IUSD presents new programs on human sexuality


IUSD recently held its second meeting of the Student Health Advisory Council to discuss the adoption of health cards for the elementary, middle and high school levels. Parents were invited to vendor and teacher presentations to learn more about the courses and content, later receiving a ballot to express their approval of the courses offered.

SHAC meetings also discuss nutrition and fitness as they relate to the UISD program. This meeting focused on changes and additions to the UISD curriculum on human sexuality. Book vendors attended the meeting to further showcase their textbooks and online courses for adoption in UISD.

The changes and adaptations are consistent with recently passed Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 1525. The programs also include separate opt-in content that requires parental permission for their children to learn in school.

For elementary school, the program offered is from Quaver Health PE, which students already use for their music programs and can also use their same ID for those classes. Topics addressed by Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 1525 are human sexuality, child abuse prevention, domestic violence, dating violence, and trafficking. Topics vary from first to fifth grade.

The topic of preventing child abuse or family violence is covered in grades one through five in a variety of ways. For Grade 1 students the lesson covered is Safe and Dangerous Touch, for Grade 2 students the lesson is about saying no in risky situations and the same goes for Grade 3 students at A Level Deeper. In grades three through five, abuse and neglect are taught, and fourth graders learn to set personal boundaries, understand the dangers of guns and other weapons.

Fourth and fifth graders will learn about human sexuality with lessons on puberty and body systems, and fifth graders will learn about my reproductive system, boundaries in relationships, protecting identity, establishing deeper personal boundaries, the dangers of guns and other weapons, as well as human trafficking and gangs. Lessons can be shared by teachers with parents via links in which they are also available in Spanish.

For middle school, the Healthy Lifestyle Choices program covers health skills based on national health education standards while allowing instructors to choose topics based on the needs of their students.

The program is divided into 11 units comprising the themes of health and well-being; emotions and behaviors; communication, decision making and problem solving; alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; stress management; social and antisocial behavior; injury and violence prevention; physical activity and nutrition; environment; and growth and development.

This program states to promote positive behavioral choices to help students be self-advocates for their own health, as high school students would prefer not to be told what to do or how to think. Core concepts across the 11 units include self-esteem, managing emotions, saying “no”, underage drinking, depression, teen suicide, hurtful relationships, bullying, reproductive health, STDs/STIs and gender roles and stereotypes among many other crucial topics for youth.

For high school, Goodheart-Willcox introduced its textbook Health Skills for High School, Health I and II. The Texas State Board of Education has designated Goodheart-Willcox as the only approved publisher for Proclamation 2022. Resources are also available in Spanish.

The District will offer separate content, called Accompanying Materials, which will cover the courses in greater depth. Accompanying material for high school includes the male reproductive system; the female reproductive system; conception, pregnancy and birth; adolescence and puberty; teenage pregnancy and parenting; understanding romantic relationships; practicing sexual abstinence; sexual harassment and assault; abuse and neglect; violence in the community; common STIs; Prevention and treatment of STIs; and HIV/AIDS.

Where a parent or guardian authorizes teachers to teach these subjects to students, a separate username and password or separate printed materials will be provided to such students. All students will have their unique username and password or handbook, whichever the district chooses, for them to learn the basic content of the course.

The next SHAC meeting is scheduled for April 22.


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