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Parents’ Guide to Teaching Sexual Health

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 Physical Education and Wellness in Grades 4-6, Health and Life Skills in Grades 7-9 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:

  • be science-based and free of bias
  • honour self-worth and dignity
  • be inclusive of personal, family and social values
  • respect individual differences
  • provide a supportive environment for students to learn and ask questions
  • use age-appropriate teaching methods and materials

Our Division uses the Guide for Choosing School Health Resources by Alberta Health Services to help choose high-quality health and wellness resources that will meet teachers' needs. Our focus is to use resources that are comprehensive, evidence-based and reflect instructional methods proven to influence positive behavioural change.


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:

  • You can decide whether you want your child to leave the classroom or remain in the classroom without participating.
  • There will be no academic penalty for not participating.
  • Your child will not have an alternative assignment; however, the teacher will provide a productive way for your child to spend this time.

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.


Teachers may consider using guest speakers to promote sexual health education in the classroom. 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 coming into your child's classroom, you will be notified in advance.

If you would like to know more about how sexual health is taught in your child's school, ask the teacher or principal. You can also email teachingsexualhealth@epsb.ca


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

The Teaching Sexual Health website is a resource for both teachers and parents. It was developed by Alberta educators and health professionals. 

  • Alberta curriculum outcomes for sexual health for Grades 4-12
  • information on all aspects of sexuality
  • tips on talking to your child about sexuality
  • links to other resources for more information

A Guide for Teaching Sexual Health Education

To help teachers and schools teach the sexual health curriculum, Edmonton Public Schools has developed Teaching Sexual Health: Guide for Principals and Teachers. All division schools follow this guide.

The Guide includes: