The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees Thursday night approved materials for an optional sexual health and reproduction unit that, under state law, requires parents to provide written consent for their student to opt in and participate.
Under state law, parents also have the right to review the materials in advance and can have their student participate in just part of the class. If a parent does not provide their written consent, the student will not participate in the unit.
The Dallas ISD School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), which is an advisory council that assists the district in reviewing and recommending health education instructional materials, selected McGraw Hill as the curriculum publisher for the unit.
“This ultimately is a decision for the parents and guardians, who know what is in the best interest of their students,” said Michael Ruiz, executive director of the Dallas ISD Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Department. “We will be reaching out to our parents in the fall before the unit is taught.”
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the sexual health and reproduction unit.
Is McGraw Hill evidence based and CDC confirmed?
McGraw Hill is evidence informed and integrates research findings of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) into the content.
If a parent does not opt-in, what will those students be doing during this time?
Students who do not have a signed opt-in form from their parents for the sexual and reproductive health units will receive a health lesson from the Goodheart-Wilcox curriculum. This curriculum focuses on healthy relationships and other associated standards.
What students will receive the McGraw Hill Sexual and Reproductive Health unit?
Only sixth-grade, eighth-grade, and high school students whose parents have opted-in for them to participate will receive instruction during the Reproductive and Sexual Health unit. Students who do not opt-in will not receive instruction from the McGraw Hill curriculum.
How can parents access the McGraw Hill curriculum in advance if they do not have access to technology?
School nurses are equipped to allow parents with no access to technology to review the curriculum in advance at their child’s campus.
Does the McGraw Hill curriculum align with the TEKS?
Yes, the curriculum aligns with the TEKS.
Who serves on the SHAC?
SHAC members are appointed by the Board of Trustees on a yearly basis and meet as a council at least four times each school year. Every school district is required by law to have a School Health Advisory Council; of which the majority of members must be parents of an enrolled student, and who are not employed by the school district. You can see the SHAC meeting agendas, meeting minutes and meeting audio recordings here.