RESTRICTED PUBLIC ACCESS TO OSPI BUILDING

In accordance with the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25, “Stay Home, Stay Healthy,” and to protect the health and safety of Washingtonians and our employees, at this time, there is restricted public access to the OSPI building. OSPI will continue serving the public via phone, email, and the website.

See OSPI’s COVID-19 guidance and resources for educators, students, and families.

  • Facebook
  • OSPI on Twitter
  • OSPI Medium
  • OSPI LinkedIn
  • OSPI YouTube
  • OSPI on Flickr
  • Subscribe to OSPI GovDelivery

You are here

Home » Student Success » Resources by Subject Area » Sexual Health Education » Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Implementation

Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Implementation

Senate Bill 5395, passed by the Legislature and Washington voters in 2020, went into effect on December 3, 2020 (see Bulletin 092-20). It requires all public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education (CSHE) by the 2022–23 school year, with some requirements beginning in the 2020-21 school year. 

Instruction must be consistent with Health Education K-12 Learning Standards, which provide a framework for comprehensive instruction and the provisions of the law. Instruction must also be age-appropriate, medically and scientifically accurate and inclusive of all students.

Timeline for Implementation

  • Schools already providing CSHE must include age-appropriate information about affirmative consent and bystander training.
  • Schools not already providing CSHE must begin preparing to incorporate age-appropriate instruction on affirmative consent and bystander training.
  • Schools not already providing CSHE must consult with parents and guardians, local communities, and the Washington State School Directors’ Association about CSHE.

  • Schools must begin providing CSHE at least twice in grades 6−8 and at least twice in grades 9−12. Instruction must include age-appropriate information about affirmative consent and bystander training.
  • Schools must inform the OSPI of any curricula used to provide comprehensive sexual health education and describe how their instruction aligns with the requirements of the bill (OSPI will provide a reporting tool).

  • Schools must provide social emotional learning (SEL) to students in grades K−3. There is no sexual health content required for students in grades K–3.
  • Schools must begin providing CSHE at least once in grades 4−5.
  • Schools must inform the OSPI of any curricula used to provide comprehensive sexual health education and describe how their instruction aligns with the requirements of the bill (OSPI will provide a reporting tool).

Implementation Requirements

The only required content is:

  • In grades K-3, instruction must be in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) - learning to do things like manage feelings, set goals, and get along with others. Instruction must be consistent with Social and Emotional Learning Standards and Benchmarks. (Note: there is no sexuality content required for students in grades K-3.)
  • In grades 4-12, instruction must be consistent with Health Education K-12 Learning Standards and include age-appropriate, medically/scientifically, inclusive information about:
    • The physiological, psychological, and sociological developmental processes experienced by an individual;
    • Abstinence and other methods of preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases;
    • Health care and prevention resources;
    • The development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to communicate, respectfully and effectively, to reduce health risks and choose healthy behaviors and relationships based on mutual respect and affection, and free from violence, coercion, and intimidation;
    • The development of meaningful relationships and avoidance of exploitative relationships;
    • Understanding the influences of family, peers, community and the media throughout life on healthy sexual relationships;
    • Affirmative consent and recognizing and responding safely and effectively when violence or a risk of violence is or may be present, with strategies that include bystander training. 

Requirements by Grade Band

What is currently required?

No sexual health content is currently required for grades K-3.

If districts choose to provide sexual health education, it must be consistent with new CSHE requirements.

New Requirements

Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, schools must provide social emotional learning (SEL) to students in grades K-3, consistent with SEL Standards and Benchmarks. SEL provides skills to do things like cope with feelings, set goals, and get along with others. No sexuality content or curriculum will be required, although districts may choose to offer additional instruction in alignment with K-12 Learning Standards for Health Education.

What is currently required?

The only instruction currently required is HIV/STD prevention, which must start no later than 5th grade and be provided annually through 12th grade. If districts choose to provide additional sexual health education, it must be consistent with new CSHE requirements.

New Requirements

Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, If schools are already providing sexual health education they must ensure that students get age-appropriate instruction on affirmative consent and bystander training.

Affirmative consent as defined in SB 5395 is an approach to giving and receiving consent that includes clear, voluntary, enthusiastic permission to engage in sexual activity. It is not just the absence of “no.” Since most 4th and 5th grade students are not engaged in sexual activity, age-appropriate instruction might focus on hugs or horseplay, hand-holding, kissing or other touch, as well as virtual contact such as texts or emails or taking photos. Bystander training teaches students how to safely intervene when they see bullying, sexual harassment or unwanted physical touch. These topics are included in this legislation as a way for schools to combat the high rates of unwanted sexual contact experienced by youth in our state. 

Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, schools must start providing comprehensive sexual health education no later than 5th grade. Instruction must be consistent with Health Education K-12 Learning Standards. Grade-level outcomes are provided as examples only and do not represent a required course of instruction.

Required topics of instruction are described in SB 5395. Instruction should include a focus on helping students understand and respect personal boundaries, develop healthy friendships, and gain a basic understanding of human growth and development. Currently required HIV/STD prevention instruction will continue to be required.

For more information, see New Legislation: Senate Bill 5395.

What is currently required?

The only instruction currently required is HIV/STD prevention, which must start no later than 5th grade and be provided annually through 12th grade.

If districts choose to provide additional sexual health education, it must be consistent with new CSHE requirements. Additionally, according to RCW 28A.300.145, instruction must include "age-appropriate information about the legal elements of sexual [sex] offenses (under chapter 9A.44 RCW) where a minor is a victim and the consequences upon conviction."

New Requirements

Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, If schools are already providing sexual health education they must ensure that students get age-appropriate instruction on affirmative consent and bystander training.

Affirmative consent is an approach to giving and receiving consent that includes clear, voluntary, enthusiastic permission to engage in sexual activity. It is not just the absence of “no.” In 6th through 8th grades it might focus on hugs, hand-holding, kissing or sexual touch, as well as virtual contact such as texts or emails or taking photos. Bystander training teaches students how to safely intervene when they see bullying, sexual harassment or unwanted sexual contact. They are included in this legislation as a way for schools to combat the high rates of unwanted sexual contact experienced by youth in our state. 

Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, schools must start providing comprehensive sexual health education at least twice in grades 6-8. Ideally this would be a unit of instruction in at least two different grades, and there are many possible strategies for providing all required content. Best practice suggests providing instruction over time, building on earlier instruction. Instruction must be consistent with Health Education K-12 Learning Standards. Grade-level outcomes are provided as examples only and do not represent a required course of instruction.

Required topics of instruction are described in SB 5395, with a focus on helping students understand and respect personal boundaries, develop healthy friendships and dating relationships, gain a deeper understanding of human growth and development, develop skills to support choosing healthy behaviors and reduce health risks, including abstinence and other STD/pregnancy prevention approaches, and understanding the influence of family and society on healthy sexual relationships. Currently required HIV/STD prevention instruction will continue to be required.

For more information, please see New Legislation: Senate Bill 5395

What is currently required?

The only instruction currently required is HIV/STD prevention, which must start no later than 5th grade and be provided annually through 12th grade.

If districts choose to provide additional sexual health education, it must be consistent with new CSHE requirements. Additionally, according to RCW 28A.300.145, instruction must include "age-appropriate information about the legal elements of sexual [sex] offenses (under chapter 9A.44 RCW) where a minor is a victim and the consequences upon conviction."

New Requirements

Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, If schools are already providing sexual health education they must ensure that students get age-appropriate instruction on affirmative consent and bystander training.

Affirmative consent is an approach to giving and receiving consent that includes clear, voluntary, enthusiastic permission to engage in sexual activity. It is not just the absence of “no.” In high school it might focus on hand-holding, kissing or sexual touch/activity, as well as virtual contact such as texts or emails or taking photos. Bystander training teaches students how to safely intervene when they see bullying, sexual harassment or unwanted sexual contact. They are included in this legislation as a way for schools to combat the high rates of unwanted sexual contact experienced by youth in our state. 

Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, schools must start providing comprehensive sexual health education at least twice in grades 9-12. Ideally this would be a unit of instruction in at least two different grades, and there are many possible strategies for providing all required content. Best practice suggests providing instruction over time, building on earlier instruction. Instruction must be consistent with Health Education K-12 Learning Standards. Grade-level outcomes are provided as examples only and do not represent a required course of instruction.

Required topics of instruction are described in SB 5395, with a focus on helping students understand and respect personal boundaries, develop healthy friendships and dating relationships, gain a deeper understanding of human growth and development, develop skills to support choosing healthy behaviors and reduce health risks, including abstinence and other STD/pregnancy prevention methods, how to access valid health care and prevention resources and understanding the influence of family and society on healthy sexual relationships. Currently required HIV/STD prevention instruction will continue to be required.

For more information, please see New Legislation: Senate Bill 5395


Materials & Resources

Schools may use curricula and other instructional materials that have been reviewed by OSPI and the state Department of Health (DOH) for consistency with these provisions of the law or may choose to develop and/or review materials themselves with OSPI-developed review tools. OSPI does not approve or develop curriculum.

Curriculum, instruction, materials, and guest speakers must be medically and scientifically accurate, and consistent with the provisions outlined in the bill/law.

Districts conducting their own reviews of sexual health education materials (rather than using OSPI-reviewed materials) must use OSPI-developed instructional materials review tools to ensure that materials meet requirements. Note: All review instruments will be updated to reflect new requirements of Senate Bill 5395.

District Resources

Parent/Guardian Materials

Parents and guardians must be notified in advance of planned instruction, must be able to review all CSHE instructional materials, and must be given the opportunity to opt their child out of CSHE instruction.

Tags: 
Sex Ed
Referendum 90
Ref 90
R90