*Updated* ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- December 2021, Part 1

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

Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

*Updated* ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter: December 2021, Part 1 

Colorful hands

*Updated: A version sent earlier today excluded a community opportunity in error. 

ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 

December 8, 2021 

Dearest colleagues, 

We hope that you have a chance this December to enjoy the gradual changing of the seasons and to find the silver lining in the shorter days. This time of year is also often spent with family and friends, connecting with our faith or culture, giving and receiving gifts and enjoying special foods and treats. But, it’s also important to remember that this can be a time where some students can feel uncomfortable or excluded. 

While religious and cultural holidays are opportunities to learn about ourselves and each other, schools should also be thoughtful about being inclusive so that students don’t feel that one set of holidays or beliefs is more important than others. What holidays do your students celebrate and how do you lift those up in your classrooms and schools? 

In addition to honoring faith, culture, and history, holiday celebrations and gatherings also provide important opportunities for families to honor bodily autonomy and consent for children. For more information and resources on inclusive education and celebration around holidays, see the December 2021 ODE Social Studies Newsletter

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

Sex Ed News & Resources

Teaching inclusive sexuality education is a critical piece in our equity work and we know this work cannot happen overnight. ODE is committed to supporting school districts with implementing Oregon Human Sexuality Education (OAR 581-022-2050), which 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." Our collective goal is for 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

We have an important responsibility to health and sexuality education by reflecting the lived experiences of students, staff and school communities 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.

GLSEN GSA Study Cover Screenshot, Yellow

Sex Ed Data & Research Spotlight

The GSA Study: Results of National Surveys About Students’ and Advisors’ Experiences in Gender and Sexuality Alliance Clubs, released in November 2021 by GLSEN, demonstrates the benefits of participating in GSAs, and identifies areas of strength among these clubs across the U.S. These findings also highlight challenges, suggesting more that can be done to equip GSA leaders and advisors to best support their GSA and the LGBTQ students in their school.

Oregon School District Officials and School Administrators may find the below recommendations from this survey useful: 

  • Support advisors and GSAs who face pushback from parents and other educators by taking a strong supportive stance and provide opportunities for parents and staff to learn about the importance of LGBTQ students having a GSA at their school.
  • Provide GSAs with greater support and resources in engaging in advocacy activities, such as resources about how to advocate to school districts, and guides to planning advocacy or awareness-raising events. 
  • Provide formal professional development and resources on LGBTQ youth-specific content and LGBTQ youth of color-specific content so that educators do not have to solely rely on resources and training opportunities that they seek out on their own, and to increase advisors’ self-efficacy working with these diverse groups of students.

Upcoming Events, Training & Conference Opportunities

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

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 opportunities for sexuality education professionals to consider.

Opportunity for Those Who Support Young People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)

Apply by December 15: SHEIDD* Sexuality Affirming Organization Capacity Building Process 

Does your organization focus on serving young people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in Multnomah County? Would your organization like to build its capacity to support the sexuality of the people you serve? Selected organizations will need to commit to completing the sexuality affirming organization capacity building process between January-June 2022. Apply for this opportunity here, due date to apply is December 15, 2021

SHEIDD Program Logo Flower Banner

*The Sexual Health Equity for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (SHEIDD), pronounced "sheed," project is a group of community members and organizations working together to promote comprehensive sexual health education for young people ages 14-21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We do this by strengthening and building the capacity of support people and organizations to provide sexual health education and support. SHEIDD is coordinated by the Multnomah County Health Department. 

Rainbow gradient background with white text that says "We want to hear from you! Take our survey"

How do you like our new look? 

You may notice in the next month that we are sending out our Sex Ed Newsletter in shorter sections, more often. We’d love to know how our newsletters are working for you! Please feel free to fill out this survey

Newsletter Submission Process

We welcome your submissions to ODE's Sexuality Education Newsletter and 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 our newsletter, we are now planning to send out our newsletter twice a month, during the first week and again mid-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, for inclusion and consideration in the following month (e.g. submit October 25 for November newsletters). 

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? Visit our website or subscribe to the ODE Sexuality Education ListServ today!