Reimagining Health Education— My Experience on the Shape America Task Force

Angela Glymph
CEO Dr. Glymph shares her experience on the Taskforce drafting the National Health Education Standards

Dr. Glymph presenting at the SHAPE National convention

In September 2021, SHAPE America, the Society of Health and Physical Educators, launched the National Health Education Standards Task Force. I was nominated to be part of the Task Force, alongside 20 other education stakeholders, including leaders of national health education organizations, state departments of education, university health education teacher education (HETE) programs, and K-12 practitioners.

Taskforce members

Our task was to revise the National Health Education Standards (NHES), the standards by which all health education curriculum should be based. The first edition of the NHES were released in 1995. They were last revised in the Spring of 2007. On March 12, 2024, the Task Force released eight new standards at the SHAPE America National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.  

The Task Force spent several months building community among the members, and two years drafting and revising the standards. We established a collective vision for the standards. We used a two-part process: First, we did horizontal drafting and review, which means we drafted the standards by the following age groups:  1) elementary (grades K-5), 2) middle (grades 6-8), and high (grades 9-12). I was assigned to work on middle and high school standards. Then we completed vertical drafting and review, which means that we started drafting by standard. I worked on standards 5-7, and drafted performance indicators for those standards across all three age groups with fellow Task Force members.  

Once the standards were drafted, we shared them in 2022, at the SHAPE National Convention in New Orleans, LA. The feedback was centered around making the standards implementable. We embarked on a series of feedback gathering activities, including disseminating a survey for public review (some PHE staff members contributed to it... Thank you!), we engaged SHAPE’s Health Education Council, and SHAPE’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Dr. Glymph and Taskforce members in New Orleans


During the first-round of public revision, I led a review session with middle school and high school students. This was the first time SHAPE America engaged young people directly in this way for their input on the National Standards. These young people reflected on the positive and negative aspects of their health education experience in school, provided the Task Force with guidance on inclusive language, and their perspectives on attaining health-related skills. This part of my experience is what I am the most proud of. We took all of the feedback we gathered in the second round, and began working on a 2nd draft that we shared in 2023 at the SHAPE National Convention in Seattle, WA. Shortly, thereafter we held a public townhall to update the public on the status of the Standards. We spent the Summer and Fall of 2023 drafting and revising the standards document for release in 2024. What a process!


This month in Cleveland, I attended the SHAPE National convention, where the new National Standards were released. I presented on a session titled, Advancing Equity & Inclusion Through National HE Standards. I was also joined by PHE colleagues, Miriam Perez, Director of Community Innovation, and José Beltran, Director of Youth Engagement, who represented PHE’s work at a conference booth. This truly has been a meaningful experience, and an important act of service to improve the quality of heath education for all children in our country.  

Learn more at  

Miriam Perez and José Beltran representing PHE’s work at the SHAPE conference