We’d like to inform you of new education requirements for schools and how this affects your child’s instruction. Senate Bill 5395, passed by the State Legislature in 2020, requires that all schools provide comprehensive sexual health education by the 2022–23 school year.
Comprehensive sexual health education is defined in the bill as instruction about human development and reproduction that takes place over time and is age-appropriate and inclusive of all students.
Washington state law currently requires annual HIV/AIDS prevention education beginning no later than grade 5. Other sexual health education is currently optional.
Our district will continue to make the decision about what curriculum and educational materials we use for sexual health instruction. There is not one single curriculum required for use in Washington schools. We will provide more information about how parents and guardians can provide input.
Beginning in the 2021–22 school year, we will provide instruction at least twice between grades 6–8 and at least twice between grades 9–12. Older students will receive age-appropriate information about human growth and development and the reproductive system, healthy relationships, consent, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and pregnancy prevention methods.
Beginning in the 2022–23 school year, students in grades K–3 will receive social-emotional learning. There is no sexual health content required for students in grades K–3. Social-emotional learning is learning about respectful communication, healthy friendships, respecting personal space, and managing emotions.
Also beginning in the 2022–23 school year, students in grades 4 or 5 will receive sexual health education once. Instruction on human growth and development (puberty) generally begins in 5th grade.
You will be able to opt your child or children out of instruction with a written request, and you will also be able to review our sexual health curriculum prior to instruction taking place.
For more information about Senate Bill 5395 and its requirements, please visit the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) website.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your building principal if you have any questions.