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

Sexual Health Education

Contact Information

Sexual Health Education

Laurie Dils

OSPI provides technical assistance and support to schools by promoting best practices in HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual health education that are consistent with state requirements.

Washington state law requires annual HIV/AIDS prevention education beginning in grade 5, in accordance with the AIDS Omnibus Act. The KNOW curriculum is one option for meeting HIV/AIDS prevention requirements in grades 5-8.

Beginning in December 2020, all public schools must begin providing or planning to provide comprehensive sexual health education (CSHE) to all students by the 2022-23 school year. Instruction must be consistent with Health Education K-12 Learning Standards, which provide a framework for comprehensive instruction and the provisions of Senate Bill 5395. Instruction must also be age-appropriate, medically and scientifically accurate and inclusive of all students. CSHE is defined in the bill as: Recurring instruction in human development and reproduction that is medically accurate, age-appropriate and inclusive of all students.

See our CSHE Implementation page for more information!

Remote Learning Considerations

The need for medically accurate sexual health education is greater than ever as students spend more time online, and often have more unsupervised time.

  • Address increased needs related to online safety, healthy relationships, and consent.
  • Relate required HIV/STD prevention instruction to COVID-19 prevention strategies.
  • Create a safe space for students to engage in the conversation and ask questions – develop group norms, consider the use of avatars in class, use Anonymous Google Doc Settings,, Mentimeter, or Poll Everywhere for anonymous questions.
  • Address challenges related to privacy – consider using both synchronous and asynchronous instruction to allow flexibility; consider requiring/providing earbuds.
  • Engage families – notify them of planned instruction, offer and honor opt-outs, keep them informed, use family homework assignments related to classroom instruction.

Remote Learning Considerations for all content areas, including Health Education, can be found on OSPI’s COVID-19 Guidance and Resources webpage. Additional resources specific to sexual health education can be found on the HIV and Sexual Health Education Resources page.

Erin’s Law (Sexual Abuse Prevention)

SHB 1539 (Erin’s Law), passed by the WA legislature in 2018, addressed sexual abuse prevention in Washington state schools. The bill did not require schools to provide sexual abuse prevention instruction. OSPI and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) were tasked with reviewing curricula and developing  recommendations for school-based sexual abuse prevention in grades K-12.

Sex Ed