Arizona receives funding from CDC’s Division of Adolescent School Health (DASH) for the HIV/Sexuality Education Program and to conduct the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The HIV/ Sexuality Education Program is committed to providing resources and best practices that promote positive youth development in preparing youth to make responsible and informed decisions about their health and prevent sexual risk behaviors. The goals of this program are as follows:
- Implement continuous improvement through strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
- Sustain an informative messaging campaign that focuses on HIV/STD prevention and sexual health education and promotes coordinated school health in Arizona.
- Provide medically accurate, evidence-based and developmentally appropriate HIV/STD prevention and sexual health education.
- Provide family and community members with the training needed to communicate effectively with youth about HIV/STD, teen pregnancy prevention and other sensitive issues.
- Assess and report Arizona trends in school health education and adolescents’ self-reported risk taking behaviors.
On-Site Curriculum Trainings
The Arizona Department of Education can provide a one-day, on-site curriculum training for school personnel or organizations that will be providing sexual health education in school settings. Requestors can arrange for educators to be trained in either Making A Difference! (a middle school curriculum) or Reducing the Risk (a high school curriculum). Both curricula are research-based and emphasize abstinence, personal-limit setting, and refusal skills. Curricula can be tailored to focus on sex education or HIV prevention.
These trainings are designed for educators with some experience in health education, who have a basic understanding of these issues addressed in sexual health education, including HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. There is no cost for the training, but the curriculum is not provided as part of the training. A training set of the curriculum is used by ADE for the trainings. Curriculum trainings are scheduled at the convenience of the requestor, but require a minimum of 10 participants who will implement the curriculum within a year.
- For more information on Making a Difference!, visit www.selectmedia.org/programs/difference.html
- For more information on Reducing the Risk, see http://pub.etr.org
To request curriculum training, contact Barb Iversen, the HIV/Sexuality Education Program Administrator, at Barb.Iversen@azed.gov or 602-542-8712.
Essential Skills and Practice: Developmentally Appropriate Sexual Health/HIV Prevention Education
This training is designed to provide educators with a sequential overview and holistic perspective of how developmentally appropriate sexual health / HIV prevention education can be implemented beginning in kindergarten through grade 12. Fundamental youth development concepts will be highlighted. Educational approaches and methods of effective sexual health education which accommodates the needs of youth at different ages and stages of their lives will be featured. A multidimensional perspective of the concept of sexuality which is shaped by biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors will be conveyed. Participants will participate in a combination of engaging experiences that aim to help educators to personalize the information as well as enhance further knowledge, understanding, confidence, and essential skills in becoming a resourceful sexual health educator.
As a result of attending this training, participants will be able to:
- Explain statutory and administrative requirements related to HIV/sex education.
- Describe components and characteristics of effective sexual health education.
- Describe developmentally appropriate sexual health education at different grade levels.
- Identify resources for the implementation of sexual health education at different grade levels.
The training is sometimes presented as a one-day training that addresses the scope and sequence of K-12 sexual health education in a general way, or divided into two days where K-8th grade is addressed the first day and 7-12th grade is addressed the second day. Fall 2012 dates are listed below. Check the ADE events calendar at www.azed.gov for future dates and registration, or call Barb Iversen, the HIV/Sexuality Education Program Administrator, at Barb.Iversen@azed.gov or 602-542-8712 for more information.
Parent Education and Resources Program
Research shows that strong parent-children relationships are associated with positive outcomes for youth, including higher academic achievement and less involvement in risk behaviors, including sexual activity. Parents who discuss important issues with their children and teens contribute to youth’s healthy decision-making. While most parents agree it’s important to discuss sensitive issues with their children, many report that approaching topics like relationships and sexuality is difficult for them.
The ADE Parent Education and Resources Program is accepting applications from schools that would like to participate in a Parent Education and Resources Program to assist parents in communicating effectively with their children about issues such as puberty, sexuality, peer and dating relationships, bullying, and cell phone/internet use. The ADE will provide a skilled facilitator to meet with a group of approximately twenty parents to discuss these issues and provide information, with the goal of increasing parent-child communication. Parents who attend the meeting will receive resource kits containing books, DVD’s and brochures on relevant topics.
The school’s role will be to provide a meeting site, schedule the parent meeting, market the program, register interested parents, and send confirmations and reminders to parents. Schools are encouraged to provide food and child care for the meeting as well. The ADE can pay stipends to adults who provide on-site child care for the parent meetings, but schools will need to determine the child care needs and arrange the providers.
The application process is simple and parent meetings may be scheduled for the spring or fall semester. Any K-12 public/charter schools may apply. Schools that have existing parent involvement programs who serve parents of 5th to 8th grade students are especially encouraged to apply. Download a parent application here.
For more information, please contact Barb Iversen, HIV/Sexuality Education Program Administrator, at Barb.Iversen@azed.gov or 602-542-8712.
HIV Policy Guidance
Because many schools adopted HIV policies years ago, when students with HIV were likely to be ill, the ADE HIV/ Sexuality Education Program prepared guidance on updating HIV policies and mailed this guidance to all schools and districts in the spring of 2012. The guidance provides updated language and references to assist in updating HIV policies related to students’ attendance and privacy rights.
The current reality is that treatment for HIV infection has improved so that children and adults with HIV are living longer and healthier lives. Children with HIV are more likely to be healthy and attend school regularly and participate in extracurricular activities, and growing numbers of children have an infected family member or relative who are living many years beyond diagnosis.
The guidance contains a page of references citing the authority for the guidance that is provided. The Network for Public Health Law – Western Region Office at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, provided research and expertise underlying the production of the document.
Access the guidance document here.
Additional resources that may be of interest include an article published in the ASBA Journal, Increasing Impact and Ongoing Stigma of HIV/AIDS in Arizona Schools, at http://issuu.com/asba/docs/asbajournalspring2010, page 45, and the Centers for Disease Control’s website at www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth and www.cdc.gov/nchhstp.
Please contact Barb Iversen, the HIV/Sexuality Education Program Administrator, at Barb.Iversen@azed.gov or 602-542-8712 if you would like more information on the guidance or the references contained in the document, or if you have any questions regarding your HIV policies.