ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- November 2023

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter: November 2023

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ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 

Trees at Sunset

November 7, 2023 

Dearest Colleagues,

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate indigenous peoples past, present, and future. It is a powerful opportunity to connect culture, history, current affairs, and identities of indigenous peoples into sexuality education and health classrooms. By using the Tribal History/Shared History Health lessons, and exploring film and art, educators can attend to the historic erasure of indigenous people and have conversations around the influence of culture, identity, and public health policies on sexual and reproductive health.

The week of November 13th-19th is also Transgender Awareness Week, with November 20th marking Transgender Day of Remembrance; a time when transgender people and allies take action to bring attention to the transgender community and work to help create safer and more inclusive communities for students. Transgender youth are an integral part of Oregon schools. According to self-reported 6th, 8th, and 11th-grade data from the 2020 Oregon Student Health Survey (SHS), 8% of Oregon’s students are transgender, gender expansive, or questioning. Data show that many LGBTQ+ youth in Oregon do not feel safe at school, often due to a lack of inclusive curriculum and school policies. Oregon’s 2020 Student Health Survey found that 35.6% of gender-expansive 11th graders, 26.5% of gender-expansive 8th graders, and 19% of gender-expansive 6th graders had experienced bullying at school in the past 30 days. The ODE’s LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan offers many resources for cultivating safer and more inclusive communities in our schools. 

This newsletter includes announcements, research, resources, and opportunities for training, as well as other offerings by statewide and national colleagues related to sexuality education.


Section photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Header photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash, Newberg, OR

ODE Sexuality Education Updates

Adopted New K-12 Health Education Standards

2023 Oregon Health Standards

On October 19th, 2023, the Oregon State Board of Education adopted new K-12 Health Education Standards. ODE, a statewide Health Education Panel, and countless partners worked over the last year and a half to draft, revise, and solidify the new K-12 standards that will guide Health Education in Oregon Public Schools for the next 7 years. The new standards reflect updated national education standards, research on best practices in health education, newly passed Oregon laws, and adolescent health data from student health surveys. In response to feedback, these standards are more concise and more readily accessible for educators to use. 

New and expanded health topics include: 

  • oral health
  • organ and tissue donation
  • eating disorder prevention
  • synthetic opioid overdose prevention and response
  • access to sexual and reproductive healthcare
  • violence and trafficking prevention
  • menstruation, menstrual products, and menstrual dignity
  • examination of historical influences and social justice in relation to health equity

Schools will have until the 2025-26 school year to fully implement the new standards. Please sign up for the Sexuality Education Newsletter and the Health/PE Newsletter for more information and opportunities, including supplemental materials, resources, professional development, and informational sessions about these new standards.

Menstrual Dignity Act connected to Division 22 Standards

Menstrual Products

On October 19, 2023, the State Board voted to link requirements of the Menstrual Dignity for Students Rules (OAR 581-021-0590 and OAR 581-021-0593) to Division 22 with the adoption of a new rule, OAR 581-022-2515. While the new Division 22 rule does not change the requirements or intention of the original Menstrual Dignity Act, it will enhance ODE’s ability to provide technical support to schools and districts in their efforts to provide menstrual product options that are free and privately accessible to all students. 

The Division 22 Standards Assurances Process requires that school districts certify to their local community, school board, and ODE that they are in compliance with Division 22 Standards. A district is in compliance with Division 22 if they provide required menstrual health education and stock menstrual products in every student bathroom. Districts will first report on compliance with this rule for the current 2023-24 school year on their Division 22 Standards Assurances in November 2024. Districts that report out of compliance at that time will have until the beginning of the 2025-26 school year to complete corrective action and come into compliance. 

Please see the Menstrual Dignity Toolkit for more details regarding requirements.

2024 Oregon Teacher Training Institute (OTTI) Sex Ed Professional Learning


The Oregon Teacher Training Institute (OTTI) offers an in-person K-12 professional development course for educators and administrators to deliver comprehensive sexuality education as part of health instruction, focusing on healthy relationships, socio-emotional learning, child abuse prevention education, and healthy sexuality throughout the lifespan. These requirements, articulated by Oregon Department of Education's rules and standards, follow the most current research, leading national medical institutions, and Oregon Law. The course will introduce participants to core knowledge and skills required for teaching sexuality education, including how to answer difficult questions, how to use curriculum, and how to create inclusive learning environments for all students. OTTI workshops are delivered in partnership with DHS, OHA, and other local partners.


Save the date! OTTI Comprehensive Sex Ed Professional Learning 

January 23, 2024 in Salem, Oregon

Registration information for this all-day training to come


Interested in having an OTTI Sex Ed Training in your area? 

Please fill out this survey:

OTTI Sex Ed Training Interest Survey

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.

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