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Comprehensive Sexual Health Education

Referendum 90 and Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
Posted on 11/09/2020

With the passage of Referendum 90, we will move forward to ensure we meet the requirements of Senate Bill 5395-Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSHE). SB 5395 will require public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education to students in grades 6-12 beginning in the 2021-22 school year and for all public school students beginning in the 2022-23 school year. For the most part, the Edmonds School District has practices currently in place that have us quite close to meeting these requirements:

  •  Sexual health education would need to be consistent with the Washington state health and physical education K-12 learning standards, the AIDS Omnibus Act,  and the Healthy Youth Act of 2008. We are currently implementing the standards and have fully followed the AIDS Omnibus Act (1988) and Healthy Youth Act (2008) since they were enacted. More information on the curriculum currently in use is linked below.  
  •  In grades K-3, instruction must be in Social Emotional Learning- learning skills to do things like manage feelings, set goals, and get along with others. (Note: there is no sexuality content required for students in grades K-3.) We currently have our Board-adopted social emotional learning curriculum, Second Step, being used in all K-3 classrooms.  
  •  Schools would be required to notify parents that they are providing comprehensive sexual health education and make all course materials accessible to the parents. Parents could file a written request with the school district or the school's principal to excuse their child from sexual health education instruction, which must be granted if requested. These practices are currently fully in place.  

There is work ahead for our district. SB 5395 requires that in grades 4-12, instruction must include information about topics including the physiological, psychological, and sociological developmental process experienced by an individual; abstinence and other methods of preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and affirmative consent and recognizing and responding safely and effectively when violence or a risk of violence is or may be present, with strategies that include active bystander training. In the coming months we will conduct a needs assessment that will include a review of our current curricula and it’s alignment with the new requirements. Based on these findings, we will determine our next steps which could include reviewing new instructional materials and professional development for instructional staff. Our various stakeholder groups, including families, will be invited to participate in these steps.   

For this school year (20-21), we will not make any changes from our past practices; we will follow best practice recommendations for teaching this content in a remote environment, including modifying/ simplifying the concepts to be more appropriate/accessible during remote learning. Information about our curriculum currently in use may be found on our website:  5th-6th grade curriculum (both Family Life and Sexual Health and KNOW)  & how to access the middle and high school information.  Our annual district preview has already taken place; should you need more information, you can contact us in the Student Learning Department (studentlearningcommunity@edmonds.wednet.edu).  


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