Human Growth & Development
March 12 update:
Parents as first educators: SPS recognizes and supports parents and other trusted caregivers as the primary educator for sexual education topics. The teen years and changes of puberty can bring lots of questions and concerns for both parents and their kids. Strong communication between parents and children helps families share their values and enables young people to make healthier, safer and wiser decisions. Open communication is key to helping students through this period of time.
New senate bill 5395: SPS has been updating HGD curriculum for several years. Decisions for how this looks have been made locally. This process has involved a Citizens Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from the medical field, faith leaders, parents and students. Materials have been updated for middle school and high school, and the Citizens Advisory Committee is currently working on 4th-6th grade materials. The new SB5395 will not alter the plan that is currently in place for SPS. Below is an outline of what is taught at each grade level:
- K-3: Social Emotional Learning, Personal Safety (historic practice)
- 4-6: Anatomy and Physiology, Growth and Development, Reproduction, HIV Prevention, Self-Identity, Healthy Relationships
- MS & HS: Anatomy, Reproduction and Pregnancy, Puberty and Development, Washington State Law, Prevention, Self-Identity, Healthy Relationships
There are several state laws requiring specific sexual health content in public schools:
- RCW 28A.230.020 (Common School Curriculum) requires that "all teachers shall stress the importance of...methods to prevent exposure to and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases..."
- RCW 28A.300.145 was amended by the legislature in 2013 to require that schools offering sexual health education must include "age-appropriate information about the legal elements of sexual [sex] offenses (under chapter 9A.44 RCW) where a minor is a victim and the consequences upon conviction."
- IF schools do teach sexual health content, it must conform to the requirements of the Healthy Youth Act (HYA).
Learn more about Sexual Health Education requirements from the Washington State Superintendent's Office.
- Sexual Health Education Learning Standards
- Elementary: The HGD Citizens Advisory Committee, in partnership with school district staff, is working through new materials for grades 4-6 to be implemented in the 2020-21 school year. District-wide preview sessions were offered in the fall at both north and south side locations, and additional sessions will be offered this spring.
- Secondary: Last year, the HGD Citizens Advisory Committee, in partnership with school district staff and the school board, adopted new materials for middle and high school. High school materials were implemented last school year through all Health courses. This year, both 8th grade CCLR and 7th grade science teachers will have new materials. District-wide preview sessions were offered in the fall at both north and south locations.
- Learn about the Citizens Advisory Committee, which reviews materials and curriculum updates, and the curriculum approval process.