Central Okanagan teaching resources for sexual health education program bolstered

Central Okanagan Public Schools will see an additional full-time teacher added to the school district’s sexual health education program of instructional resources this fall.

That was one of seven recommendations from a review of the delivery program, which were adopted by the Central Okanagan Board of Education on Wednesday (May 10).

When discussed at the education and student services committee meeting last month, it was indicated that additional teaching resources would be included in the 2023-24 school budget, for a teacher trained and certified to teach sexual education courses.

Trustee Amy Geistlinger, chair of the education and student services committee, reiterated the review was “about the how and not the what” related to the school district’s sexual health education program.

She noted the additional teacher will allow for additional support for classroom teachers introducing primary students to general health issues, and also to provide more support to Grade 11 and 12 students around issues of consent in relationships.

In the review, which included the participation of parents, students and administrative staff in survey responses along with focus and public forum follow-up meetings, one message students brought up was the need to expand the program beyond Grade 10.

Simon Adams, president of the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council, said parent feedback from his organization has been positive about how the sexual health education program is being delivered in the school district.

“As a general comment, I appreciate the work that has gone into this review…I know the work we have done on this has made us the envy of other school districts,” Adams said.

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