Next Steps for Parents
We know that a concern for your children and what comprises their education on sexual development are what drew you to this section. Parents and community members often influence the adoption of standards and selection of curriculum. K-12 Standards for Optimal Sexual Development (K-12 Standards) are age appropriate, research based, educationally sound and family focused. It is our hope that they will be a valuable resource to guide your interaction with teachers, administrators, healthcare personnel, and policymakers. All of you are partners, as together you work to direct your children toward behaviors of optimal health and wholeness.
Know the difference between standards and curriculum. Education standards define clear objectives to be achieved by all students in different stages of development, a roadmap or blueprint for what should be taught. Curriculum provides the specific instructional methodologies for teachers to use in preparing their students to meet the objectives, specific lessons, and tools for how to teach in the classroom.
Familiarize yourself with K-12 Standards. The Introduction shares the intentionality of addressing character and relationship education as the foundation for optimal sexual development. The next sections discuss Distinctives, Key Themes, and Features. The Alignment section correlates K-12 Standards to several nationally recognized education and public health publications. An overview of How to Use K-12 Standards is followed by the 150 specific standards included in four Key Topics: Positive Character, Healthy Relationships, Optimal Sexual Development and Sexual Risks.
Review K-12 Standards’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at https://newsexedstandards.org/
Understand how K-12 Standards differ from other approaches (see FAQs).
Find your state’s and school district’s sex education requirements/standards for each grade level. A user-friendly resource for research is found at https://weascend.org/resources/sex-ed-by-state/
This state-by-state guide is found within a publication titled Parents Matter, How to Champion Sex Education for Your Child’s Sexual Health, created by ASCEND, a highly recommended organization that promotes sex education based on primary prevention to model wellness and eliminate risk.
Examine the curriculum, teaching materials, books, videos, and speakers’ information provided by your school. Investigate if information and materials are medically accurate and age appropriate.
Identify allies who will join you in investigating sex education in your district and school.
Identify key school/district staff members such as health teachers, school nurses, health supervisors, curriculum directors, vice principals, principals, or school board members if you are not satisfied with the sex education being offered at your school.
Start a conversation to discuss the issues that concern you regarding your school’s sex education.
Request that your school’s curriculum, teaching materials, books, videos, and speakers’ information be evaluated against K-12 Standards.
Participate in selection of curricula that align with K-12 Standards.
We encourage you to remember that positive character and healthy relationships are the foundation of optimal sexual development in children. Your active involvement and participation in your children’s sex education are invaluable.