ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter - October 2020

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ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 

October 5, 2020 

Dearest colleagues, 

We are writing and sending this newsletter with care, connection, and support at the center. Based on those of you we have been in touch with during this back-to-school season, we know this time looks so different for every community and every family. We extend additional support to all of our Oregon communities who have been impacted by this wildfire season and events. Your resilience and commitment to building community around school opening this year has shown us how strong Oregon can be when we come together. 

Our Oregon Department of Education (ODE) sexuality education team began this school year with a 4-part synchronous virtual Oregon Teacher Training Institute series on K-5 Comprehensive Sexuality Education. It was heartening to hold space for one another week after week, and learn with each of our participants who will be implementing meaningful sexuality education this year rooted in trauma-informed, anti-oppressive health and wellbeing for all students and families. How can we support you with professional development this year? We’d love to hear more from educators, admin, and other school staff about what your needs and capacity look like in the 2020-21 school year! Please fill out this 3-minute interest gauging form to let us know what you need. 

In this newsletter, we will share with you some of the newly released and relevant health and sexuality education guidance, resources, and opportunities for training by ODE, as well as other offerings by statewide and national colleagues that may be of interest to you.


ODE Sexuality Education & Equity Updates

Coming soon… Funding Opportunity for Openly Licensed K-5 or 9-12 Comprehensive Sex Ed Lessons 

For more information, please reach out to Sasha Grenier at sasha.grenier@state.or.us.

New All Students Belong Administrative Rule Prohibits the Use of Hate Symbols in Oregon School Communities 

Earlier this month, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) filed a temporary administrative rule with the Secretary of State, adopted yesterday by the State Board of Education, to prohibit the use of hate symbols in schools and to establish requirements for anti-bias incidents at a district level. Much like LGBTQ+ inclusive sexuality education, the All Students Belong rule focuses on the health and safety of our students and educators by creating a safer and more inclusive school climate. The rule is in effect as of September 18, 2020, and districts will be asked to have policies in place by January 1, 2021. A permanent rule will be introduced in several months. 

Oregon Health Authority’s State Health Improvement Plan Names K-12 Comprehensive Health Education as a Priority

We have long known that comprehensive health education, which includes sexuality education, is a public health solution to many negative health outcomes. In the 2020-2024 State Health Improvement Plan, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has been recently published after a long process of engaging stakeholders and public health experts across the state. OHA and ODE understand that health education is a priority.


Youth Engagement Opportunities

Call for focus group participants, age 16-18
$25 Gift Card for ALL participants! 

See attached flyer for more information about a paid focus group opportunity for English-speaking youth enrolled in an Oregon public high school, ages 16-18. By expanding on the recommendations laid out in several Student Success Plans, including the most-recently published LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan, this project will explore (among other things) how students envision a school environment that is both safe and inclusive, as well as their suggestions for meaningful engagement with school leadership. Findings from the focus groups will help inform statewide violence prevention strategies that increase students' perceived connectedness to their schools and peers. To sign up, please reach out to Erika Carpenter at ec24@pdx.edu or by call/text at 707-292-0949. 


Sex Ed Data & Research

Health and sexuality education holds an important responsibility to reflect the lived experiences of students and staff in Oregon and in the United States. Below, please find some local and national research and data that tell the stories of young people, especially as it pertains to experiences within educational environments. 


Sex Ed News & Resources

Teaching inclusive sexuality education is a critical piece in our equity work. While we know the Oregon Human Sexuality Education OAR 581-022-2050 requires the use of “inclusive materials, language, and strategies that recognizes different sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expression” that must also be “culturally inclusive,” this work cannot happen overnight. ODE is committed to supporting school districts to provide sexuality education that allows all students to feel safe, seen, and valued. 

Please see below some sexuality and health education news and resources, rooted in equity: 


Upcoming Sex Ed Training Opportunities

How can we support you with professional development this year?

What does comprehensive sexuality education look like in your district, and how can we provide our support? We’d love to hear more from educators, admin, and other school staff about what your needs and capacity look like in the 2020-21 school year! Please fill out this 3-minute interest gauging form to let us know what you need. 

Online Trainings, Webinars, and Conferences for Sexuality Education

Webinar Recordings for Sexuality Education

Note: Unless hosted or facilitated by The Oregon Department of Education (ODE), these training opportunities have not been endorsed or recommended by ODE, but are being shared as relevant and high quality opportunities for sexuality education professionals. 


Questions? Connections? Please reach out to us: 

Sasha Grenier, MPH, CHES (she/her/hers) 
Sexuality Education and School Health Specialist
Oregon Department of Education | Office of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
sasha.grenier@state.or.us | www.oregon.gov/ode  

Angie Foster-Lawson, MEd (she/her/hers) 
Sexuality Education Analyst 
Oregon Department of Education | Office of Teaching, Learning, & Assessment 
angie.foster-lawson@state.or.us | www.oregon.gov/ode