Human Sexuality & Responsibility

Human Sexuality & Responsibility Curriculum at Austin ISD

Austin ISD believes that a valuable element of education is the development of respect for all individuals, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other personal attributes. The district is committed to providing all students with a positive learning environment that enhances personal safety and promotes respect, dignity and equality. High standards are expected for both academic achievement and for behavior (FN Local).

The district’s Human Sexuality and Responsibility education program has been established to provide information and skill development for students in kindergarten through grade 12 so that they may reach their highest potential for physical, emotional, mental and social health.

The curriculum content shall be delivered in a developmentally and age-appropriate manner and shall include the most current and scientifically accurate information. Elementary and middle school students will receive HSR instruction annually in May, whereas high school students will receive HSR instruction in the final units of their Health Education course.

The National Sexuality Education Standards were used to develop the Austin ISD scope and sequence—the topics and timing of lessons—which was  approved by trustees in February 2019. Content shall include information regarding healthy relationships, personal safety, identity, anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescent development, pregnancy and reproduction, and sexually transmitted diseases and HIV (EHAA Local).

To ensure that students receive quality HSR instruction, all teachers will receive comprehensive training on skills and best practices about navigating complex content and concepts. Prior to HSR program implementation, the principal shall conduct at least one orientation session scheduled at a convenient time for parents and guardians. Families shall be provided reasonable written notice of the time and location of the orientation session. The purpose of the session is to detail the process of implementation of the HSR program and the opt-out process.

Families shall have ample opportunity to preview all instructional materials online. Additionally, families may contact individual schools to view teacher resources available in school libraries. For any other information or requests, please contact school principals.

Resources

2019–20 Family Opt-out Letters

A student may be exempted (opted-out) from participation in specific or all lessons of the HSR program upon written request. Opt-out letters will be sent home three weeks before instruction.

Students who opt out will be provided with alternative instruction and shall not be punished or embarrassed in any manner for non-participation. Those interested in viewing the alternate lessons must contact individual schools for more information. Additionally, parent discussion questions are provided on the second page of the letter for those who wish to further support their students’ learning.

Human Sexuality & Responsibility Curriculum

Kindergarten–Second Grade

The kindergarten, first- and second-grade program delivers factually accurate, age-appropriate information on a range of topics pertaining to personal health and safety, building healthy friendships and standing up against bullying. Because of copyright laws, the kindergarten, first- and second-grade lessons are available only in school libraries. Please contact individual schools to view these materials in the school libraries.

Third–Fifth Grades

Guidelines for Discussion

Sixth–Eighth Grades

Guidelines for Discussion

High School

The high school Health Education course includes two units on Human Sexuality and Responsibility. In the first unit, students will identify both healthy relationships and unhealthy relationships. Unhealthy relationships include bullying, gangs, cyberbullying, sexting, sexual harassment and physical, verbal and emotional abuse. In the second unit, students will learn how both the female and male reproductive systems work as well as the changes that occur in the body during puberty. They will also learn how reproduction occurs and how heredity affects humans.

Students will participate in activities designed to help them determine what abstinence means to them. They will understand the effectiveness of a variety of contraception methods and identify reasons for delaying the decision to have sexual intercourse based on their beliefs and goals. Students will participate in activities about single parenting and establishing paternity. Students will learn the effects of STDs and STIs on the body and its systems.

To view any component of the high school curriculum, please contact individual schools.