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    “Sexual health education is a critical component of comprehensive health education that helps students develop knowledge and skills needed to become successful learners and healthy and productive adults.” WA Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

    In 2007, the Washington Legislature found that “young people should have the knowledge and skills necessary to build healthy relationships, and to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. The primary responsibility for sexual health education is with parents and guardians. However, this responsibility also extends to schools and other community groups. It is in the public's best interest to ensure that young people are equipped with medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate information that will help them avoid unintended pregnancies, remain free of sexually transmitted diseases, and make informed, responsible decisions throughout their lives.” Parents/guardians may preview sexual health materials and may opt their student out of specific topics by contacting the classroom teacher.

    Currently, Seattle Public Schools provides sexual health education beginning in grade 5, using the OSPI approved and board-adopted Family Life and Sexual Health (FLASH) curriculum. Middle school students receive sexual health content in science classes (FLASH/KNOW/Sex Can Wait) grades, 6, 7, and 8. In alignment with School Board Action, which states that health education classes required for graduation shall be offered at 9th grade, high school students receive a semester-long health class, covering a range of health content reflected in the Washington State Health Education Standards. These standards include content related to Wellness, Safety, Nutrition, Sexual Health, Social-Emotional Health, and Substance Use and Abuse.

    Comprehensive Sexual Health Education

    Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (RCW 28A.300.475) passed by the Legislature and Washington voters in 2020. The new state law requires all public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education by the 2022–23 school year. As required prior by the Healthy Youth Act, the curriculum, instruction, and materials must be medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate, and inclusive of all students. As always, parents and guardians have the opportunity to review the curriculum and opt their child out of certain content areas if they choose.

    The new state law does not dramatically change what is already being taught in Seattle Public Schools. There are some elements to the law that will shift what or when content is taught. This includes an emphasis on sexual abuse prevention and the topics of consent and bystander intervention. In addition, there may be changes in how often and at what grade levels content is delivered. SPS will teach sexual health education in accordance with the law, and aligned to Washington State Health Education standards. SPS will keep the community updated as this roll out begins.

    Remote Sexual Health Education 2020-2021

    The SPS Health Education Office has been working closely with OSPI and with the authors of FLASH (Public Health Seattle & King County) to ensure adherence to the laws and best practices surrounding Sexual Health Education in a remote setting. During remote learning, students will receive sexual health education through independent lessons they will complete on their own. As always, parents/guardians are encouraged to discuss this information at home.

    Remote Learning Lesson Topics

    Tips for Talking to Kids about Sexual Health

    Staff Resources 

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    Contacts

    Lisa Love - High School
    llove@seattleschools.org 

    Lisa Davidson - Middle School
    lmdavidson@seattleschools.org

    Kai Kunkel - Elementary School
    kbkunkel@seattleschools.org


    Family Resources 

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