The Wellness office strives to build coordination among food and nutrition services, physical education, health education and services, counseling and behavioral support, healthy school environment, health promotion for staff and family and community engagement.

Sexual Health Education

COVID-19 related school closures mean that we have shifted our sexual health education programming to an online platform. Below are the 2021-21 lesson plans and materials. Most will be offered to students who are learning remotely, unless our education model changes to in-person.

New state guidance about sexual health education
  • In November 2020, Washington State voters passed Senate Bill 5395 which adds new requirements for schools starting in the 2021-21 school year. More information about state requirements for sexual health education. 
  • In Bellingham Public Schools, policy and procedure 2125 govern sexual health education. New legislation did not change our current practices nor did it mandate a curriculum (refer to OSPI FAQ) Parents and guardians have an opportunity to review materials to be used and provide information on excluding their child from sexual health education instruction. Per procedure 2125 they have one month. Our fifth grade human growth and development curriculum is already publicly available for review on this webpage.
Information for parents

Beyond the Birds and the Bees: a sexual health education information night for parents

The Beyond the Birds and the Bees webinar took place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18. The Zoom meeting link was shared here.

Beyond the Birds and the Bees Presentation

Beyond the Birds and the Bees Webinar Recording

Always Changing and Growing Up/ Co-Ed Puberty Education Video

Letter Home - Example letter home to families (Sample letter in Spanish)

Opt-out process

Please email your teacher, principal, and Jessica Sankey to opt-out of sexual health education for your child.

Curriculum

5th grade

  • Structure: In school year 2020-21, sexual health education will be offered to 5th graders in a remote setting. Each 5th grade teacher is scheduling their lessons for the spring, and will make adjustments for a hybrid schedule as more students return to in-person learning. In our district we are partnering with a community health educator to help present lessons to 5th grade students.
  • Lessons: Lesson plans for the two 5th grade sexual health education classes offered to each 5th grade students can be found here. 5th Grade HIV and Puberty & Hygiene.
  • Additional resources: Video prepared by OSPI summer 2020 to support HIV lesson. In our classrooms we ask that student watch a 5 minute section, from 5:37-9:14 https://youtu.be/PATqCz4HMSQ?t=337

Middle School

  • Structure: In middle school, health and physical educators teach sexual health education as part of health and PE. When schools are in remote learning, these lessons will be offered remotely.

High School

  • Structure: Every student is required to take one semester of Health to graduate. In our district, we encourage students to take Health in their 9th grade year. Bellingham Public Schools high school health uses the FLASH curriculum as the basis of the sexual health education unit. FLASH is a curriculum created by King County Public Health and is in wide use in Washington State.
Wellness

The Bellingham Promise commits to developing students who are “healthy and active individuals.” The food served in schools, food education for students, physical education classes and physical activity opportunities are all critical to honoring this commitment.

The Wellness office strives to build coordination among food and nutrition services, physical education, health education and services, counseling and behavioral support, healthy school environment, health promotion for staff and family and community engagement.

The Good Food Promise Implementation Committee was convened in 2017 to advise the implementation of the Good Food Promise and support farm to school and food education efforts in schools.  The committee has worked hard to establish guidelines for celebrations and fundraisers in schools to help standardize areas where food is served in schools.