Date of Publication
Amy O’Meara DrNP, WHNP, AGNP
Background: Sexual activity in adolescents carries population health risks such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. Comprehensive sexual health education programs can be an effective strategy to help young people delay initiation of sexual intercourse, reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase condom and contraception use. As of the 2018/2019 school year, Burlington School District (BSD) middle schools did not have a comprehensive sexual health and safe relationship education program.
Purpose: Development and dissemination of comprehensive sexual health and safe relationship curricula for Burlington School District (BSD) middle schools.
Methods: This educational intervention was aimed at middle school health educators in Burlington, Vermont. Baseline informal interviews of health educators were completed to determine district demographics and needs, and health education curricular limitations and gaps. In conjunction with health educators, age appropriate curricula were developed. Following implementation, informal interviews with educators were conducted for curricular efficacy.
Results: Two age-appropriate, science and evidence-based comprehensive sexual health curricula were completed and delivered to the 3 health educators, 2 principals, and 2 district curriculum directors. Informal interviews with educators revealed a positive reception of materials and lessons. Curricula are being implemented; at this time, 96 7th/8th graders have received 13 lessons and 106 6th graders have received an average of 5 lessons.
Conclusions: A collaborative and integrative approach to sexual health education development between educators and health professionals is feasible. Sexual health and safe relationship programs in middle schools equip adolescents with knowledge as they prepare for young adulthood.
Trivette, Minta, "Development and Implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programs for Middle School Students" (2019). College of Nursing and Health Sciences Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Project Publications. 24.