ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- September 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- September 2021

Colorful hands

ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 

Care and Connection Week Poster ODE Logo

August 31, 2021 

Dearest colleagues, 

As Oregon returns to full-time, in-person school this fall, students, families and school staff may be feeling excitement, anticipation, uncertainty, and understandable nervousness. We are centering our welcome message this month on a shared vision of Care and Connection.

The Oregon Department of Education is asking every school/school district to welcome its staff and students back with Care and Connection Week. This means devoting the first weeks of the school year to building relationships and community, and creating welcoming spaces for everyone. If you are seeking additional information or resources, please visit the ODE Care and Connection webpage or reach out to Grace.Bullock@ode.state.or.us

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

menstrual products on pink background

Sex Ed Spotlight: Menstrual Dignity Act

Over the past year, students across Oregon have come out in support of the new Menstrual Dignity Act. In March, dozens of students shared their stories to the House Committee on Education. These stories were moving and profound, and, unfortunately, often marked by shame and trauma. There were stories about desperately seeking out menstrual products from strangers in the hallway while missing testing time during a college entrance exam, about sacrificing the price of a meal to buy pads, and so many more. Anyone who menstruates, or works with students who do, know these stories by heart.

During the testimonies in March, there was one message we heard loud and clear: menstrual products are not luxury items. Access to menstrual products, alongside sexuality education that equips young people to understand and honor their bodies, without shame or stigma, are essential.

The Menstrual Dignity Act is an important piece of legislation that was recently voted into law and goes into effect this school year. The Act creates the requirement for school districts to provide free menstrual products for all menstruating students in public schools in Oregon, including elementary, middle, and high school students. This new program will help students participate actively in classes and school activities by alleviating some of the economic strain and experiences of shame that are often barriers for menstruating students accessing their education. According to a joint survey by Thinx and the Oregon-based organization PERIOD, 1 in 4 teens have missed class due to a lack of access to menstrual products.

ODE and the State Board of Education will be developing temporary rules and a toolkit over the next few weeks. Resources will soon be available to local districts, ESDs, and other educational programs to use as they implement this law. This upcoming guidance will provide best practices and important considerations, including student and staff sexuality education and inclusive product recommendations.

We welcome your ideas, inputs, questions and concerns, as well as any insight from your school or district’s own implementation of similar programs. Please complete and submit this Google form to share your thoughts and questions with us.

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 Natracare on Unsplash


Sex Ed Admin Toolkit on a laptop

Calling all Administrators: Sex Ed Made Simple Administrator Toolkit Webinar, Sept. 14th, 1-2pm

ODE, in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority is delighted to announce the release of the Sex Ed Made Simple Administrator Toolkit, which provides often-requested administrator support in K-12 comprehensive plan of instruction creation, as required by Human Sexuality Education OAR 581-022-2050. This toolkit is designed to be administrator-facing to complement our teacher-facing trainings (like OTTI below) and our teachers guide.

Join us on Tuesday September 14, 1-2pm PST for a webinar where we will review the toolkit, answer your questions, and help you plan for 2021-2022 comprehensive sexuality education implementation. Register here.


OTTI Header

Register now! Fall 2021 OTTI

Our Fall 2021 4-part training series on K-5 Comprehensive Sexuality Education by the Oregon Teacher Training Institute (OTTI) will be held Wednesdays from 1-4pm, Sept 22, Sept 29, Oct 6, & Oct 13th, 2021. Please see our flyer and Eventbrite page for more information. 

Reminder, this training is free, offers sub cost reimbursement, and is for classroom teachers, community educators, and school staff only. School district or organization email is required to register. 

Learn more & register now!


ODE Sex Ed Office Hours Thumbnail

*Rescheduled* 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 next topic 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 October 7 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.

News Stories


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 Hosted Events and Training Opportunities

Other relevant opportunities 

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 (OOL) Thumbnail

Oregon Open Learning Institute

Learn More About Open Licensing

The Oregon Open Learning Hub is a digital resource repository and collaboration space for educators, administrators, and other educational partners to curate, create, and remix open educational resources (OER). Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights.  OER often have a Creative Commons license or other permission to let you know how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared. Do you want to learn more about open licensing? The Oregon Open Learning team has a free module available on Canvas. Check it out here!

Grants, Job Openings, and Youth Opportunities

Job Opening: School Health Education Program Specialist, Oregon Department of Education

The Oregon Department of Education is currently seeking a School Health Education Program Specialist (Education Specialist 2) in the Office of Enhancing Student Opportunities  (OESO).  This is a full-time and a permanent position within the IDEA Programs (School Age Special Education) team. The School Health Education Program Specialist will coordinate with Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and other multi-disciplinary partners to provide technical assistance to schools on federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to comprehensive school health services programs. This includes liaising with OHA Adolescent & School Health Office on communicable disease guidance for schools. This specialist will provide technical assistance and staff development to local education agencies (LEAs) in order to improve equitable student success for all students in Oregon by preventing and reducing health-related barriers in accessing education and assistance to local school districts with implementation of comprehensive school health services programs via telephone consultation, staff development workshops, on site visits and teleconference media. Apply here by 09/19/2021. For additional information you may contact us by e-mail at ode.jobs@state.or.us.

Job Opening: Bilingual Teen Advocate and Prevention Educator

Volunteers of America Home Free is looking forward to hiring a Bilingual Teen Advocate and Prevention Educator to join us in expanding our dating violence prevention and response services to youth in the Portland area. The Teen Advocate will provide confidential, school-based support to students and collaborate with program partners to design and deliver presentations to youth, school staff, and community members related to healthy relationships, consent, and dating violence prevention with a focus on promoting equity and liberation. Apply here.

Job Opening: Shelter Support Advocate and Volunteer Coordinator

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

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.

Did someone forward you this newsletter? Want to stay connected with sexuality education at the Oregon Department of Education? Subscribe to the ODE Sexuality Education ListServ today!