What are the differences between the elementary curriculum and the Middle School/High School curricula?
The 4th and 5th grade lessons will focus on friendships, anatomy, and puberty, whereas middle and high school lessons include more detailed information on STI and pregnancy prevention, as well as sexual health decision making. If you are interested in finding out more, the OSPI website
describes “Requirements by Grade Band” specified by legislative requirements.
What is being taught specifically about intercourse in this elementary curriculum?
In Puberty: The Wonder Years,
there is a 6th grade lesson called “Making Responsible Decisions'' that discusses abstinence and potential risks of pregnancy and STIs.
At the 4th and 5th grade levels, students learn the roles of eggs, sperm, and intercourse in reproduction, from a biological standpoint. There is no other discussion of intercourse in the curriculum.
Does the elementary curriculum have any cartoon characters that depict sexually explicit content?
No. There are cartoon images included in the curriculum, and all the images are age appropriate, with no sexually explicit content.
What will grade 5 students be taught about STIs and HIV and prevention in the new curriculum?
Students will learn what sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are, including HIV, and how they are and are not transmitted. They will be able to describe the signs and symptoms, or lack thereof, of STIs. Lastly, they will discuss current biomedical approaches to prevent and treat STIs and HIV and why HIV can now be considered a chronic condition with the implementation of PrEP and antiretrovirals.
Are earlier elementary grades learning sexual health education also?
Grades K-3 include social emotional learning (SEL) content, but not cover sexual health topics explicitly. Rather, SEL instruction provides students emotional regulation, communication, and boundary-setting skills that will be built upon later. Here is the OSPI fact sheet
on K-3 SEL requirements.
Are there measures put in place to make sure my child/young person feels comfortable asking questions in front of their classmates?
Yes. Franklin Pierce School Districts worked with Cardea Services to provide professional development for educators concerning how to make the classroom climate feel comfortable and secure for all students. Additionally, elementary educators use an Anonymous Question Box, with measures put into place to ensure confidentiality.
Does the curriculum include any LGBTQIA+ materials, and if so, what?
In Puberty: The Wonder Years,
students will learn definitions for terms such as gender identity and sexual orientation in 4th grade. They will also discuss the importance of being respectful of all their peers, regardless of their peers’ identities or family structure. In 5th grade, the conversation will expand to also defining sexual orientation. Educators will encourage young people to talk to a trusted adult about topics like gender identity and sexual orientation.
Where can I learn more?