EHAA(LOCAL) - BASIC INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM: REQUIRED INSTRUCTION (ALL LEVELS)
The Role of the District and Campuses in Implementing the Curriculum
The District is committed to providing a comprehensive instructional curriculum that is aligned to the essential knowledge and skills of the state's required and enrichment curriculum as delineated in Education Code 28.002. The District shall offer courses for local credit in addition to those in the required curriculum provided that they have been approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE) for credit for high school graduation and have received the approval of the Board. A campus wanting to make a change or wanting to make an addition to the local curriculum shall submit a recommendation to the department of curriculum and instruction. The administrative staff from the department of curriculum and instruction shall review the recommended changes and/or additions and submit them for Board approval.
Instructional Programs Relative to Human Growth, Development, and Sexuality
The District is committed to developing policies that effectively guide and prepare students for making responsible decisions about human sexuality issues. Based on these policies, the District shall offer educational programs that provide staff, students, and parents with current and factual information on basic concepts related to human growth, development, and sexuality. The guidelines set forth in this policy stipulate the progression of a comprehensive, family-centered developmental, and age-appropriate prekindergarten through grade 12 human sexuality curriculum, which shall be integrated into the core areas of instruction, as well as all counseling activities to help students build effective communication skills, positive self-esteem, problem-solving strategies, and character development. These guidelines shall establish abstinence as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried persons of school age.
Sensitivity to Students' Age and Maturity
The age and maturity of students shall be considered in the selection of instructional materials and arrangements. Care shall be taken to present this information in ways that are not desensitizing and do not insult the students' modesty. If possible, presentations shall be segregated by gender. Alternate materials and opt-out provisions shall be made available to students at all grade levels.
Students who have parental permission to opt out of the human growth, development, and sexuality education curriculum shall be assigned independent reading and/or writing activities aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). There shall be no grade penalty for those students who take this alternative.
Prekindergarten Through Grade 3
The effective implementation of human sexuality instruction at the level of prekindergarten through grade 3 shall require the involvement and participation of teachers, nurses, community health services personnel, appropriate support staff, and parents. The experience and expertise of these human resources as they relate to human growth and development will support the learning outlined below in accordance with guidelines set forth in the chosen curriculum. The curriculum at this level shall include the following elements:
A 'no touch," "appropriate touch" instruction.
The knowledge of body parts and the correct terminology for identification of body parts.
In support of effective instruction at these grade levels, a strong parental involvement and family educational component shall be developed and maintained as appropriate.
Children at these grade levels shall be taught the basics of anatomy and the inappropriateness of certain types of touching. Additionally, children shall be taught to tell an adult when they do not like the manner in which someone touches them.
The curriculum for grade 4 and grade 5 shall continue to emphasize the curriculum elements of prekindergarten through grade 3. Students shall learn basic information about the physical changes that begin to occur as their bodies mature. Instruction shall be presented separately to boys and girls. Students shall learn about sexually transmitted diseases, including facts about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This instruction shall be age-appropriate and shall include information regarding how the disease is transmitted and acquired. This curriculum shall be taught by certified personnel.
In grades 6–8, health education classes shall include a human sexuality curriculum. Only certified teachers shall teach this course. All aspects of human reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases shall be taught. Accurate and current information shall be given to the students in this area with a strong emphasis in educating them on the dangers of drug use.
Students shall be taught self-control and abstention from activities that place them at risk of reaching their personal and career goals.
During high school, all previous instruction shall be reinforced. All health education and human sexuality courses shall be taught by certified teachers.
Designated elective classes shall offer factual information about birth control and family planning. This information shall be introduced in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates. Objective information regarding abortion and its legal status shall be included in content area classes such as government.
All Grade Levels
Course content and instruction addressing these subject areas shall meet the following guidelines:
Substitute teachers shall not be given the responsibility of teaching the courses dealing with human growth, development, and sexuality.
Teachers shall receive training in proper content presentation before they deliver instruction dealing with the topic of human growth, development, and sexuality.
The campus principal shall be responsible for proper implementation of the program and for compliance with Board policy.
School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)
The Texas Education Agency requires the District to establish a school health advisory council to assist the District in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the District's health education instruction.
The local school health advisory council shall be composed of a District health leadership team and a school health advisory committee. The District health leadership team shall include:
The safety coordinator;
A parental involvement specialist;
The food services director;
The safe and drug free schools and guidance and counseling director;
The health education or physical education coordinator; and
The elementary and secondary education administrative assistants.
The school health advisory committee shall include:
The health services director;
Three teachers or three representatives from the campuses;
One business community representative; and
The duties of the District health leadership team shall include:
Reviewing the recommended health and human sexuality curriculum.
Recommending to the school health advisory committee the health and human sexuality curriculum appropriate for each specific grade level through the coordination of services from the safety, physical education, food services (nutrition), parental involvement, safe and drug free, counseling, and curriculum and instruction departments. The health education curriculum for the elementary, middle, and high school levels may also include a health education program designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type II diabetes.
Recommending to the school health advisory committee the number of hours of instruction to be provided in health and human sexuality at the elementary, middle, and high school.
Recommending to the school health advisory committee the appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for educating students in health and human sexuality.
The duties of the school health advisory committee shall include reviewing the recommendations made by the District's health leadership team and providing input to the team for final approval of the recommended items.
Recognition of Students' Individuality and Parent Responsibility
Since students mature at varying rates, especially during the latency period (elementary age), and since parents are best able to judge whether their children are ready to receive information on human growth, development, and sexuality, the practice of the District shall be as follows:
Inform parents of proposed presentation of such information to students.
Make all curriculum materials used in human sexuality instruction available for public inspection.
Provide opportunity for parents to have their children opt out of the human sexuality instruction.
All instruction shall be in compliance with the District's abstinence-based policy.