Surveillance for characteristics of health education among secondary schools--school health education profiles, 1998.

J. A. Grunbaum, L. Kann, B. I. Williams, S. A. Kinchen, J. L. Collins, E. R. Baumler, L. J. Kolbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PROBLEM/CONDITION: School health education (e.g., classroom instruction) is an essential component of school health programs; such education promotes the health of youth and improves overall public health. REPORTING PERIOD: February-May 1998. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: The School Health Education Profiles monitor characteristics of health education in middle or junior high schools and senior high schools in the United States. The Profiles are school-based surveys conducted by state and local education agencies. This report summarizes results from 36 state surveys and 10 local surveys conducted among representative samples of school principals and lead health education teachers. The lead health education teacher coordinates health education policies and programs within a middle/junior high school or senior high school. RESULTS: During the study period, most schools in states and cities that conducted Profiles required health education in grades 6-12. Of these, a median of 91.0% of schools in states and 86.2% of schools in cities taught a separate health education course. The median percentage of schools in each state and city that tried to increase student knowledge in selected topics (i.e., prevention of tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, violence, or suicide; dietary behaviors and nutrition; and physical activity and fitness) was >73% for each of these topics. The median percentage of schools with a health education teacher who coordinated health education was 38.7% across states and 37.6% across cities. A median of 41.8% of schools across states and a median of 31.0% of schools across cities had a lead health education teacher with professional preparation in health and physical education, whereas a median of 6.0% of schools across states and a median of 5.5% of schools across cities had a lead health education teacher with professional preparation in health education only. A median of 19.3% of schools across states and 21.2% of schools across cities had a school health advisory council. The median percentage of schools with a written school or school district policy on HIV-infected students or school staff members was 69.7% across states and 84.4% across cities. INTERPRETATION: Many middle/junior high schools and senior high schools require health education to help provide students with knowledge and skills needed for adoption of a healthy lifestyle. However, these schools might not be covering all important topic areas or skills sufficiently. The number of lead health education teachers who are academically prepared in health education and the number of schools with school health advisory councils needs to increase. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: The Profiles data are used by state and local education officials to improve school health education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)iv-41
JournalMMWR. CDC surveillance summaries : Morbidity and mortality weekly report. CDC surveillance summaries / Centers for Disease Control
Volume49
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 18 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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