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Utah School Board Adopts New K-12 Health Education Standards

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah State Board of Education has adopted new health education standards for grades K-12.


The Deseret News reports that it's the first time the board has new health education standards since 1997.

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The vote on Thursday culminated a nearly two-year process to update the standards, which for the first time includes students in grades kindergarten through second grade.


The standards cover mental health and emotional health, substance abuse prevention, safety and disease prevention, nutrition, human development and health foundation, and protective factors of healthy self.


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Instead of spelling out specific health topics in the standards, the state board will provide teachers instructional guides that address specific issues of current concern such as opioid abuse and sexual assault.


The updated standards stress sexual abstinence while allowing for the evaluation of contraceptives as methods of preventing pregnancy.