Battle Ground Public Schools is seeking volunteers to serve on a committee that will evaluate and recommend sexual health curricula for the teaching of sexual health education in middle school — fifth through eighth grade — to the board of directors, according to a news release. Those interested in serving in the volunteer position should fill out the Sexual Health Community Advisory Group Survey on the district website — battlegroundps.org — by Wednesday, March 3.
The creation of the committee comes after Washington voters passed Referendum 90 last year. R-90 requires the teaching of comprehensive sexual education in fourth through 12th grades, and a social emotional focus for grades K-3. According to the release, the law provides for flexibility in regards to when comprehensive sexual health instruction is first taught (either fourth or fifth grade) and Battle Ground Public Schools has chosen to begin the lessons in fifth grade. Public schools must begin phasing in the lessons in the 2021-22 school year, and instruction must be consistent with the Washington Health Education Learning Standards. The law also allows parents to opt out of sexual health instruction.
Battle Ground Public Schools will form the Sexual Health Community Advisory Group for fifth through eighth grades. This committee of parents, staff and community members who live within the Battle Ground Public Schools boundaries will determine the scope and sequence of standards to be taught and select a curriculum to teach these standards. It is the district's goal that this committee be representative of broad views on this issue to assure equity for and inclusion of all Battle Ground Public Schools students, according to the press release.