Curriculum Adoption- "Reducing the Risk: Building Skills to Prevent Pregnancy, STD & HIV"
Reducing the Risk Adoption:
After piloting the Reducing the Risk curriculum, the pilot committee recommends we adopt the curriculum as part of our high school health education course.
The program establishes abstinence as the best choice for students.
The curriculum values strong parent involvement with a proactive approach, ensuring regular conversations are taking place between parents and children.
The instructional practices (role playing) promotes refusal skills and strategies so kids have practical strategies to avoid unsafe sexual activity.
Parent feedback to our high school staff has been very positive.
I have worked with citizens regarding their concerns with this program. Some were anxious about the role plays embedded in the curriculum, as well as the potential for a field trip to local stores to locate contraceptives.
I researched each inquiry I received and replied with the following:
The role playing scenarios are very intentional and structured conversations intended to teach students the interpersonal or social skills they can use to abstain or protect themselves. The strategies students practice in these scenarios are called refusal skills. Responses that clearly say no in a manner that leaves no ambiguity about the decision not to have sex or to refuse unprotected sex.
I recognize there may be sensitivity to gender identity in the Lee (boy as explicitly called out in the role play) and Lee (girl as explicitly called out in the role play) scenarios so I carefully reviewed the lessons. The curriculum does not teach gender identity or sexual orientation. It is entirely about prevention. For your reference, I have copied sections of the teacher guide addressing the role plays.
In Woodland, we do not plan to participate in any field trips to stores to show kids where to buy contraceptives. The curriculum does promote children visiting at least two local stores with their parents to locate contraceptives. Families may choose to opt out if parents are uncomfortable with this activity.
Attached is a report on the impact Reducing the Risk has had on student health in Woodland. Overall the youth exit survey indicates a positive response to Reducing the Risk curriculum.
It is our intention the curriculum be available for parent review every year. We welcome their involvement in this conversation with their children. We also wish to honor the parent role in this conversation. If they wish to address this topic directly with their children, we celebrate that and offer them the opportunity to opt out of the program and not participate in the lessons. I have included a copy of the parent opt out letter for you review.
It is important for the board to know and understand state law about sexual health education. RCW 28A.300.475 clearly outlines the paramaters for Medically accurate sexual health education. Also Attached below are a list of FAQ from the state on Sexual Health Education.
ADMINISTRATIVE RECOMMENDATION /MOTION/ "I move we adopt "Reducing the Risk" for use in high school health classes."