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Family and Community Guide for High School Comprehensive Health

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Working Together: To support families, communities, and teachers in realizing the goals of the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), this guide provides an overview of the learning expectations for students studying high school comprehensive health. This guide offers some learning experiences students may engage in at school that may also be supported at home.

Why Standards? Created by Coloradans for Colorado students, the Colorado Academic Standards provide a grade-by-grade road map to help ensure students are successful in college, careers, and life. The standards aim to improve what students learn and how they learn in 12 content areas while emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and communication as essential skills for life in the 21st century.

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Comprehensive Health (adopted 2018)

The comprehensive health standards in Grades 9-12 focus on enhancing and strengthening skills in the areas of physical, social, and emotional wellness and using those individual skills in family, school, and community environments. In each grade, the standards ask students to deepen their understanding of ways to set and maintain healthy relationships and continue to investigate healthy eating/living habits, positive communication strategies, effective decision-making, and ways to ensure personal and community safety.

Expectations for High School Students:

  • Physical and Personal Wellness: Apply effective decision-making skills in interpersonal relationships and sexual health; provide support for others in making healthy choices about sexual activity; demonstrate personal responsibility for healthy eating and analyze factors that influence dietary choices.
  • Social Emotional Wellness: Advocate to improve and maintain positive mental and emotional health for self and others.
  • Prevention and Risk Management: Access valid information and resources pertaining to sexual assault, violence prevention, marijuana, illegal drugs, abuse of prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; develop interpersonal communication skills and strategies to prevent violence; analyze factors that influence a person’s decisions pertaining to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; develop strategies to prevent violence and identify the emotional and physical impacts that violence brings to individuals and families.

Throughout High School You May Find Students:

  • Examining the causes, symptoms, and effects of emotional health (e.g., stress, depression, anxiety, and suicide).
  • Advocating for themselves and others to improve or maintain positive mental and emotional health.
  • Utilizing interpersonal communication skills to refuse or avoid alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs.
  • Analyzing how risk behaviors impact overall wellness (e.g., substance misuse/abuse, sexual behaviors, and self-harm).
  • Demonstrating ways to take responsibility for healthy eating.
  • Locating reliable school and community resources that provide information about risky behaviors (e.g., sexual assault, bullying, violence, and substance abuse).
  • Analyzing internal and external influences/pressures in social and interpersonal situations.
  • Examining the importance of respect for individual differences.
  • Utilizing strategies to develop healthy interpersonal relationships.
  • Analyzing the components of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
  • Demonstrating effective strategies to resolve conflict in nonviolent ways.
  • Setting and attaining goals to improve personal health.
  • Developing self-management plans.