ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter -- January 2024

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ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter: January 2024

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ODE Sexuality Education Newsletter 


January 22, 2024 

Dear Colleagues, 

We hope you enjoyed a restorative break and are staying warm during this frigid January. Schools across the state honor Martin Luther King Jr. this week, inspiring both historical analysis and social service. Health and sexuality education lessons provide opportunities to center racial equity and community health. For example, skill focus area 8 in the new 2023 Health Education Standards encourages students to advocate for community health in eighth grade through high school. Similarly, grade level standards explore concepts including racism’s impact on health that reflect interwoven concepts also found in social science, transformative SEL, and other content areas.

January 22 through 28 is Cervical Health and HPV Prevention Week, a dedicated awareness campaign aimed at educating people about cervical cancer, the HPV vaccine, and the importance of regular screenings. Cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers are largely preventable. Middle school and high school lessons on STI prevention are available on the Sex Ed Open Learning hub. This newsletter includes additional classroom resources and videos below.

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 Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Header photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash, Newberg, OR

Spotlight: Sexuality Education and Media Literacy

K-12 health and sexuality education focuses on digital literacy, responsibility, and safety by promoting student-centered reflection and skill-building that meets current student realities – without fear and shame. Health and sexuality lessons can support students as they form healthy relationships and identities in and around an online world. 

Discussing age-appropriate and relevant safety issues associated with social media, including cyberbullying, privacy concerns, and exposure to inappropriate content, empowers students to make informed decisions and seek out trusted adults when needed. Supporting students to understand that they are not alone as they learn to navigate online interactions is critical for violence/abuse prevention. Classrooms can:

In elementary school, students can explore questions including, What are ways that we can be kind and stay safe online, and seek help from adults when needed?, in alignment with standard 2.HRVP.6- Recognize bullying, cyberbullying, and teasing in multiple types of relationships and the need to tell a trusted source that can help.  

In middle school, educators can prompt discussion questions such as, What are ways that culture, media, and technology affect our ideas about ourselves, healthy relationships, and sexuality?, to meet standard 8.HRVP.7- Explain the impact that media, including social media, sexually explicit media and sexting, can have on one's body image, self-esteem, and relationships.

In high school, educators can facilitate discussions around questions such as, What rights and responsibilities do we have with regard to sexual content online?, in support of standards including HS.HRVP.13- Summarize individual rights and responsibilities in regards to sexual consent, sexually explicit media, and sexting under state and federal law.

Resources for Media Literacy, Social Media & Internet Safety:

  • Common Sense Education, K-12 digital citizenship lessons written in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, free with creation of educator account
  • Media Literacy Resources, Learning for Justice, webpage provides guidance for introducing essential skills for analyzing the accuracy and reliability of media information.
  • AMAZE Videos:

ODE Updates & Opportunities

K-5 Quarterly Newsletter: Announcement & Sign-up

Elementary students classroom

ODE’s Office of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment is launching a new quarterly newsletter for K-5 educators. This newsletter will provide resources, opportunities, guidance and ODE updates tailored specifically to support the integrated and well-rounded instruction that elementary education entails. It aims to streamline information related to K-5 academic standards and instruction into one convenient communication.

Subscribe to or share the K-5 newsletter link here!

Nominations Open for the 2024 Oregon Teacher and Education Support Professional of the Year

Oregon Teacher of the Year

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE), in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, is pleased to announce the Oregon Teacher of the Year program is once again honoring exemplary educators and support professionals in every region of the state! Additional information for eligibility and nominations can be found on the Oregon Teacher of the Year webpage.

Nominations are open through February 21, 2024

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

Resources for Cervical Health & HPV Prevention Week- January 22-28:

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