Young people need easy-to-understand, science-based facts about sexual health. These facts help them make informed choices that support their personal well-being and the well-being of others. Teaching children and teens about sexual health is a responsibility parents, schools and the community share.
Sexual health education is a required part of the Alberta Education curriculum. It is taught as part of Health and Life Skills in Grades 4–9 and as part of Career and Life Management in Grades 10–12. The Alberta Education curriculum identifies specific learning goals for each grade level.
For students of all ages, sexual health education must:
As a parent, you play an important role in conversations about sexual health, helping your child develop values and beliefs about information presented in the classroom—and making good decisions as a result.
You may request that your child be exempt from instruction on human sexuality, or just from specific presentations or topics. Your child’s school will let you know in advance when the Alberta human sexuality curriculum is taught, and will give you the option to request an exemption.
If you don’t know enough about a guest speaker or their presentation, ask your child’s teacher or principal. Schools will provide you with information that will help you decide if you want to request an exemption for your child.
If you choose for your child not to participate:
If you have a concern about how sexual health is taught in your child's school, follow the process for raising a concern about something at school. As with any concerns you may have, the first step is to talk to your child's teacher.
Some teachers invite guest speakers into the classroom to talk about sexual health. These presenters can provide a real-world view and more extensive knowledge of specific topics related to sexual health.
The Teaching Sexual Health website includes a list of community agencies that offer services, programs and sexual health education. Many of these agencies offer classroom presentations.
Information presented by guest speakers must meet all the same standards, goals and curriculum requirements as content presented by a teacher.
If a presenter is not listed on the Teaching Sexual Health website, a teacher must go through an approval process to ensure they meet district expectations before inviting that presenter into the classroom.
If you would like to know more about how sexual health is taught in your child’s school, ask the teacher or principal. The following resources can also help you understand what your child is learning, and how sexual health is taught at Edmonton Public Schools.
The Teaching Sexual Health website is a resource for both teachers and parents. It was developed by Alberta educators and health professionals.
To help teachers and schools teach the sexual health curriculum, Edmonton Public Schools has developed A Guide for Teaching Sexual Health Education Grades 4-12. All district schools follow this guide.
The Guide includes: