Austin ISD trustees Oct. 28 unanimously approved new Human Sexuality and Responsibility curriculum and teacher resources.
The revised content updates lessons and materials that had not been updated in 11 years. School districts usually update their lessons and resources every two or three years.
The revised lessons will be taught beginning in May 2020.
The lessons provide students in third through eighth grade with medically accurate, age-appropriate information. Topics include building healthy friendships, standing up against bullying, safe use of social media, differences in family structures, how to identify a trusted adult, and much more.
For more than a year, the district researched standards nationwide, then held an extensive community engagement process that included getting feedback via online and in-person surveys from the Student Health Advisory Council, families and students.
Overwhelmingly, Austin ISD’s families supported the revised curriculum. See survey results on the HSR webpage, www.austinisd.org/pe-health/health-education/hsr.
Families who do not support the change or who prefer to address the topics at home may opt their children out of one, several, or all lessons. Opt-out letters are available in English and Spanish on the HSR webpage.
Alternative lessons that focus on social and emotional learning skills and/or social media will be provided if a family opts out their child. Students who are opted out will not remain in class. An alternative location and who will deliver the lessons will be determined by each campus.
In March, campuses will hold informational sessions for families about the new curriculum prior to the lessons beginning in May.
All lessons for third through eighth grades and student handouts are available for review online.
Additional teacher resources for the third- through eighth-grade lessons, and all lessons for kindergarten through second grade and high schools are available in school libraries.