Sexual Health & Family Education for Grades 6 & 8

Sexual Health & Family Education for Grades 6 & 8
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California state law, the California Healthy Youth Act, requires that comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education be provided to students at least once in middle school and once in high school, starting in grade 7.  A school district may also provide comprehensive sexual health or HIV prevention education earlier than grade 7 consisting of age-appropriate instruction and medically accurate information on any of the general topics.  In keeping with these requirements and guidelines, San Diego Unified School District offers comprehensive sexual health education in grades 6, 8, and high school.  The California Healthy Youth Act, corresponding CA Education Code, and other instructional resources can be found on the Sexual Health Education Program’s website.

Instructional materials may be previewed on the SHEP curriculum website.  Parent presentations and powerpoint slides may be viewed in English and Spanish on this website.

Please note that parents/guardians may excuse their child from the sexual health instruction for this school year by providing an electronic or written note in their preferred language to their student’s Science teacher.  The note should simply state that they are excusing their child from the instruction, include their child's name, and be generated or signed by the parent or guardian.  There is no need for any reason to be stated in this note. 

California requires that this instruction be inclusive of all students, encourage students to communicate with parents/guardians about human sexuality, and provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development.  Therefore, the following topics must be and are included in our curriculum:

• Information about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including transmission, FDA approved methods to prevent HIV and STIs, and treatment
• Information that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs, and information about the value of delaying sexual activity
• Discussion about social views of HIV and AIDS
• Information about gender, sexual orientation, and the harm of negative gender stereotypes
• Information about healthy relationships and skills to avoid unhealthy behaviors and situations

In addition, instruction in grade 8 and high school must and does include:

• Information about accessing resources for sexual and reproductive health care
• Information about pregnancy, including FDA approved prevention methods and pregnancy options 

Instruction will be provided by district Science teachers or health agency educators trained in the curriculum.  These health agencies may include Family Health Centers of San Diego, Operation Samahan, Planned Parenthood, and San Ysidro Health Center.  Instruction will be taught January 8-19 (6th grade students with Science semester 1), or May 23-June 6 (6th grade students with Science semester 2 and 8th grade students).

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