ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- August 2021

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- August 2021

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ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 

August 5, 2021 

Dearest colleagues, 

Summer has a special kind of brightness and energy that we hope you are all able to tap into in one way or another this month. One reason we love summer as sexuality educators is the slower, unscheduled time with loved ones and the young people in our lives. These moments can be ideal for really getting to know one another—away from the usual school year stress—and (we think) the perfect opportunity to strengthen communication with young people about growing up. Opening the door for communication about social media and online presence, healthy friendships, affirming identity development, consent and boundaries, emotional and mental health, and more. Our Spotlight this month focuses on fostering partnerships between schools and communities in order to communicate your familial and cultural values, stories, and traditions. 

In this newsletter, we will share with you some announcements, research, resources, and opportunities for training by ODE, as well as other offerings by statewide and national colleagues that may be of interest to you. 

Header photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash, Newberg, OR

ODE Sexuality Education Updates

Bridge with Multnomah Falls flowing under it, shot from below, green moss on either side

Sex Ed Spotlight: Fostering Partnerships Between Schools & Communities

Sexuality education is a part of health education that aims to provide learners with skills and information to have safe and respectful relationships and to determine their own values, identity, and approach to health. We recognize, this doesn’t replace the critical role of parents, caregivers, and communities.

Sexuality education works best when done both within K-12 health education and in partnership with the trusted adults in learners’ lives. This way, young people have supportive environments in schools to do things like ask anonymous questions and learn alongside peers--and then continue the conversations at home within families and with other affirming adults. 

To do this, it’s essential that school districts work to engage a diversity of families, communities, and youth as they develop their sexuality education plans of instruction. It’s important that parents and caregivers know about specific lessons and topics, so that they are prepared to answer questions and continue conversations at home. This may look like more than just sending a notification letter--it may look like hosting multiple “Parent and Caregiver Nights” with translator services, and/or providing additional books or other resources to parents and caregivers for at-home learning.

We’ve heard from countless young people across Oregon asking for more information about topics like consent, healthy relationships, and sexual orientation. As K-12 educators, we can create brave spaces within health education classrooms for students to begin these discussions by engaging with young people directly, assessing what they know and asking what support they need. We can also connect them to trusted adults within their communities where they can continue learning and determining their own paths.

A feature by ODE staff and partners that shines a spotlight on one aspect of K-12 comprehensive sexuality education. If you have a topic request for a future Spotlight, let us know at ode.sexed@state.or.us

Spotlight photo by Ravi Pinisetti on Unsplash


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ODE Sex Ed Office Hours: Civil Rights, Title IX, and Sex Ed Connections

The sexuality education specialists at ODE host regular office hours in order to support districts in implementing K-12 comprehensive sexuality education.The topic for August is Civil Rights, Title IX, and Sex Ed Connections. We’ll discuss the important intersections between these topic areas, as well as opportunities to link and leverage these opportunities for student safety and inclusion. The event will be on August 30th from 2-3pm PDT. Register here.

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, heard, and valued.

Please see below for related news and resources that may be relevant as you consider how to implement K-12 comprehensive sexuality education.

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. 

Upcoming Events, Training & Conference Opportunities

All trainings are listed in Pacific Time zone unless otherwise noted.

  • ODE Sex Ed Made Simple Webinar Series, self-paced asynchronous webinar modules, Created by ODE for educators, administrators, and those who support K-12 sexuality education implementation. In partnership with state-wide community partners, topics are based on frequently asked questions from districts. 
  • Sex Ed Middle School Training, August 10, 9am-4pm. Hosted by Multnomah County, Latino Network, and Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette. See flyer for details and register here
  • Transgender Training Institute Webinars (pay what you can) 
  • Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Families’ Responses to Pandemic and School Reopening, August 12, 11:30am-1pm. Hosted by MAEC’s Collaborative Action for Family Engagement initiative, this webinar will help educators, administrators, and community leaders gain insights into the perspectives and challenges of AAPI families. Register here.
  • Back to School Programs, August 30-September 2. Registration is opening soon for back-to-school sexuality education sessions. Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon will cover topics such as puberty, reproductive anatomy, consent, birth control, and more to help prepare students for the upcoming school year. 
  • Amaze Sex Ed Conference, October 19-21 from 12-2pm, Virtual conference for K-12 health and sexuality educators hosted by Amaze.

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

Oregon Open Learning Institute

The Oregon Open Learning team is pleased to announce the Oregon Open Learning Institute, a one-day, virtual professional learning event that will provide participants with a baseline understanding about open educational resources (OER) and the Oregon Open Learning Hub, Oregon’s K-12 repository for OER. 

Oregon Open Learning (OOL) Thumbnail

Participants who hold a qualifying role and commit to sharing about upcoming OER grant opportunities with educators in their community will be eligible for a $150 reimbursement for their time and effort participating in the Institute. Qualified roles include: 

  • Licensed teacher
  • Pre-service teacher or a first year teacher during the 2021-22 school year
  • Licensed school counselor
  • Licensed social worker
  • Licensed administrator
  • Instructional assistant
  • Parent/family coordinator

The Oregon Open Learning Institute will be repeated on three dates this August:

  • August 9, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • August 17, 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • August 18, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Apply today to reserve your place at the Institute and qualify for the $150 reimbursement. Please share this announcement with colleagues, or direct them to the OER Grants & Professional Learning Opportunities page for more information.

Grants, Job Openings, and Youth Opportunities

Job Opening: Health Systems Program Coordinator — Lead Worker (Program Analyst 3) 

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Public Health Division (PHD), Adolescent, Genetic and Reproductive Health (AGRH) section in Portland, OR is recruiting for a  Health Systems Program Coordinator, as part of the Adolescent & School Health Unit (ASH), to provide leadership and operational oversight with the School-Based Health Center State Program Office and monitor health system-related impacts to adolescent and school health.  The Application can be found here.

Job Opening: Center for Gender Equity Director

The Director for CGE provides coordination and administration for an array of activities and programming that implements retention strategies, develops and grows programs, identifies objectives and strategies, and ensures the success and support of the well-being of marginalized student populations. Online application can be found here.

Job Opening: Shelter Support Advocate

Helping Hands Oregon is hiring a Shelter Support Advocate. Helping Hands Oregon is a non-profit which serves sexual assault and domestic violence survivors and their children through shelter, advocacy and education.

Listserv Submission Process

We welcome your submissions to ODE's Sexuality Education ListServ! If you have announcements, job postings, or general questions for your colleagues, you can submit them to ode.sexed@state.or.us

In an effort to streamline Listserv messages, we are now planning to send out ListServ messages once a month, during the first week of the month. To accommodate this change and to ensure that we can equitably share announcements from everyone, we're now asking that you submit your Listserv posts no later than the 25th of each month. 

Questions? Connections?

Please reach out to us at ode.sexed@state.or.us.