Heritage Community Services, in partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services, presents Evidence-Based Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Training

Texas Dept of State Health ServicesHeritage Community Services

By Christine Kalmbach

After an objective review by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Sexual Risk Avoidance abstinence curriculum, Heritage Keepers, has been approved and found effective in delaying sexual initiation among youth. The curriculum is offered by Heritage Community Services located in Charleston, SC.

The rigorous program design involved 2,215 youth in 7-9th grades. Findings showed that those receiving the Heritage Keepers curriculum were significantly less likely to initiate sex than a comparison group at the 12 months follow-up.  The study reports,  “Sexual experience increased from 29.1% to 33.7% for the program participants, and from 29.2% to 43.2% among the comparison group.”

Information about Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education:

  • It is the only A-H consistent abstinence-until-marriage program recognized by the US HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) on their list of the 31 proven-effective evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs.
  • It has been reviewed by US Office of Population Affairs, Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and approved for medical accuracy.
  • Additionally, in September 2013, the Medical Institute for Sexual Health also reviewed and approved the curriculum for medical accuracy.
  • In September 2013, the National Abstinence Education Association reviewed and approved the curriculum for meeting the federal Title V, Section 510 A-H requirements for abstinence education.
  • The curriculum has been reviewed and approved for being inclusive and non-stigmatizing towards LGBTQ youth.
  • The curriculum has been reviewed and approved for compliance with federal regulations prohibiting support of programs that promote religion or abortion.
  • The curriculum is compliant with the SC Comprehensive Health Education Act and compliant with SC Health Standards

Extensive behavioral studies indicate that a year after Heritage Keepers®, program students initiated sex at a rate 67% lower than well-matched non-program students. This particular study was of 2,215 students in 41 SC schools, and the population of the study was 63% African American. Strong program outcomes have been found across age, gender and race in rural, urban and suburban settings.

“It is important to understand what works in empowering youth to eliminate the risks of teen sexual activity. The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is committed to promoting research that can inform this goal. We congratulate Heritage Community Services on their success in impacting the lives and sexual health of youth, “ stated Valerie Huber, Executive Director of  NAEA.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is offering FREE Heritage Services training with your reservation (space is limited).

Tuesday, February 25 through Thursday, February 27, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm each day

Agenda/Topics Covered

Tuesday

Introduction to Evidence-Based Programs, Levels of Intervention, Psychosocial Mediators, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Behavior Change Model, Emotional Intelligence, Hardwired to Connect, Emotional Life of Boys, Social Intelligence, Self Efficacy, Primal Leadership, Biology of Love, Denial-Cultural and Personal, Benefits of Marriage, Impact of Fathers, Monitoring Fidelity, and Evaluation

Wednesday

Curriculum Overview of Heritage Keepers® Abstinence Education, Rationale and Predictors of Abstinence, Values and Goals, Dice Game, Anatomy, Birth Video, Sex is Like Fire, Marriage Fireplace, STD Presentation, STD/Pink Water Demonstration, Role-Plays, Love-Lust-Infatuation, Perfect Person to Date vs. Perfect Spouse, SAFE Plan, Imagine Your Wedding, Commitment Cards 

Thursday
Application of theory and methodology to the curriculum

Who should attend?

Public and private school educators, youth leaders, community agencies that serve youth, youth and family  counselors, health providers and advocates, parent leaders, and those in related fields.
Seating is Limited!

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Round Rock ISD Current Human Sexuality Curriculum

Round Rock ISD is doing great things in many areas.  It is not a perfect district and we want to encourage constructive feedback to make improvements.  The overall philosophy of the Human Sexuality Curriculum at RRISD is actually very sound.  The implementation and communication of that philosophy could be improved.

At the Middle School level, Wellness and Sexual Health is taught in PE and Science classes at the school’s discretion.  It is meant to be a 10 day program that covers overall Health.  Some teachers/coaches present it in 4 days and only cover Human Sexuality.  The Curriculum that is used is Scott & White’s Worth the Wait (now called Wellness and Sexual Health).  It is a train the trainer implementation.  In other words, the district employees are trained on the material and they present the material.  Parent Forums are conducted by Scott & White.  This program as it is implemented in RRISD is Abstinence Only (at the Middle School level only).  It is our understanding that the lessons do not include Contraception at this age level.

At the High School level, RRISD students take a .5 Credit/1 Semester class of Health.  In that Health class, they receive presentations by Austin LifeCare’s organization called LifeGuard.  The presentations cover Human Sexuality including Contraception and it is considered an Abstinence Plus curriculum.  Students that take the .5 Credit Health class in Middle School at Cedar Valley, Chisholm Trail, and Walsh Ranch receive the LifeGuard presentation in the age appropriate form of the 8th grade unit including the Contraception unit.

We hope that this clears up some of the confusion and rumors.  We hope to help create better communication from the district and improve the implementation of both programs throughout the district.

SHAC Meetings are open to the public.  Attend and provide feedback!

What does Texas Education Code say about Human Sexuality Instruction?

By Round Rock Parents Care

Sex Education is not mandated by the State of Texas.  The TEKS and Texas Education Code document the General Requirements and Content Requirements for instruction, but it is not required.

Below is the current Texas Education Code Section 28.004.

Sec. 28.004.  LOCAL SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL AND HEALTH EDUCATION INSTRUCTION.

(a) The board of trustees of each school district shall establish a local school health advisory council to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district’s health education instruction.

(b)  A school district must consider the recommendations of the local school health advisory council before changing the district’s health education curriculum or instruction.

(c)  The local school health advisory council’s duties include recommending:

(1)  the number of hours of instruction to be provided in health education;

(2)  curriculum appropriate for specific grade levels designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes through coordination of:

(A)  health education;

(B)  physical education and physical activity;

(C)  nutrition services;

(D)  parental involvement; and

(E)  instruction to prevent the use of tobacco;

(3)  appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction; and

(4)  strategies for integrating the curriculum components specified by Subdivision (2) with the following elements in a coordinated school health program for the district:

(A)  school health services;

(B)  counseling and guidance services;

(C)  a safe and healthy school environment; and

(D)  school employee wellness.

(d)  The board of trustees shall appoint at least five members to the local school health advisory council.  A majority of the members must be persons who are parents of students enrolled in the district and who are not employed by the district.  One of those members shall serve as chair or co-chair of the council.  The board of trustees also may appoint one or more persons from each of the following groups or a representative from a group other than a group specified under this subsection:

(1)  public school teachers;

(2)  public school administrators;

(3)  district students;

(4)  health care professionals;

(5)  the business community;

(6)  law enforcement;

(7)  senior citizens;

(8)  the clergy;

(9)  nonprofit health organizations; and

(10)  local domestic violence programs.

(d-1)  The local school health advisory council shall meet at least four times each year.

(e)  Any course materials and instruction relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome shall be selected by the board of trustees with the advice of the local school health advisory council and must:

(1)  present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age;

(2)  devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior;

(3)  emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;

(4)  direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and

(5)  teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates, if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in curriculum content.

(f)  A school district may not distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality.

(g)  A school district that provides human sexuality instruction may separate students according to sex for instructional purposes.

(h)  The board of trustees shall determine the specific content of the district’s instruction in human sexuality, in accordance with Subsections (e), (f), and (g).

(i)  Before each school year, a school district shall provide written notice to a parent of each student enrolled in the district of the board of trustees’ decision regarding whether the district will provide human sexuality instruction to district students.  If instruction will be provided, the notice must include:

(1)  a summary of the basic content of the district’s human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student, including a statement informing the parent of the instructional requirements under state law;

(2)  a statement of the parent’s right to:

(A)  review curriculum materials as provided by Subsection (j); and

(B)  remove the student from any part of the district’s human sexuality instruction without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction imposed by the district or the student’s school; and

(3)  information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum to be used in human sexuality instruction, including information regarding the local school health advisory council established under Subsection (a).

(i-1)  A parent may use the grievance procedure adopted under Section 26.011 concerning a complaint of a violation of Subsection (i).

(j)  A school district shall make all curriculum materials used in the district’s human sexuality instruction available for reasonable public inspection.

(k)  A school district shall publish in the student handbook and post on the district’s Internet website, if the district has an Internet website:

(1)  a statement of the policies adopted to ensure that elementary school, middle school, and junior high school students engage in at least the amount and level of physical activity required by Section 28.002(l);

(2)  a statement of:

(A)  the number of times during the preceding year the district’s school health advisory council has met;

(B)  whether the district has adopted and enforces policies to ensure that district campuses comply with agency vending machine and food service guidelines for restricting student access to vending machines; and

(C)  whether the district has adopted and enforces policies and procedures that prescribe penalties for the use of tobacco products by students and others on school campuses or at school-sponsored or school-related activities; and

(3)  a statement providing notice to parents that they can request in writing their child’s physical fitness assessment results at the end of the school year.

(l)  The local school health advisory council shall consider and make policy recommendations to the district concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students.  The council must consider research regarding unstructured and undirected play, academic and social development, and the health benefits of daily recess in making the recommendations.  The council shall ensure that local community values are reflected in any policy recommendation made to the district under this subsection.

(m)  In addition to performing other duties, the local school health advisory council shall submit to the board of trustees, at least annually, a written report that includes:

(1)  any council recommendation concerning the school district’s health education curriculum and instruction or related matters that the council has not previously submitted to the board;

(2)  any suggested modification to a council recommendation previously submitted to the board; and

(3)  a detailed explanation of the council’s activities during the period between the date of the current report and the date of the last prior written report.

(m-1) Expired.

(m-2) Expired.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 907, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 944, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 784, Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1377, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 729, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.