Health Education

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: A Teacher's Guide to Addressing Trauma and Sexual Violence in the Classroom
These guidelines will give teachers the best tools to address the sensitive subject of this book. They were developed to look at this book through the lens of being trauma informed. With the statistics on sexual abuse as high as they are, there is a strong possibility that teachers will have victims and offenders of sexual abuse in their class. These guidelines were developed by Amy Torcia, Vermont Network of Domestic and Sexual Violence; Donna McAllister, Agency of Education; Priscilla White, Dept. for Children and Families; Johanna Hiller, U32 English Teacher; and Lisa LaPlante, Guidance and Counseling Director at U32.

The agency provides professional development and technical assistance to school faculty and administrators specific to the development and implementation of health education standards-based curricula, instruction and assessment. The agency also provides on loan to schools a wide variety of health education curricula and supplemental materials through the Health Education Resource Center (HERC).

Sequential school health programs for K-12 students prove to be more effective in changing health behaviors than occasional programs on a single health topic. Health literacy is defined as "the capacity of individuals to obtain, interpret and understand basic health information and service, and the competence to use such information and services in ways that enhance health." People who are health literate:

  • can think things through and make healthy choices in solving their own problems,
  • are responsible and make choices that benefit themselves and others,
  • are in charge of their own learning and
  • can use communication skills in clear and respectful ways.

Vermont Freemasons Comprehensive Assessment and Recovery Effort (C.A.R.E.)
The Vermont Freemasons, along with the Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health have a long-term partnership to help schools support develop and improve upon their Educational Support Team (EST) as part of their Educational Support System (ESS). This innovative 2 day workshop builds educators' skills in identifying at-risk students for substance abuse, depression, suicide or violence; developing a referral system; and providing support. This opportunity, usually held in March, is at no direct cost to schools being funded by the Vermont Freemasons.

  Memo: Implementation of Act 1
Dated: August 28, 2013

Act One Survey for Principals
The Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force, Agency of Education and Agency of Human Services would like school principals to complete a survey regarding the implementation of Act One to help identify what resources are being used and working and what resources might be needed. Please contact Donna McAllister for content-related questions and Sabine Baldwin for Survey Monkey-related issues.


Licensing Requirements
A memo from Commissioner Vilaseca that provides guidance on licensing requirements for health education, a legislative update, and professional development opportunities.

  CILC Programs
CILC – the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration – provides video conferencing services for classrooms worldwide. CILC partners with nearly 200 national and international content providers offering over 1,300 teacher evaluated standards based K-12 programs. For the first time, the Vermont Agency of Education's Health Education Resource Center (HERC) is making available to the field, at no cost, CILCs on-line health education-related resources. To view CILCs database of available health education programs, visit and click on the "content provider programs" icon. For detailed instructions on ordering health education programs from CILC through HERC, click on the link above titled, "CILC Programs"
  Growing Up LGBT in America

The Human Rights Campaign works to ensure LGBT people of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. For more information about the campaign, click HERE.  For additional resources click HERE.


Guidance Document for Health Education

Licensing Requirements
December 12, 2012
A memo from Commissioner Vilaseca that provides guidance on licensing requirements for health education, a legislative update, and professional development opportunities.

Implementation of Vermont Act 151 of 2012
September 2012
Effective immediately, information regarding and practice of compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators becomes a part of comprehensive health education. View the legislation.

  Hardcopy Pricing and Information
View pricing information and options for ordering a hardcopy of the guide, rubric cards and skill posters.
  Health Education Grade Expectation Resources
In 2007, Vermont's Health Education Grade Expectations (GEs) were revised to reflect current research and best practice. It is hoped that these revised Health Education GEs will enhance the assessment, curriculum, and instruction work of schools and teachers. The new Health Grade Cluster Expectation (GCEs) are organized into seven content areas: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs; Family, Social and Sexual Health; Mental and Emotional Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity; Personal Health and Wellness; and Violence and Injury Prevention. Like the Grade Level Expectations in other content areas, the Health Grade Cluster Expectations are more specific statements of the Vermont standards in Vermont Framework of Standards & Learning Opportunities. However, unlike the Grade Level Expectations which delineate specific grade levels, these grade expectations are organized by Grade Clusters (pre-K and K; 1 and 2; 3 and 4; 5 and 6; 7 and 8; and high school). The purpose of using grade clusters is to provide additional flexibility for alignment of local curriculum and local comprehensive assessment systems.
  Health Education Guidelines for Curriculum and Assessment
These guidelines for aligning curriculum, instruction and assessment are based on Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities, Vermont Health Education Standards, the work of the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student' Standards and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adolescent Risk Behaviors. This document will allow schools to select or develop and then implement a curriculum that will help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to be healthy and achieve academically. NOTE: This document is 7.7MB.
  Health Education Resource Centers (HERCs)
The Vermont Agency of Education operates a Health Education Resource Center (HERC) that maintains a variety of pre-K-12 health education materials. Currently practicing Vermont school and community-based health educators may borrow curricula, books, reference resources, models & kits and audio-visual materials.
  Linking Health & Learning Bulletin
This monthly, electronic resource is intended to keep Vermont educators and youth-serving professionals up-to-date on resources, professional development and grant/funding opportunities, and other issues related to healthy and safe schools. NOTE: The bulletin is not published during the summer months.
  National Sexuality Education Standards Set the New Gold Standard for Sexuality Education in Public Schools
Released in 2012, the first-ever national standards for sexuality education in schools provides clear, consistent, and straightforward guidance on the essential minimum, core content for sexuality education that is developmentally and age-appropriate for students in grades kindergarten through grade 12. These standards provide teachers, schools, school districts, and state education agencies with a new national standard—the minimum they need to teach to set students on a path to sexual health and responsible adulthood, and are presented in a user-friendly way.

Resources Related to Mental Health
Many families and children experience trauma in many different ways. The following resources created by the National Traumatic Stress Network prove to be very useful to many parents, school staff, community workers in answering questions about tragic events.

  Share Your School Success Stories
Share a specific success in your school to help educate and motivate others; provide stories for the Vermont Agency of Education to share with its partners, including the Centers for Disease Control; and to potentially gain recognition for accomplishments in your school community. The success story may be related to healthy nutrition environment, physical activity/education, tobacco-free lifestyles, alcohol and other drug use prevention, HIV prevention, safe school initiatives, efforts to better coordinate school health, or another health-related topic. To submit a success story, click on   
  Substance Abuse Prevention Speaker Guidelines
School or community-based prevention programs occasionally invite outside speakers to address students. To maximize the benefits from these visits, the Vermont Department of Health has released Substance Abuse Prevention Speaker Guidelines which are designed to help with the process of selecting presenters.

Technical Assistance Resource Guide (TARG) for Sexual Violence Prevention in Vermont
This document provides guidance for schools to build their capacity for and knowledge of sexual violence prevention. Created by the Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force, this document was mandated as part of ACT 1 of the 2009 legislative session to improve Vermont's Sexual Abuse Response System. NOTE: This document is 4.3MB. On August 27, 2010, "Appendix E: Sample Forms and Quick Reference Resources" was amended to include "6. Disclosures: What You Need to Know" (pages 119-124 of the PDF).

  Vermont 2010 School Health Profile Report
The department employs the School Health Profiles, a data collection instrument developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to obtain school-based information about current health policies and health education programs. This instrument, designed for use in secondary schools that contain any grades from six through twelve, asks questions of the school administrators and the school health educators.

Vermont Community of Health Educators
VCHE provides members with a dynamic network of professional and personal support including professional development tailored to the needs of health education professionals across Vermont and opportunities to connect with health educator colleagues for rich and meaningful discussions about the state of health education across our state and nationally.


Vermont Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force 2012 School Assessment: Summary of Findings and Recommendations
On Feb. 27, 2009, The Vermont Senate and Housed passed S.13 – An Act Relation to Improving Vermont's Sexual Abuse Response System. The intent of this legislation known as Act One is to increase child sexual abuse prevention efforts and includes mandates for schools. In the Spring of 2012, the Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force (SVPTF) disseminated the 2012 Sexual Violence Prevention Education School Survey with the goal of the survey to assess schools' current sexual violence prevention practices to guide the SVPTF's ongoing technical assistance. This report summarizes the results of the survey.


Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for 2011

  Every two years since 1993, the Department of Health's Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs and the agency have sponsored the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The YRBS measures the prevalence of behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disease and injury among youth. The YRBS is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the "resiliency" of young people by reducing high risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors.

Additional Links:

  Center for Health and Learning   
The center works collaboratively with schools, communities and institutions of higher education in preparing professionals to help youth make healthy choices and reduce risk-taking behavior.
  Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH)   
The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) DASH program focuses on preventing the most serious health risk behaviors among children, adolescents, and young adults.
  Vermont Department of Health (VDH) 
The VDH works to protect and improve the health of our population through core public health functions.

Health Education Program/Health Education Resource Center (HERC)
Donna McAllister, Health Education Consultant
(802) 479-1426


Page Last Updated on March 27, 2014