A new human sexuality curriculum for New Braunfels ISD grades 6-8 is on the agenda for approval in the board of trustee’s upcoming meeting Dec. 11.

The details

In April 2022, the board adopted a resolution to assemble the local School Health Advisory Council to recommend a new human sexuality curriculum, due to the human sexuality course being out of date, according to NBISD officials.

“We have a very outdated program; in fact, the only way that the curriculum materials were available was in VHS, and so that was very outdated,” said Gina Christenson, member of the SHAC committee and NBISD director of curriculum and professional development.

The SHAC committee reviewed five programs while utilizing a rubric to evaluate the curriculum. According to NBISD, instructional materials are required by law to teach abstinence as the only method of birth control that is 100% effective.

“Students are even saying we want this, we want to learn a little bit more,” Christenson said. “Not just about the sexual aspects of their experiences, but to build the whole child: their mental well-being, their ability to function in positive relationships, the ability to say no to different types of situations.”

The framework

Ultimately, the committee recommended the program Living Well Aware: My Choices, My Life, A Guide to Adolescent Wellness. Laura Prewitt, member of the SHAC committee and parent of NBISD students, said the Living Well Aware program also includes parent videos and interactive worksheets to facilitate conversations at home about the material students learn.

“As a parent of two middle school daughters myself, I was excited to see that this curriculum fills a need for sexual education that has been lacking in the district for the past few years,” said Laura Prewitt, member of the SHAC committee and parent of NBISD students. “The program approaches uncomfortable topics and information in a modern way, and reaches children where they are through multimedia channels like videos, infographics and posters.”

Community input was also taken into consideration, with the district hosting two public meetings for those in attendance to ask questions, view the curriculum and speak with the author of the program, Dr. Patricia Sulak.

What's next?

If adopted by the board of trustees Dec. 11, the new human sexuality curriculum will be delivered to middle school students whose parents choose to “opt-in” to the instruction, according to district officials.