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Observations and Comments from Teacher Committee Members


Framework FUNDING UPDATE:… June 9, 2017

Great news – OUR Health Education Framework funding survived its second challenge in the legislature but take a look and you will see funding for the IQC and the health framework is in that fund passed the legislature today. Now it goes to the Governor.


California Health Education Framework UPDATES…June 19-20, 2017

Briefing Report for CASHE

Health Education Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee

California Department of Education

Sacramento, CA

Jaime Rubio

CASHE Observer

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


The third Tuesday morning of the month of June saw commence the second meeting of the week for the panel members of the Health Education Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee. With similar fashion, the meeting began with expressing the goals for the day. The goals of the day basically outlined the meeting agenda, which included topics in supporting health education and chapters on grades four to six. Once again, the panel members were asked to read out loud the framework guidelines, which in this case were about supporting health education. Finalizing this group effort, the panel members were asked to split into groups that were already prearranged for small group discussion.

In these small group discussions, the panel members were actively engaged in commentary and suggestions. The panel members discussed what they liked and did not like. Suggestions were given for eliminating certain verbiage and replacing it with better language, that had to meet consensus with the group, to later be proposed to the larger group if it was a big idea. However, if it was not a big idea and just a change to a particular line in the text, the group members who have pointed out the errors, modification, or expressed additions, would email Deborah, the facilitator. Many of the small groups talked about adding the cost-benefit of health education in the framework to support the teaching of this subject, mainly highlighting its uniqueness and fact that it cannot be taught anywhere else. A reoccurring theme that causes debate among the groups or still not very clear about is how to define high quality health education. Something that goes hand in hand with this theme is the problem with health teachers not being experts in the area. Therefore, panel members highlighted a desire to have highly qualified and appropriately credentialed teachers be a necessity, even though the State Board member provided some input that it should not be a mandate, but rather a recommendation due to another agency having power in that respect. In addition, many additions dealt with thoughts about inclusiveness, such as LGBQT students, which the groups did not feel there was a lot of data for. Also, many members felt that some of the language used was a bit soft and needed to be reworded to have a bigger impact. These same thoughts were noted by each group in the large group discussion.

In the larger discussion, consensus was reached on every idea through a thumb up or down. There were some language and verbiage modifications and additions, such as in grade 5 page 19 having to change the wording from sanitary napkins, to menstrual products. Also in consensus, were ideas that were suggestions to the format of certain pieces. For example, moving the assessment items at the start instead of the roundtable items. A significant change was a preference of the panel members to explicitly state health education instead of the acronym HE. Panel members also thought it would be more effective to have, where appropriate, the word health in front of teacher (health teacher vs teacher). Other issues that were addressed were the important role of health literacy and school nurses, reorganization for emphasis on support, the possibility of having LCAP fund health education courses.

In discussion about grade level chapters, the panel members felt that there needed to be more variety in lesson examples and less repetitive information. Since this is a sensitive topic as to when to teach about sexual education in a health class and what language to use, members focused on age appropriateness of the wording, such as changing in the fourth-grade chapter line 379 the word suicide to self-harm. In fact, the members wanted a whole lesson in self-harm. Special care had to be used when coming up with activities to teach students these standards. Resources were given at times for supplemental learning. Members critiqued consistency and at times pointed out how one word was used earlier but has changed at a later time, as well as other inconsistencies. A structural change that did take place was placing biological learning (puberty reproduction; biological functions) before social/emotional concepts. This argument was strengthened by a panel member, who is a health teacher, that it would be more suitable to have the biological before the social/emotional teaching because this is similar to how students learn the digestive system before learning about eating disorders. Panel members could not decide whether alternative decision guides should consist of  one or have alternatives and therefore was tabled into what they called the “parking lot.”

After the large group discussion on the chapters, the panel also reviewed a panel members handouts that highlighted samples instead of what the framework used which was a chart. These handouts were composed of examples of standard based instruction and an approach to change the format in the framework. A panel member noted that the framework was to guide curriculum and not teaching (questioning its usefulness). Further look into this change was needed and some handouts, were tabled for another occasion as well as requested to have an example of how it would look like in one of the actual lessons. This talk made the meeting go beyond the scheduled time and panel members were in need of leaving, due to flights and transportation back to their respective districts, which did not allow time for appreciations and comment from the panel members.

The next meetings for the committee are Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11, 2017. The topic of discussion would be returning chapters (introduction and grades 7-8 and 9-12) and new chapters (access and equity, appendix on sex trafficking, and criteria for instructional materials adoption).


A Briefing Report for CASHE

Health Education Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee

California Department of Education

Sacramento, CA


Jaime Rubio

CASHE Observer

Monday, June 19, 2017


As panel members gathered around for the beginning of the meeting on this hot Sacramento day (not so hot for members coming from areas down in Southern California), co-chairs head of the panel welcomed the members to the city. The panel today was joined by 16 members ranging from teachers, school nurses, an ACLU of Northern California representative to the Chief of the Health Education Unit for the California Department of Public Health, and others. Overseeing these individuals were Patricia Rucker, State Board of Education Member (Instructional Quality Commission Liaison), Jennifer Woo, Chair of Health Subject Matter Committee, Bill Honig, Member, Health Subject Matter Committee Vice Chair, Instructional Quality Commission, and Jose Flores, Health Subject Matter Committee.

After the welcoming, the members had an opening activity with the purpose of being an ice breaker and people to get to know each other (lacked this aspect last meeting). The panel members were split up into 6 groups and were instructed to talk about what they will be doing when they are not at CFCC meetings this summer. After the groups met, only one person spoke up, a principal of a school, Darren, who shared that he would be attending the 20th anniversary of the Backstreet Boys
Now moving onto serious business matters, the first topic of discussion was concerning TK-3 Chapters. The goal of the group was to make the framework a user-friendly document. It is noteworthy that the co-chairs emphasized the importance of clearly stating to the writers (in consensus) in a directive manner to either add, remove, or modify in any way the chapters so that it can be taken into consideration. Proper protocol involved specifying the page, line number, and specific language to be used was repeated multiple times. The specific language includes information such as, the exact wording preferred versus draft chapters, standards involved, state guidelines, how health education should look in the classroom, and keeping in mind what experiences the members want for all students throughout the state. Ultimately, the goal is to create a document to help teachers with the subject matter in terms of how to teach certain things to students and how to handle sensitive topics. The State Board of Education member mentioned that it was significant for the panel members to create the best guides as possible for instruction to incorporate content that makes sense and provides foundational elements, including how to best express those things. The writers expressed their content with feedback and the panel members’ experience. Also, the writers noted that they have also received valuable input from focus groups and were excited to see how the members were to integrate teaching boundaries.

Before the members were split into three prearranged groups for discussion, the members were asked to volunteer to read the framework guidelines for grade-level chapters. The members were reminded that TK does not have standards and instead use pre-school foundations. Before the small group discussion, the members were also reminded of the requirements that needed to be addressed through standards, laws (such as the California Health Youth Act), and ICQ requirements. As the groups split into three different areas, I went from group to group to observe. In every group, each member had their own remarks written prior to attending this meeting and were very vocal in expressing their opinions and criticism. However, not all remarks were critical due to members also expressing their delight with the language used in many areas throughout the draft chapters. This was increasingly important because each small group was also composed of a writer who not only was hearing the critique of the draft chapters, but also the positive feedback. In these discussion groups, ideas flowed and even between them they looked for consensus before writing such ideas on a poster sized notepad that would later be presented in large group discussion for approval of all the members. If there was an idea that needed to be worked on a much deeper level, the members were asked to email Deborah as “homework.” Many of the issues concerning the small groups started with overarching themes and moved into specific lines of text that they would like to see different.

In large group discussion, many members expressed their concern of the draft chapters being too much of a narrative and not exactly having substance, or evidence or how to “teach” this age group. A reoccurring concern was also the format of the draft chapters. Many of the highlights of the panel members dealt with verbiage and syntax to say things in a better way, such as instead of emphasizing specifically dairy products as a source of calcium, stating the phrase “calcium rich” foods. The panel members gave their overarching themes and their main concerns to each group. A member mentioned that they would like to see each standard be stated, however, one of the writers mentioned that they cannot quote the standards because they are not meant to be integrated as full quotations. Also, the panel members were concerned with consistency throughout the chapters, such as word choice, statistics, and verb identifiers matching the verb in activities. Members of the panel also attempted to find innovative ways to present certain subjects, such as dealing with loss and grief in a commemorative manner (ie. planting a tree, writing something creative.) Adding to loss and grief and many other subjects, a matter of providing more resources to teachers was also constantly mentioned throughout the meeting.

A hot topic of debate through both the draft chapters of TK to third grade and assessment was constructing rubrics that are not as simple as rating “1-4.” In the assessment portion of the meeting, the same format was given where the panel members were split into small groups for discussion to later report to the group at large. For assessment, the groups mentioned overarching topics such as, mentioning culture that reflects California, strategies to assess sensitive topics, assessment relative to a district, the detail of the proper use of stating Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD), how to assess learning in online education, no information about “at risk” students, can we teach teachers to make a good assessment, the need to see more examples of types of assessment (especially in kindergarten). A problem that the panel members kept bringing up was that some material seemed outdated and they would like the use of more current information. However, the writers noted that new information is inexistent at the moment. Overall, the main topic of debate here was again, the idea of a rubric to assess students and that the ones given are too simple and should only be used as a building block.

The meeting also welcomed public comment and Dianne Wilson-Graham, executive director of the California Physical Education-Health Project, spoke stating that her concerns included the need to expand the purpose of assessment. Adding to her comments, she mentioned that there needs to be a sense of a framework that would benefit teachers through clear descriptions, methodology, and evidence, addressing issues such as how teachers should respond to students, create assessment tools and samples. Also, she mentioned that there needs to be a clear distinction between asking what a student feels they’ve learned versus a collection of evidence of learning clear of opinion.

In the end, the panel members were asked to give one word reflective on today’s meeting. The responses were short, process, efficient, better, progressing (many people had this; crowd laughing), improving, positive, hopeful, progressing, incremental, productive, tired, learning. supposed to meet), tired, learning, productive. Overall, the attitudes that prevailed in the meeting room were positive and viewed as progressive.



A Letter from the State Department of Education

Dear Health Education Stakeholders:      

     The second meeting of the Health Education Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (HE CFCC) will be held on June 19–20, 2017, at the California Department of Education. The meeting is open to the public, and there will be time for public comment each day. The meeting agenda is posted on the CDE Health Education Curriculum Framework Web Page at

     During the meeting, the HE CFCC will be discussing several draft chapters for the revision of the health education framework:

  • Grade-level chapters for Transitional Kindergarten through Grade Six
  • Assessment
  • Supporting Health Education

     To access the draft chapters of the health education framework, use this link to draft chapters are organized by meeting date. Click on the folder for the June CFCC meeting to view or download the draft chapters. You do not need to have a account to access the draft chapters. At this time, only the grade level chapters for transitional kindergarten through grade six are available. The chapters on assessment and supporting health education will be available by or before June 16, 2017.

     If you would like to provide comments on the draft chapters, please provide the page and line numbers you are commenting on and provide specific language that you would like to see included.

     E-mail questions and comments to:


CASHE Framework Input Advice:

     If you would like to provide comments on the draft chapters, please provide the page and line numbers you are commenting on and provide specific language that you would like to see included.

     In our experience/opinion, is critical…if you want something changed, you must have the above AND what you want it changed to…for example, don’t say, I want to have an example lesson on the environment but give advice on the lesson format and content.     The writers hired take your comments and suggestions and re-write. IF nothing is submitted then nothing will be included. It is not the writers task to come up with lesson ideas but to make sure all is in the right format, placement, etc. IF you don’t do this vital step chances are you won’t see what you hoping for.


The CFCC will meet five more times to conduct the work of revising the Health Education Framework. The CFCC meetings are tentatively scheduled for August 10–11, 2017; September 18–19, 2017; November 29–30, 2017; and January 25–26, 2018. All CFCC meetings will be public and take place in Sacramento. The CFCC will work with the framework writers and CDE staff to develop a draft Health Education Framework that will be submitted to the IQC for field review in March 2018. The SBE will take final action on the Health Education Framework in May 2019.

If you have any questions regarding the CFCC or the framework revision process, please contact Deborah Franklin, Education Programs Consultant, Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division, by phone at 916-319-0442 or by e-mail at