ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- February 2022 Part 2

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter: February 2022 Part 2

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ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 

February 24, 2022 

Dearest colleagues, 

Student smiling and doing school work

March is Women’s History Month, which gives us an extra opportunity to recognize and uplift the strength and accomplishments of women and girls in our health and sexuality education classes. Facilitating conversations around honoring Henrietta Lacks and her contributions to sexual and reproductive health, or about Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, enslaved women who are the depicted in a new monument in “The Mothers of Gynecology Park” in Montgomery, Alabama–  can all lead to reflections on race, class, history, and health. 

This month also marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which, as Bernice Sandler said, “is probably the most important law passed for women and girls in Congress since women obtained the right to vote in 1920,” and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender within education programs. We hope that you all will take this great opportunity to teach and learn about student rights this month.

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.

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

Introduction photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Two young people wearing masks.

ODE Sexuality Education Updates 

Sex Ed Spotlight: What COVID-19 Teaches Us About Sex Ed 

COVID-19 has brought us on a journey of flexibility, hardship, and resilience. Nearly all Oregonians have been practicing essential health and sexuality education skills, perhaps without realizing it. We will share below two ways sexuality education offers strengths-based approaches to COVID-19 response and building affirming, well-rounded school communities. 

Setting boundaries around keeping a healthy distance or wearing masks. Setting, communicating, and respecting boundaries have all been in conversations we have had around COVID-19. ‘Are we hugging?’ ‘Are we hanging out indoors?’ have been common questions in students’ lives. 

Setting boundaries is also the first step of a conversation around consent and bodily autonomy. Learning skills related to interpersonal communication (how do you say the words?) and decision-making (what did the conversation help you decide?) can be helpful parts of health and sex ed lessons. And these skills lead to important life outcomes: understanding consent and how to set boundaries within friendships and school in K-5 helps reduce dating violence and harmful sexual experiences later in life. Check out the K-5 Consent Toolkit by Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH)

Understanding communicable diseases and keeping your community safe .These two years of COVID-19 protocols, contact tracing, and vaccine requirements have taught us all about communicable diseases, how they spread, practices to keep ourselves safe, and our responsibilities to protect each other. Having conversations with students about personal and public health also provides us with an opportunity to think about how another type of communicable disease– STIs– can be prevented and managed. 

Talking about accessing information (seeking information on how to treat the STI and how to access healthcare and testing); interpersonal communication (sharing your status with any sexual partners so they may seek treatment and prevent the spread); and analyzing influences (asking what misinformation and other social messages are at play here?) can help young people understand how infections are spread and how to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Open communication about STI & HIV (and COVID-19!) status and health also increases bodily autonomy and reduces stigma and shame. Check out STD Awareness: Stigma and Sexually Transmitted Diseases by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona. 

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

Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash

ODE Celebrates 50 Years of Title IX 

Webinar: How Title IX and Comprehensive Sex Education Can Inform Each Other

District Title IX Coordinators and other administrators are charged with responding to sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other bullying/harassment. This 90-minute webinar will explore how to widen efforts to address prevention as well as response.

Comprehensive sex education and prevention programs have the power to prevent sexual harassment and violence from occurring in the first place. This webinar will discuss why comprehensive sex ed works to prevent sexual harassment, sexual violence, and bullying, and how school district personnel can work together to align their response and prevention programs to create healthier and safer school communities.

This webinar is only open to Oregon K-12 school staff. When registering, please make sure to use your school email address. Register here for the event on March 10, 2022 3-4:30pm PDT.

Screenshot of 2016 gender guidance

Gender Guidance Survey

ODE is working to update the 2016 Guidance on Supporting Transgender Students and would appreciate your input. We would like to invite you to share your thoughts about the needs of students, the questions Oregon schools need to have answered, and the topics you hope new guidance would address. 

In order to collect this information, we have developed a survey about current and future guidance. To ensure that community members have the opportunity and time to fill out the survey, we have extended our deadline! Please fill out the ODE Gender Guidance Update Survey by Friday, March 4, 2022 at 5 p.m.

Take the Survey

Health & Physical Education Standards Revision 2023-2025

The Oregon Health Standards (including Sexuality Education) and Physical Education Standards will be updated in 2023 for implementation in the Fall of 2025.  In the next few weeks, ODE  will be sending out more information and the application to serve on the Standards Review Committee. Stay tuned to express interest in next month's newsletter.

Upcoming Events, Training & Conference Opportunities

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

  • Oregon My Future My Choice Workshop Series, March 16- May 25, 2022 (free, PDUs available).
    • What’s the ‘A’ again? Asexual-affirming Sex Ed, March 16, 2022 3:30-5pm PDT
    • Emotional Intelligence & Sex Ed, March 30, 2022 3:30-5pm PDT
    • The Case for Porn Literacy, April 13, 2022 3:30-5pm PDT
    • LGBTQ2S+ Identities, My Future, My Choice, April 27, 2022, 3:30-5pm PDT
    • Sex Ed for Youth with Disabillities, May 11, 3:30-5pm PDT
    • Latinx Inclusive Sex Ed, May 25, 2022 3:30-5pm PDT
  • Mar 7-17, 2022, Virtual After School Programs, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon
  • Mar. 21 - Apr. 13 - LGBTQ+ Inclusive and Affirming Facilitation, 5-session virtual instructor-led course, Spark*ED

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.

Grants, Job Openings, and Youth Opportunities

GLSEN 'Rainbow Library' text over a table stacked with books

K-12 School Staff: Request a FREE set of LGBTQ+ affirming K-12 books! 

GLSEN will be sending LGBTQ+ affirming text sets to over 900 schools in 28 states in spring 2022. LGBTQ+ students at schools with an LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum, which includes LGBTQ+ affirming books, have higher GPAs, are less likely to hear anti-LGBTQ remarks at school, and are less likely to report missing school due to feeling unsafe. Over 1,800 locations in 19 states have already received Rainbow Library sets. Resources are limited and will be prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis. Head to rainbowlibrary.org to learn more

Text that says "50 States 50 Grants 5000 Voices"

Funding Opportunity: Grants for School-Based Projects for LGBTQ+ Youth by It Gets Better Project

The It Gets Better Project is funding 50 Grants in 50 States to support projects empowering LGBTQ+ youth. Applications are due March 15th. Learn more or submit your project on the grant website.


Job Opportunity: Equity and Access Coordinator 

Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence is hiring and Equity and Access Coordinator. To apply: Send a resume and cover letter to Jobs@ocadsv.org.

Job Opportunity: Statewide Trainer

The Matchstick Consulting team is hiring a full-time statewide trainer. This role supports building youth and adult partnerships, the implementation of Sources of Strength and other youth-led upstream prevention efforts across Oregon. More information on the Matchstick website

Newsletter 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@ode.oregon.gov.

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@ode.oregon.gov.

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!