Other Subjects

We demand rigor in all elementary and secondary education subject and content areas. Find information here about the standards that govern our arts, health and physical education programs.

Fine Arts

Health Education

Health education is required by state law for all students in grades 1-12. Students should receive at least an average of 100 minutes per week of health and physical education (combined). The health education curriculum must be based on the health education standards of the Rhode Island Health Education Framework: Health Literacy for All Students . The curriculum must be sequential, developmentally appropriate, medically accurate, and comprehensive. It must also cover a variety of required content areas. These requirements are spelled out in the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs [PDF, 419KB].

Like all subjects, health education must be taught by appropriately certified teachers. At the elementary level, that includes school nurse teachers, certified health educators, certified health and physical education teachers, or any certified elementary teacher. At the secondary level, that includes school nurse teachers, certified health educators, or certified health and physical education teachers.


The Rhode Island Health Education Framework [PDF, 940KB] provides district curriculum committees with a resource to help develop, evaluate, revise and improve existing health education curricula. It links health education to other education reform efforts which seek to improve teaching and learning and contribute to high levels of achievement for all students. To increase the likelihood that young people will develop healthier lifestyle practices and resist engaging in risky health behaviors, instruction, as guided by this Framework, should be skill-oriented and emphasize the practical applications of learning.

The Framework, aligned with national standards, was developed by a task force comprised of a diverse group of educators, parents, health professionals, Department of Education staff, and other Rhode Island community members. The Framework was endorsed by the Rhode Island Board of Regents of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1996.

For more information on Health, please review our Health & Safety standards.


The seven standards describe what all Rhode Island students should know and be able to do as a result of K-12 health education.

  • Standard One - Students will understand the concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention as a foundation for a healthy life.
  • Standard Two - Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid health information and health-promoting products and services.
  • Standard Three - Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks.
  • Standard Four - Students will analyze the influence of culture, media, technology and other factors on health.
  • Standard Five - Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health.
  • Standard Six - Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting and decision-making to enhance health.
  • Standard Seven - Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, community, and environmental health.

Rhode Island Health Education Framework: Health Literacy for All [PDF, 940KB]


The Comprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes [PDF, 2.3MB] (rev. 2012) complement the Rhode Island Health Education Framework, by attaching content specific topics to the performance descriptions for each standard. Specific performance descriptors are presented across each of the seven health education standards, grouped by grade spans (K-4, 5-8, 9-10, and 11-12), for each of seven major health content areas:

  1. Personal Health,
  2. Mental and Emotional Health,
  3.  Injury Prevention,
  4. Nutrition,
  5. Sexuality and Family Life,
  6. Disease Prevention and Control, and
  7. Substance Use and Abuse Prevention. 

Comprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes [PDF, 2.3MB] (rev. 2012)


Physical Education

Physical education (PE) is planned, sequential instruction that promotes lifelong physical activity. It is designed to help students develop the knowledge, movement skills, self-management skills, social skills, attitudes and confidence they need to adopt and maintain physical activity throughout their lives.

Physical education is required by state law for all students in grades 1-12. Students should receive at least an average of 100 minutes per week of health and physical education (combined). Recess is not counted as physical education for the purposes of this requirement.

The physical education curriculum is required to be aligned, by September 2012, with the physical education standards of the Rhode Island Physical Education Framework: Supporting Physically Active Lifestyles through Quality Physical Education [PDF, 796KB]. The curriculum should be sequential, developmentally appropriate and comprehensive.

The Rhode Island Physical Education Framework [PDF, 796KB] is designed to help district curriculum committees develop, evaluate, and revise physical education curricula. The six standards describe what all Rhode Island students should know and be able to do as a result of K-12 physical education. Performance indicators describe what a student must demonstrate to show competency in meeting the standard at points along K-12 instruction. A quality PE program works across activities and units to address all standards, and selects those that will be formally assessed. The focus should be on developing and maintaining health-related fitness, rather than on sports and competition.

The Framework and standards are aligned with national standards and were developed by the RI Departments of Education and Health, in partnership with the Rhode Island Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (RIAHPERD), other educators, parents, health professionals, and other community members. The Framework was endorsed by the Rhode Island Board of Regents of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2003.


Vision: As a result of daily, high quality physical education instruction from K-12, all students will have the knowledge and skills to lead a physically active lifestyle.

A physically educated person:

  1. Demonstrates competency in many movement forms and proficiency in a few movement forms.
  2. Applies movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills.
  3. Understands the implications of and the benefits derived from involvement in physical activity.
  4. Applies physical activity-related skills and concepts to maintain a physically active lifestyle and a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
  5. Demonstrates responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings.
  6. Understands that internal and external environments influence physical activity.

Rhode Island Physical Education Framework: Supporting Physically Active Lifestyles through Quality Physical Education [PDF, 796KB]


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