ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- September 2023

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter: September 2023

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ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 

September 15, 2023

Dearest Colleagues, 

It’s back to school for Oregon students and with it comes both excitement and apprehension. While this is a time for new and renewed social connection, for learning and inspiration; it can also be a time for fear and anxiety for many students. As ODE’s Care and Connection Team reminds us, take the time you and your colleagues need to grow and sustain safe, inclusive, and invitational spaces that allow each person to be where they are at any given moment and offer creative opportunities for self-exploration.

This time of year is a great reminder that sexuality education is an important avenue for fostering care, connection, and community. Exploring questions such as: What makes us similar and different?, Who are trusted adults I can turn to?, and What makes a family? can help create a safe and inclusive school environment in which to thrive in the school year ahead. Explore lessons covering some of these topics from the Oregon Open Learning Hub.

ODE Updates

A Message from the Director of ODE Dr. Charlene Williams

Dr. Charlene Williams

The start of a school year signifies new beginnings for students in all of Oregon’s 36 counties – an opportunity to start fresh with renewed energy and excitement. This is true for me as I reflect on how public education has shaped me as a learner, teacher, and administrator as I arrive as the Director of the Oregon Department of Education.

The last few years have deeply challenged students, educators and families. Suddenly classrooms became virtual, highlighting disparities in broadband connection around the state. Stress and uncertainty about living through a global pandemic reinforced the need for better mental health for students and staff in our schools. The impacts of the pandemic continue to echo through our schools, reshaping the way our system must serve our students.

The Anchors That Help Us Serve Students

  1. Centering students and supporting them – not just as learners, but as leaders.
  2. Consciousness and care as we work to improve our education system.
  3. Community and coalition building to bring people together and design solutions          that work.
  4. Confidence and conviction to accomplish great things together.

Click here for full Education Update from Dr. Williams

Newly released: K-5 Learning Standards Webpage

The new K-5 standards webpage is specifically designed to support K-5 educators with a single location to access grade-level learning standards. Educators can use the links on this page to quickly access standards across the grade level in preparation for horizontal integration of learning or to review the standards in previous or future grades to help better understand a vertical learning progression.

Click here for the K-5 Standards Page

Instructional Materials Matter

Apply now: Oregon Health Education Instructional Materials Criteria Committee 

The Oregon Department of Education is accepting nominations for the 2023 Health Education Instructional Materials Criteria Committee. District administrators and supervisors are highly encouraged to share the application with teachers, curriculum specialists, or other experienced professionals with expertise in health education for grades K-12.

The application form details what committee member participation will require during this year’s criteria development. Interested candidates will be asked to complete an application regarding their qualifications and experience. Those selected to participate will receive professional development units (PDUs). No travel is required for this year’s criteria development.

Individuals on this committee will be responsible for reviewing and revising the newest edition of the health education instructional materials adoption criteria. The application is open through September 29, 2023. Please use the nomination form to nominate qualified individuals.

For more information or questions, contact Aujalee Moore, Instructional Materials Coordinator: Aujalee.Moore@ode.state.or.us or (971) 208-0302.

Pregnant and Parenting Students Community of Practice

ODE is launching an online community of practice quarterly gathering for Pregnant and Parenting Student Programs (PPSP) coordinators and staff. These sessions will offer time and space for programs to connect with one another and ODE.

These 60-minute virtual meetings will be held four times per school year to:

  • Connect with other Pregnant and Parenting Student Programs across the state to discuss program challenges and opportunities,
  • Share experiences and current realities with ODE staff to improve statewide support offerings, and
  • Receive communication from ODE on latest updates.

The first gathering of this group will be on September 26 from 1:00- 2:00pm PST.  We will spend the hour getting to know each other and discussing upcoming ODE work to develop Oregon Administrative Rules for Pregnant & Parenting Student programs. 

Register here for the first PPSP community of practice

If you have any questions or comments, please email Katherine.Hildebrandt@ode.oregon.gov and Sasha.Grenier@ode.oregon.gov.

Sex Ed News & Resources for Educators

ODE is committed to supporting school districts with implementing Oregon Human Sexuality Education (OAR 581-022-2050). Please see below for related news and resources for K-12 educators. 

Research & News Articles for Educators

Resources for Educators

Upcoming Events, Training & Conference Opportunities for Educators

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 education professionals to consider.

Job Opportunities

Education & Training Program Coordinator

PPCW is looking to hire an Education & Training Program Coordinator for the Central Oregon region.

Position Details

Questions? Connections? 

Please reach out to us at ode.sexed@ode.oregon.gov

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