Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

2020 Health Adoption Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the 2020 Health Instructional Materials Adoption.

Evaluation Criteria
Distribution of Samples

  1. What are the deadlines for participation in this adoption?

    Answer: Please see the schedule of significant events for the complete timeline. Publishers must submit an Intent to Submit form no later than February 12, 2020. The CDE will post this form on its website by December 30, 2019. The CDE will use the Intent to Submit form to bill publishers for the participation fee for participation in the adoption. Fees are due along with a completed Submission Form, which the CDE will also post on its website, on March 27, 2020.

  2. What will the fee be for participation in this adoption?

    Answer: California Education Code (EC) Section 60213 External link opens in new window or tab.requires a publisher participation fee for all instructional materials adoptions. California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 9517.3External link opens in new window or tab., establishes the fee at $8,000 per grade level. Both the law and regulations include provisions for a potential reduction in the fee for designated small publishers (an independently owned or operated publisher or manufacturer that is not dominant in its field of operation and that, together with its affiliates, has 100 or fewer employees, and has average annual gross receipts of ten million dollars or less over the previous three years). The CDE website provides instructions for publishers to apply to the California State Board of Education (SBE) for a fee reduction.

  3. Do supplemental materials fall under this adoption process?

    Answer: No. This adoption process is for only full-course programs, i.e., materials meeting all of the evaluation criteria adopted by the SBE.

  4. Can a publisher submit more than one program?

    Answer: Yes. There is no limit to the number of programs a publisher may submit. Additionally, the number of components within a publisher’s program is not regulated.

  5. Can publishers submit a K–3 program or a grades 4–5 program? Or must a submitted program cover grades K–8?

    Answer: A publisher may submit a complete grade-level program for any grade- level combination, including only a single grade.

  6. What are the requirements for display of submitted instructional materials during an adoption? What are the requirements for publishers?

    Answer: Publishers must post the student editions of their submitted programs on a website that is accessible to the public (5 CCR, Section 9523). Publishers provide this website link to the CDE no later than the deadline for the distribution of instructional materials samples to the public specified in the Publishers’ Invitation to Submit. The regulations state that the materials “posted on each publisher's website shall be identical to the hard copy version of the instructional materials submitted for adoption, except that copyrighted items that do not allow for posting online may be omitted and replaced by a description of the omitted item, and any online features that are absent from the hard copy version shall be identified.”

    In addition to the online display, publishers must distribute hard copies/software copies (or digital access keys for online materials) to Learning Resource Display Centers (LRDCs) across the state. The CDE will provide a list of LRDCs as part of the sampling bulletin that will be distributed during the April training of reviewers.

  7. What exactly counts as “student materials” for the requirement that those materials be posted online for review?

    Answer: 5 CCR Section 9523, states that publishers shall post “those instructional materials intended for student use” and provide the CDE with a URL to where those materials are available online. This requirement would include items such as student editions, consumable workbooks, and the like. An item that is primarily intended for the teacher or is not provided to the student as part of the normal course of instruction does not need to be posted. Similarly, answer keys and solution sets for student materials do not need to be posted.

  8. Can we have a password or other security feature on the student editions we post online?

    Answer: Publishers may implement security features they deem necessary as long as they do not limit public access to the materials. If there is a password, there must be a process for members of the public to request that password and receive it in a timely manner.

  9. How do we post our student materials online if they contain copyrighted images?

    Answer: Publishers may either conceal or omit copyrighted images with a notation that the image is available in the print materials or include pages that have embedded watermarks. In addition, publishers may note that materials are posted for review purposes only.

  10. How long do our student materials need to be kept online?

    Answer: The materials must be kept online and accessible until the SBE takes action to adopt health instructional materials.

  11. What is the role of publishers at the public meetings for this adoption (training, deliberations, IQC meetings, etc.)?

    Answer: Publishers are invited to attend all public meetings. The final day of training will be dedicated to publisher sessions where they will be expected to provide an overview of their program to the panel that will be reviewing their materials. More details about this process will be included in a later bulletin. At the end of the first day of deliberations, the CDE will provide publishers with questions from the reviewers. Publishers will have the opportunity to respond to those questions during a scheduled session on the second day of deliberations. In addition, publishers may respond to reviewer questions or concerns during the public comment periods each day of deliberations.

  12. How will public comment be handled during this adoption?

    Answer: 5 CCR, Section 9521, provides detailed instructions on the handling of public comments on instructional materials. Specifically, public comments related to the submitted materials that are received by CDE within 14 days of the first day of reviewer deliberations will be distributed to the appropriate reviewers no less than 7 days prior to the start of deliberations. Furthermore, members of the public may attend all public sessions and be in the room during panel deliberations. Public comment will be taken during every day of training and at least twice a day during deliberations. We will go over these procedures with reviewers during the training in April 2020.

    Once the panels complete their deliberations, there will be additional opportunities for public comment. The IQC will host a public input session in August 2020 at CDE Headquarters, and public hearings will be held at the Health Subject Matter Committee meeting and full Commission in September 2020 and again at the SBE in November 2020. Comments received during the process will be forwarded to the IQC and the SBE for consideration at those meetings.

  13. Is there any requirement for a Publisher to post a Bond in order to participate or after being approved for adoption?

    Answer: No.

  14. Textbook Depository: Is there any requirement for a Publisher to use a Textbook Depository and/or have a minimum quantity of materials located in the State of California?

    Answer: Yes; EC Section 60061 states that a publisher shall: “maintain a representative, office, or depository in the State of California, or arrange with an independently owned and operated depository in the State of California to receive and fill orders for instructional materials.” Additionally, once the SBE adopts instructional materials for a particular subject, those materials remain on the list of adopted materials for that subject until such time that the SBE adopts a new list of instructional materials for that subject (EC Section 60200[h]).

  15. Is there a requirement for a multi-year pricing guarantee for curriculum?

    Answer: Yes. Publishers may raise the price of their materials only every other year (EC Section 60201); however, they may lower prices at any time.

  16. Must districts purchase instructional materials from the SBE adoption list?

    Answer: No. EC Section 60210 states the following:

    (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a local educational agency may use instructional materials that are aligned with the academic content standards adopted pursuant to Section 60605 or 60605.8, including instructional materials that have not been adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 60200.

    (c) If a local educational agency chooses to use instructional materials that have not been adopted by the state board, the local educational agency shall ensure that a majority of the participants of any review process conducted by the local educational agency are classroom teachers who are assigned to the subject area or grade level of the materials.

    LEAs may also utilize supplemental resources that meet the requirements of the social content standards requirements.

  17. What funding is available to districts to purchase instructional materials?

    Answer: Districts may use Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funds or proposition 20 lottery funds. For more information on the LCFF, please visit the CDE LCFF web page.

  18. To whom should questions for the IQC be sent?

    Answer: Questions or correspondence intended for the IQC may be sent to the attention of IQC Executive Director at

  19. To whom should questions regarding the adoption and/or specific program content be sent?

    Answer: Questions directly related to the adoption should be directed to David Almquist, Publisher Liaison, at

  20. Is there a no-contact rule for publishers not to contact any school or district personnel directly during the adoption process?

    Answer: Yes, if they are SBE-appointed reviewers or facilitators of review panels. State regulations (5 CCR Section 9514) state that “Publishers or their representatives shall not communicate with” reviewers or facilitators during their tenure about “anything related to the evaluation or adoption of instructional materials submitted for adoption.” Publishers also must not “communicate with Commissioners about anything related to the evaluation or adoption of instructional materials, other than during the times for public comment in open publicly-noticed meetings, or other than through written submissions addressed to all Commissioners in care of the Executive Director of the Commission, between the date set forth in the Schedule of Significant Events when instructional materials are delivered”…“ and the date when the SBE takes action to adopt.” Reviewers and Commissioners “may contact publishers for technical assistance in using electronic instructional materials.” …publishers “may communicate with the chairperson”…“of the Commission or the chairperson”…“of the Subject Matter Committee involved in the adoption during the time set forth for deliberations.”

  21. Regarding the April training session and the July deliberations session, should a publisher plan to attend these meetings?

    Answer: Yes—definitely. For the training session, publishers will come to understand how exactly reviewers will go about their work; and on the final day of training, the CDE will provide publishers with about one hour of presentation time to the specific panel that will review their program. For the deliberations session, publishers will want to be in the room to hear reviewer’s discussions and respond to any concerns during the public comment periods which will occur twice daily. The CDE will provide additional information to publishers on these sessions in future publisher bulletins.

  22. Are there any requirements for Spanish? If we have a Spanish version of a text that is available for schools, does it need to be reviewed?

    Answer: There is no requirement for publishers participating in the 2020 Health Adoption to provide materials in another language other than English. Following the adoption process, adopted publishers may submit alternate formats of adopted materials. Alternate format versions of adopted materials must contain the exact same content as the adopted version but may appear in a different physical format (i.e., on a flash drive instead of print version) or be a translation (e.g., Spanish instead of English). For translations, the CDE will conduct an in-depth review of the text.
Evaluation Criteria
  1. How will a publisher demonstrate their program alignment to the evaluation criteria and the content standards?

    Answer: The publisher will complete one evaluation criteria map for their overall program and a standards map for each grade level of their submission. The evaluation criteria map is similar to a spreadsheet whereupon each row is listed the complete text of a standard. The publisher will list citations on the map, next to each criterion, to indicate where in their program a reviewer can find evidence that the program in fact covers the criterion. The standards maps are to be completed in the same manner but to identify where each standard is covered within the appropriate grade level. Reviewers will later review and evaluate whether or not they believe the publisher has included the necessary content to satisfy each criterion and each appropriate grade level standard.

  2. How many citations must a publisher identify on each of the maps?

    Answer: There is no specific count—but enough to demonstrate that the content aligns to and fully satisfies the requirement of the criterion or standard in question.

  3. For a digital citation on a criteria or standards map, can we create a link from text or must we include the entire URL so that users can copy the link into their browser?

    Answer: Publishers may use linked text and not the full URL if using the URL is problematic—such as it’s too long. Publishers should advise reviewers (in a separate note or within the program description) that some citations contain text that is an active link.

  4. We have optional activities within our program—something a teacher may choose to do to enhance a lesson; respond to student results on formative assessments; or provide for differentiated instruction. Is this format allowed? How do we reference these activities in citations on the maps?

    Answer: In order to be considered for adoption, a program must meet the requirements specified within the evaluation criteria (100% of criteria category 1 and real strengths within categories 2–5), including 100% of the applicable grade level standards (remember: a program missing any small aspect of content referenced within a standard will likely fail at that grade level). Accordingly, the maps are not designed for publishers to highlight aspects of their program but rather for publishers to show specifically where in their program materials the exact content shown on the map can be found within their program.

  5. As former classroom teachers and now publishers, we know what teachers and students really need even if our program may not meet everything stipulated within the criteria. Don’t you think that reviewers also will understand this idea and pass our program because it’s so good?

    Answer: No. Programs must meet the requirements of the evaluation criteria. This fact is a requirement of the SBE, and CDE staff and members of the IQC will train reviewers accordingly during the week of April 20–24, 2020.

  6. If a publisher is slightly uncertain about the smallest aspect of this adoption process, what should the publisher do to obtain complete clarity?

    Answer: Contact the CDE Publisher Liaison, David Almquist, at

  7. Is it okay to direct students to do online research and provide them with a list of websites that contain trustworthy information, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention?

    Answer: Yes. However, publishers should not cite within the evaluation criteria map or standards maps any website or content that is not their program content. Publishers may provide links to other sites within their program as additional resources, but citations within the maps should only guide reviewers to content that belongs to the publisher.

  8. Let’s say our digital curriculum becomes adopted and we later develop a series of professional development videos that will help teachers better understand the content and how to teach our lessons. Can we include access to those videos as part of our curriculum to help teachers, or would that be considered a change to our curriculum?

    Answer: You can certainly develop and offer it as you like, but you can’t call it part of the CA SBE-adopted program unless it is submitted and reviewed during this process. You can later add free elements to an existing program or sell additional components as supplementary.

  9. In our online version of our curriculum, we have a copyright notation indicated at the end of every worksheet. Is that okay? There was some mention that we should not have our company name on all pages.

    Answer: The social content laws restrict advertising within instructional materials, but copyright information is fine—it just should not appear to be marketing information.

  10. Can “instructional resources”, “student resources”, “materials”, and “teacher resources” include both print and online/digital components? And can you confirm that publishers are not expected to cover 100% of Category 1 items in print materials only?

    Answer: Publishers programs, including both teacher and student materials, may include both print and or digital components. There is no requirement regarding alignment to the evaluation criteria via print materials.

  11. Criterion 4.3 requires guidance for providing differentiated instruction to a list of identified student populations. Can publishers cover more than one population identified within a given instructional strategy?

    Answer: Yes. See the CA Health Framework for guidance.

  12. Is it permissible that some of our program content is located online in open educational resources (OER) that we do not own or specifically license?

    Answer: No. Publishers must have complete control of the content and maintain its static nature in order to preserve it as approved by the SBE.

    Additionally, publishers should note the social content prohibition regarding advertising within their program materials which would apply to any web content. For additional information, please refer to the SBE guidelines document Standards for Evaluating Instructional Materials for Social Content.

  13. What are the Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) referenced in Criterion 1.8, and what is their purpose?

    Answer: At their core, the EP&Cs are a set of “big ideas” about the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. They were developed, pursuant to law, with the intent of ensuring all students in California achieve a basic level of environmental literacy as part of a high-quality K–12 education. Through repeated exposure to the EP&Cs across disciplines and at increasing levels of complexity and sophistication from kindergarten to twelfth grade, students will come to more deeply understand and apply them in a variety of contexts. The intent behind inclusion of the EP&Cs in K–12 education can be read in the legislation on the bill information website: SB 720 External link opens in new window or tab..

  14. Criterion 1.8, stipulates the inclusion of the EP&Cs instructional content “where appropriate”; how much is enough?

    Answer: While the criterion statement is not specifically quantitative, publishers should anticipate that the review panel members likely will have high expectations for alignment to and inclusion of the EP&Cs, so each grade level should provide appropriate content. Refer to the CA Health Framework for additional guidance.

  15. How might the EP&Cs be reflected in materials submitted for adoption?

    Answer: In 2010, the SBE adopted a model curriculum (also known as the Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) Curriculum) that reflects an integrated approach for lessons addressing relevant standards. This EEI curriculum may serve as an excellent example. The EEI is available for viewing at California Education and the Environment Initiative websiteExternal link opens in new window or tab.. Publishers may incorporate elements of the EEI Curriculum into their programs with appropriate citations for credit. For questions about use permission, please contact CalRecycle’s Office of Education and the Environment at

  16. How does California define “appropriate” for the purposes of Criterion 1.8? That is, how should a publisher determine whether the EP&Cs are aligned to a given health content standard?

    Answer: Broadly defined, the “environment” is the context in which we live our lives. It includes high mountain meadows and cool clear streams, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soils in which we grow the food we eat. The environment also encompasses the communities in which we live and all of the seen and unseen phenomena that comprise the natural systems on which we rely. In this sense, the environment is fundamental to every student’s experience and is the context in which all of human history is embedded. Thus, based on this broad interpretation of “environment,” the EP&Cs can be connected with many (though not all) health standards.

  17. How will Categories 2 through 5 of the criteria be treated differently than Category 1 during the adoption review?

    Answer: In order to be eligible for adoption, programs must meet all of the individual criteria statements in Category 1, while having strengths in the other categories. As stated in the criteria, the other categories will be “judged holistically” by the review panels. This does not necessarily mean that every single statement in those other categories must be met, but publishers should still fill out their Evaluation Criteria Maps thoroughly to ensure that reviewers have all of the evidence needed to make their decision on each category. Each of the four other categories must be found to be met on balance for a program to be eligible for adoption.

  18. Must publishers include the text of the standards in instructional materials submitted for this review?

    Answer: No.

  19. Criterion 1.4 states that resources “must be consistent with current state statutes and statutorily mandated instruction.” In addition to the California Healthy Youth Act and the statutorily mandated California Environmental Principles and Concepts, what other statutes do resources need to meet? What other instruction is mandated by California statutes? Please provide a list of current state statutes that mandate certain instruction and approaches that must be included in health education materials.

    Answer: This criterion statement for the most part is covered by other individual criterion statements, such as 1.1 (alignment to the standards), 1.2 (consistency with the Framework), 1.8 (including elements of the CA EPCs), most of Category 4 (access and equity), and statements within Category 5 (planning and support; … such as 5.10, 5.11, 5.12.)

    But other applicable laws would include:

    Student Privacy
    Publishers must observe carefully all laws regarding student privacy. State law is very restrictive in the collection, storage, management, and use of student data. Publishers must work closely with school districts to ensure compliance with all associated laws.
    (see EC Sections 49073–49079.7 External link opens in new window or tab. ; also see Business and Professions Code Sections 22584–22585 External link opens in new window or tab.).

    Social Content Reviews
    The review panels will also conduct social content reviews of the materials, and any citations will be handled as part of the later Edits and Corrections procedures as publishers may correct social content issues in their materials (see 5 CCR Section 9525 External link opens in new window or tab., and 5 CCR sections 9810–9830 External link opens in new window or tab.. Issues of social content are addressed in EC sections 60040–60050 and 60200–60200.2 External link opens in new window or tab. and in the SBE guidelines document Standards for Evaluating Instructional Materials for Social Content.

    Manufacturing Standards and Specifications
    California mandates standards of quality for instructional materials offered for its classrooms, including standards for print, video, digital and accessible formats (see EC Section 60061.8External link opens in new window or tab.).

    The list of statutes that are included in the framework are on pages 6 and 7 of the document “SBE Guidelines to the Health Education Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee”.

  20. Should a middle school program include complete materials for grades seven and eight together or separately?

    Answer: The Health Education Standards for California Public Schools, present grade seven and eight standards as one combined span. Accordingly, a publisher submitting a middle school program would submit this content as a single work.

  21. What parts of the California Healthy Youth Act, California Education Code (EC) sections 51930–51939, do I need to include in my program(s)?

    Answer: Instruction provided in grades 7–12, in addition to meeting the instructional criteria or baseline requirements, must include all of the following content (EC Section 51934):

    • Information on the nature and transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
    • Information about all federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved methods of preventing and reducing the risk of transmission of HIV and other STIs, including antiretroviral treatment, and information about treatment of HIV and STIs
    • Information about reducing the risk of HIV transmission as a result of injection drug use by decreasing needle use and needle sharing
    • Discussion about social views of HIV and AIDS, emphasizing that all people are at some risk of contracting HIV and that the only way to know one’s HIV status is by being tested
    • Information about accessing resources for sexual and reproductive health care and assistance with sexual assault and intimate partner violence, as well as students’ legal rights to access these resources
    • Information about the effectiveness and safety of all federal FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy (including emergency contraception)
    • Information that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent unintended pregnancy and HIV and other STIs; information about value of delaying sexual activity must be included and must be accompanied by information about other methods for preventing pregnancy, HIV, and STIs
    • Information about pregnancy, including 1) the importance of prenatal care; 2) all legally available pregnancy outcomes, including parenting, adoption, and abortion; and 3) California’s newborn safe surrender law
    • Information about sexual harassment, sexual assault, adolescent relationship abuse, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking

    This is a summary of the law. See EC Section 51934 for the exact language of these requirements. For more information, visit the Comprehensive Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS Instruction website.

    Any of these content areas may also be covered in an age-appropriate way prior to grade 7.
Distribution of Samples
  1. What materials do publishers need to send by the materials sample due date and to whom shall they send it?

    Answer: During the training week, April 20–24, the CDE will email to each publisher a publisher/program-specific delivery list in Microsoft Excel (the CDE validates shipping addresses with all reviewers in person during training week). To each person/entity on that delivery list (possibly numbering 20–40), the publisher must send a complete copy of the program(s) identified. (Note that in cases where a publisher plans to submit more than one program, different review panels may receive each program, but the CDE will advise publishers of this fact in advance).

    Publishers must send the following to each person/entity identified on the delivery list:

    • A complete copy of their program (identified on the submission form, due March 9, 2020). If the program is electronic in format, the publisher has the option of sending the program pre-loaded on a device (iPad; Chromebook; laptop; etc.—which must be returned to the publisher at the end of deliberations week).

    • One completed evaluation criteria map per program; completed standards maps for each grade level of each program; the narrative program description.

    The CDE will include the information above in a future bulletin to participating publishers.

  2. Do the student materials to be posted online by May 8, 2020, need to be in a printable format?

    Answer: No.

  3. On what date are sample materials due?

    Answer: Samples, and the corresponding evaluation criteria and standards maps, are due on or before 5 p.m. PDT, May 8, 2020.

  4. Do all materials (core and ancillary) need to be submitted by May 8, 2020?

    Answer: Yes. All components of the complete program to be reviewed must be submitted by the specific due date. Any materials submitted after that date will not be reviewed.

  5. If our materials are incomplete at the May 8, 2020 deadline, may we submit them anyway and submit the complete materials when they are available?

    Answer: No. Publishers will not be permitted to submit new content after the submission deadline.

  6. If a program is web-based, do we need to supply the reviewer with hardware, or is a password sufficient?

    Answer: Publishers may, but are not required to, provide a laptop or other hardware needed to access the digital components of their submitted instructional materials program. Publishers of programs with a large digital component may want to submit a laptop or other device with their program preinstalled to avoid potential technical issues with the review of their materials. Note that unlike regular samples, which may be kept by the reviewer, any computer hardware must be returned to the publisher once the review is complete. The publisher must make arrangements for and pay the cost of returning the hardware.

  7. Will the materials publishers send to the LRDCs stay at those locations for the life of the adoption?

    Answer: The CDE requests LRDCs to display materials for two years following an SBE adoption and keep them thereafter. Following this two-year period, publishers must collect any hardware associated with their program(s).

  8. Will samples be required for every school/district or only at their request?

    Answer: the CDE will ask publishers to deliver samples to SBE-approved reviewers, LRDC's, and select IQC and SBE members. Publishers need not provide sample materials to schools.

  9. Can we submit print materials in less than final form?

    Answer: Yes, within certain defined parameters. 5 CCR Section 9517 establishes the following parameters of acceptable “less-than-final” formats:

    (j) Publishers shall submit all instructional materials in the same physical form that will be offered for purchase during the adoption period with the following exceptions:

    (1) Audio recordings may be submitted in manuscript form; (2) Artwork may appear in black and white that will ultimately appear in color in the instructional materials offered for purchase during the adoption period; (3) Alternate formats as described in section 9528.

    (k) Except as described in sections 9528 and 9529, publishers shall not change or modify instructional materials after the date specified in the Schedule of Significant Events for delivery of instructional materials to IMRs, CREs and LRDCs. Instructional materials changed or modified after this delivery date shall be disqualified from consideration in the adoption unless the changes or modifications are approved by the SBE.

  10. When are final formats due?

    Answer: Final formats will be due 60 days following the CDE’s confirmation of the conclusion of the edits and corrections process (late winter 2021).

  11. What are the guidelines for submitting “alternate formats?”

    Answer: Alternate format versions of adopted materials must contain the exact same content as the adopted version but may appear in a different physical format (i.e., on a flash drive instead of print version) or be a translation (e.g., Spanish instead of English).

  12. When are alternate formats due?

    Answer: Publishers may submit alternate formats of adopted materials at any time following the actual adoption of programs by the SBE and the conclusion of the edits and corrections process.

  13. Are we required to submit materials in another language besides English?

    Answer: Publishers are not required to submit alternate format versions of their adopted materials in another language.


Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Monday, December 11, 2023
Recently Posted in Health Education
No items posted in the last 60 days.