Human Growth & Development
If you wish to exclude your child from the HIV/AIDS lessons, please plan on attending a preview opportunity. Staff will be available to answer questions as well as to make the appropriate opt-out forms available. (Excused students will be provided with appropriate alternative educational opportunities.) Families unable to attend a scheduled preview may contact SPS Curriculum and Instruction Department at 509.354.7354 to schedule a separate time to preview materials. Finally, parents may contact their child’s school and connect with the school counselor to discuss other means of scheduling previews.
- 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.
- 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, high school, and grades 4-6. 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.