Health Education Framework Information for Families
UPDATED: August 28, 2019
How do I have a say about what is taught in Health Education?
At the end of the 2018-2019 school year we provided information on the Health Education Framework that had recently been released by the California Department of Education, which included an outline of differences between the California Healthy Youth Act, the Health Framework, and our curriculum. We also sent out a district-wide survey so we could better learn what questions and concerns our families had, surrounding sexual education.
In an effort to continue a two-way conversation on this subject, we would like to invite you to attend any one of the Health Education Parent Forums taking place at our elementary schools in the upcoming weeks.
Click here for the Schedule of Parent Forums - UPDATED
At the Parent Forum you will learn about the current 5th grade curriculum Always Changing and Growing Up, have an opportunity to see one of the videos, Always Changing -- Co-ed, that is shown to 5th graders, and share your feedback with us in a guided activity. This feedback will be used to recommend a curriculum to the Board of Education. If new curriculum is recommended, and upon Board approval, it would take effect in the 2020-21 school year.
***To preview the curriculum we are using for 5th grade sexual ed instruction, please visit the site: Always Changing and Growing Up
***To view the video we will be showing at the Parent Forums, please visit this link: Always Changing -- Co-ed
Note: We want to emphasize that there is no sexual education taught in Kindergarten - 4th grade. The curriculum we use in 5th grade, Always Changing and Growing Up, has been in place for over 10 years and we are under no compulsion from the state to change it. The Health Framework from the state is a guideline of suggestions. Any adoption of curriculum for 2020-21, would only be made after careful review, which includes parent input.
We understand this is a sensitive and important topic for many. We consider parents our partners in education and value your involvement and input. If you have questions in advance, please reach out your student’s teacher, principal or one of the Parent Forum organizers listed below. You can also stay informed by visiting this website for updates.
Background Information and FAQs - Updated: August 27, 2019
On May 8, 2019, the State Board of Education approved a new framework for health education, including recommendations for teaching sex education that aligns with the California Healthy Youth Act, the state’s comprehensive sex ed law.
Since then, many of our families have asked questions or expressed concerns to our schools about what this means for health education in Folsom Cordova. In an effort to provide channels for open, two-way communication, the District is reaching out with some answers to the most common questions we’ve fielded to date.
Does the District have to adopt new curriculum because of the new Health Framework?
No. Our current curriculum is compliant with State Law, Education Code. The conversations we are having and the Parent Forums are good opportunities for us to take a closer look at our current curriculum and gather feedback from our families.
Is sexual education taught in all grades?
No. Sexual education is taught in 5th grade, 7th grade, and high school health class.
Has Folsom Cordova adopted new health education curriculum?
No curriculum has changed for the 2019-20 school year.
Feedback from the Parent Forums, and subsequent follow-up survey, will be used to recommend curriculum to the Board of Education. Upon approval, any changes would take effect in the 2020-21 school year.
What’s the difference between state law, the new framework, and our curriculum?
State Law: Education Code is the law of what must be taught in public schools in California. Specifically, the California Healthy Youth Act (which became law in 2016) requires schools to provide students with comprehensive sexual health education, including HIV and STD prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school.
The Framework: This is a guidance document that districts may use, but are not required to use, when developing health education programs for students.
Curriculum: This is what our schools will actually teach. Folsom Cordova’s curriculum is not changing for the next school year, and any recommended changes will not be proposed until after an extensive public input process.
The California Department of Education has created a helpful guide to understanding the differences between the California Healthy Youth Act and the new framework. Click here to view it.
What is currently taught in Health Education, and how can I see the materials?
The District’s Family Life program includes a comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education, once in middle school and once in high school. These programs are taught by District personnel, and reproductive organs and their functions are described, illustrated, and discussed.
The District is required at the beginning of each school year, or at the time of enrollment for a new student, to inform each parent about instruction in comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education planned for the coming year. Written and audiovisual materials are available for inspection at our school sites. A parent or guardian of a pupil may request in writing that his or her child be excused from all or part of the comprehensive sexual health education, HIV/AIDS prevention instruction, and any assessments related to that education.
Our curriculum for middle school and high school is called Positive Prevention Plus and can be previewed at the following link: Positive Prevention Plus parent preview. If you would like more specific information please reach out to your school site.
Our curriculum for elementary school (5th grade) is called Always Changing and Growing Up and can be previewed at the following link: Always Changing and Growing Up parent preview. Parental consent is required for 5th grade participation. If you have additional questions, please reach out to your school site.
You can reach us at 916-294-9000, and ask for either Curriculum and Instruction, Health Services or Communication and Community Engagement. Or, send us an email at one of the addresses below.
Jim Huber, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerri Kaye, Coordinator of Health Services, email@example.com
Angela Griffin Ankhelyi, Community Engagement Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org