Rhode Island - HE K-12 curriculum—alcohol and drug use/abuse (HS): Curricula

Policy Type: 
statute; regulation; standard

State law addresses alcohol and drug use/abuse.

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-1-5. Duties of commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

It shall be the duty of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education:

(14) To establish health education, alcohol and substance abuse programs for students in grades kindergarten (K) through twelve (12), in accordance with § 35-4-18. The program will consist of the following: A mandated state health education, alcohol and substance abuse, curriculum for grades kindergarten (K) through twelve (12), a mandated assessment program in the areas of health, fitness, alcohol and substance abuse, and an in-service training program which will be developed specifically for the implementation of the mandated curriculum.

200-RICR-20-10-1 Basic Education Program

  1. Each LEA shall ensure that the coherent and coordinated K-12 curriculum for health includes:
    • a. Instruction in all content areas: personal health, mental and emotional health, injury prevention (including violence prevention), nutrition, sexuality and family life, disease prevention and control, and substance use and abuse prevention - including specific topic areas required by state statute;
    • b. An emphasis on developing the key skills (i.e., accessing information and services, analyzing social influences on health, assessing personal risks, goal-setting, decision making, communication, negotiation, and advocacy) that cut across all health content areas and on practicing health-enhancing behaviors;
    • c. Sequential, comprehensive, and developmentally appropriate instruction K-12;
    • d. Medically accurate information; and
    • e. Compliance with statutory requirements for instructional time as well as with other requirements in the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs.
      Source: Rhode Island Secretary of State

State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-22-12. Required courses on alcohol and substance abuse.

(a) The school committees of the several cities, towns, and school districts shall provide for the incorporation of mandatory instruction of students in grades one through twelve (12) on the effects of alcohol and substance abuse upon the human system in existing health education or other courses.

Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs

Section 5.0 Mandated Health Instructional Outcomes: Required Content Areas

5.1 The health education curriculum shall be based on the health education standards of the Rhode Island Health Education Framework: Health Literacy for All Students and consistent with the mandated health instructional outcomes therein. These outcomes shall pertain to no less than the following topics appropriate to grade or developmental level:

  • 5.1.1 Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substance Abuse: the causes, effects, treatment and prevention of the use of tobacco and abuse of alcohol and other drugs pursuant to RIGL §§ 16-22-3, 16-22-12, 16-1-5(14), and 35-4-18;

[Inactive as of July 2018.]
Source: Rhode Island Secretary of State

The Rhode Island Health Education Framework

In order to demonstrate the relationship between the standards and health education outcomes, the outcomes need to be reviewed and assigned to the most appropriate standard (or standards) and performance descriptions. A committee of educators and others has accomplished this task. They have aligned the outcomes with the standards and performance descriptions. The result of this alignment can be seen in the Comprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes. It is essential that all students engage in health education programs that include all of the process and content standards depicted in this Framework.

Figure 4

The Weaving of Content and Health Education Standards

(7 health education standards are weaved with 10 health education content areas:)

Health Education Standards:

  1. Health promotion and disease prevention concepts
  2. Valid health information, products and services access
  3. Health enhancing and health risk reduction behaviors
  4. Influence of culture, media and technology
  5. Interpersonal communication skills
  6. Goal-setting and decision-making
  7. Personal, family, community and environmental advocacy.

Content areas:

  1. Personal Health
  2. Mental and Emotional Health
  3. Injury Prevention and Safety
  4. Nutrition
  5. Family Life
  6. Environmental Health
  7. Disease Control and Prevention
  8. Substance Use and Abuse
  9. Consumer Health
  10. Community Health
    Source: Thrive: Rhode Island Coordinated School Health Program
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