons on self-esteem, mental/emotional health, and personal/social skills
  • 15 Lessons on family life, sexuality education, STD/HIV and pregnancy prevention, and human trafficking
  • 15 Lessons on substance use prevention, including 6 of tobacco prevention;
  • 8 Lessons on violence prevention
  • 2 Lessons on sexuality diversity 
  • 10 Lessons on nutrition and physical activity promotion;
  • 25 remaining lessons based on student needs/ concerns
  • such as personal health, consumer health, injury prevention, relationships, etc.

Health Education District-Wide Resources

Most health education in SFUSD is provided by trained classroom teachers. In addition, several community agencies have been approved to give classroom presentations related to puberty and sexuality. Any organization that wishes to address these topics with students must have their materials reviewed and approved in advance. 

Health education topics sometimes come up as part of other programs. Find more information regarding LGBTQ Student Services, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, and ExCEL After School Programs

Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Notice Regarding Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention Lessons

Per CA Education Code 48980 and 51938  parents/guardians/caregivers are to be notified (1) that written and audiovisual educational materials used in comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education are available for inspection, (2) whether this educational material will be taught by district personnel or by outside consultants, (3) that the parent/guardian may request a copy of Education Code Sections 51937 et seq., and (4) that the parent/guardian may request in writing that their child not receive reproductive health lessons such asHIV/AIDS prevention education without penalty. This handbook fulfills this requirement. 

If the District uses outside consultants or guest speakers, the parent/guardian shall be provided with notice at least 14 days before the instruction with (1) the date of the instruction; (2) the name of the organization or affiliation of each speaker; and (3) information about the right to request a copy of CA Education Codes 51937, 51933 and 51934. 

If you want your child excluded from any portion of the reproductive health education program, please submit the request in writing to your child’s teacher of health education at their school site.  

Additional information about your child’s health education program can be obtained by contacting your child’s teacher of health education and/or principal.

 For details about obtaining condoms, read more about the Condom Availability Program in chapter 3.9.9.

Monthly Health Awareness Themes

August / September

Better Together: Build a Healthy Community


Be Safe, Be Smart: Substance Use Prevention


Be an Ally & Stand Up for Peace: Violence Prevention


Growing Bodies & Active Consent: Healthy Sexuality and Relationships 


Be Well: Nutrition & Physical Activity


Finding Your Voice & Following Your Heart: LGBTQ Pride & Advocacy


Open the Door, Get Out & Explore: Summer Safety and Environmental Health


See the full Handbook and downloadable, translated PDFs at sfusd.edu/Handbook.

This page was last updated on July 16, 2024