TN Health Education Standards

School-based health education helps students acquire functional health knowledge, strengthen attitudes and beliefs and provide opportunity for practice skills needed to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors throughout their lives.

Research shows a strong connection between healthy behaviors and academic achievement (e.g., grades, standardized tests, graduation rates, attendance). Student behaviors and experiences set the stage for adult health.  In particular, health behaviors and experiences related to violence, and substance use are consistently linked to poor grades and test scores and lower educational attainment.  In turn, providing health education can help youth to develop positive well-being, academic success, and healthy outcomes into adulthood.

Healthy students are better learners, and academic achievement bears a lifetime of benefits for health. However, youth risk behaviors, such as physical inactivity, unhealthy dietary behaviors, tobacco use, alcohol use, and other drug use are consistently linked to poor grades and test scores and lower educational attainment.  To access the results of the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey that gives more insight related to these behaviors, click here.


The State Board of Education (SBE) adopts the academic standards and graduation requirements for subjects in grades K-12.  The current criteria state all students must successfully pass one high school credit of Lifetime Wellness in order to graduate with a diploma.

K-8 Health Education Standards

Tennessee's Health Education Standards can be used to support the effective implementation of comprehensive health education as one of the components of Coordinated School Health.

High School Lifetime Wellness Standards

Lifetime Wellness is a holistic approach to health and lifetime physical activities in Tennessee high schools. This approach to total wellness encompasses the physical, mental, social, and personal needs of the individual.

Revised Standards: Effective July 1, 2025

The following revised standards were approved by State Board for implementation starting in the 2025-26 school year.

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