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Comprehensive Health and PE Standards - Grades 2 & 5

Letter: NJ Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and PE

Dear Parent/Guardian, 

The New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education were revised in 2020 to address the need for students to gain knowledge and skills in caring for themselves, interacting effectively with others, and analyzing the impact of choices and consequences. These revised standards will be implemented in the 2022-2023 school year.

We value the importance of partnering with families as we educate students in the knowledge and skills they need in order to lead a healthy, active life. We invite you to examine and discuss this information with your student(s) prior to the instructional units at school. Specifically, the content related to family life education. The curriculum explanations outlined below will also be available on the district website. 

The Fifth Grade Curriculum will cover the following topics:

  • Nutrition - Students learn the principles of a balanced nutritional plan (e.g. moderation, variety of fruits, vegetables, limiting processed foods) to assist in making nutrition-related decisions that contribute to wellness.

  • Drugs (substance abuse, alcohol, smoking) - Students learn about alcohol, tobacco/vaping, and drugs, and their potential associated unhealthy effects (e.g., substance disorder, cancer). Students learn how to differentiate between drug use, misuse, abuse, prescription, and illicit drugs.

  • Conflict Resolution & Healthy Relationships - Students learn healthy ways to respond to disagreements or conflicts with others and discuss the characteristics of healthy versus unhealthy relationships.

  • Self Esteem, Confidence & Self Talk - Students learn about self-esteem/confidence/ positive self talk /mental health and stress, and discuss the impact of one’s feelings and thoughts on healthy and unhealthy behaviors. We explain how to cope with rejection, loss, difficult learning situations, and/or separation from family or others.

  • Mental Health & Stress - Students identify different feelings and emotions that people may experience, how they might express these emotions (e.g., anger, fear, happiness, sadness, hopelessness, anxiety), and the behaviors that can help them handle difficult situations that can occur at home, in school, and/or in the community, and where to go for help. **End of lesson activity – making stress balls.


  • Gender Role Stereotypes - The lesson will focus on gender-role stereotypes, their potential impact on self and others, and ways to promote dignity and respect for all.

  • Sexual Reproduction - Sexual Reproduction – Students will learn the functioning of the reproductive system and human reproduction, and the basics of fetal development.

Tenafly Public Schools acknowledges that parents/guardians are the primary family life educators for their student(s), and we are committed to partnering with you to provide supplementary resources to support you in this role. Although we strongly encourage families to have their student(s) participate in these essential health topics, we want to acknowledge that parents/guardians do have the option of excluding their student from any portion of sexuality/family life education instruction if it is in conflict with their conscience, morally, or religiously held beliefs. (See NJ Statute Section: 18A:35-4.7 below.1

If this conflict exists, submit the Family Life Opt-Out Form, which will be routed to your student’s building principal.


Please be sure to specifically identify out of which of the subject(s) you are opting your student(s) out. Students who are excused will be assigned to a separate classroom for the duration of those identified lessons. These students will participate in a Social Emotional Learning-based (SEL) assignment. 

1 Section: 18A:35-4.7: Parent's statement of conflict with conscience: Any child whose parent or guardian presents to the school principal a signed statement that any part of the instructions in health, family life education or sex education is in conflict with his conscience, or sincerely held moral or religious beliefs shall be excused from that portion of the course where such instruction is being given and no penalties as to credit or graduation shall result therefrom.


Joseph Carollo                 

Director of Athletics, Family Life, Health and PE

Heidi Chizzik

Acting Principal - Mackay Elementary School

Dr. Jennifer Ferrara

Principal - Maugham Elementary School

Daryl George

Principal - Smith Elementary School

Gayle Lander 

Principal - Stillman Elementary School