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Health and Family Life Curriculum

Health Education Overview

Comprehensive PreK-12 Skills-Based Health Education focuses on a student’s development of protective life skills that promote health and well-being.  By participating in a variety of learning experiences, students are able to develop adaptive and positive behaviors that will equip them to meet the demands and challenges of everyday life.


  1. Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health, including: (a) Mental and emotional health; (b) Substance abuse prevention; (c) Family life and human sexuality; (d) Safety and violence prevention; (e) Healthy eating; and (f) Disease prevention and control.

  2. Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.

  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health.

  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

  5. Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health. 

  6. Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health.

  7. Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.

  8. Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.

The full framework can be found at


The entire elementary health curriculum, including all lessons, is available here.  Physical education teachers teach 10-minute health mini-lessons as part of physical education classes.  

Family Life lessons are included in the health curriculum in grades K-4.

Family Life Topics Include:

  • Recognize prosocial behaviors (e.g., helping others, being respectful of others, cooperation, and consideration).
  • Recognize that individuals have personal boundaries and bodily autonomy.
  • Recognize it is important to treat all people with dignity and respect.
  • Describe healthy ways to express affection, love, friendship, and concern.
  • Understanding nonverbal cues
  • Bullying and harassament
  • Describe healthy and rewarding social interactions.
  • Describe the benefits of healthy peer relationships

Grades 5-8 Family Life 

Parents and guardians will receive a letter about the Family Life program and when it will be occurring in a particular school.  All students are considered to be taking Family Life unless a parent sends a written request to excuse their child from the program. This policy is in accordance with the Code of Maryland Regulations for Comprehensive Health Education Instructional Programs. COMAR also requires that if a student is excused from the Family Life program, the student be given alternate learning activities in health education provided by the local school. Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) has two Family Life teachers who rotate and provide instruction to the 5th, 7th, and 8th grades.

Grade 5 Family Life Topics

  • Puberty and Adolescent Sexual Development
  • Self Esteem

Grade 6 Family Life Topics (Taught by Girls Inc. Staff) 

  • Gender Identity and Expression
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Healthy Relationships and Consent

Grade 7 Family Life Topics

  • Self-Esteem and Peer Pressure
  • Puberty and Adolescent Sexual Development
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Sexual Health
  • Teen Pregnancy 
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • HIV
  • Abstinence 

Grade 8 Family Life Topics

  • Decision Making and Goal Setting
  • Puberty and Adolescent Sexual Development
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Conception to Birth: Teen Pregnancy 
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • HIV
  • Abstinence 
  • Sexual Behaviors and the Law.
  • Contraception

High School Health and Family Life

High School Health is a year-long course that meets the MSDE graduation requirements for Health I and Health II. This course encourages students to develop skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will enable them to make decisions that promote healthy behaviors. Topics included are Mental and Emotional Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, Family Life and Human Sexuality, Safety and Violence Prevention; Healthy Eating; and Disease Prevention and Control. Skills developed in relation to health-enhancing behaviors include: analyzing influences, accessing valid and reliable information, interpersonal communication, decision-making, goal setting, self-management, and advocacy.  Additional information about the sexuality unit can be found by clicking here.