The academic success of America’s youth is strongly linked with their health. Health literacy is essential for preparing students to be healthy and productive members of our society.

Four girls hiking

To prepare our students we must promote a skill-based learning model in which students will be able to develop, practice, and personalize the following essential health skills:

  • Comprehends concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health
  • Analyze the influences of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors
  • Access valid information, products, and services to enhance health
  • Use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks
  • Use decision making skills to enhance health
  • Use goal-setting skills to enhance health
  • Practice health enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks
  • Advocate for personal, family, and community health

-Oregon Department of Education Health Standards (2016)

BSD Learning Targets

MS Instructional Resources

The following Board Adopted Health Education Instructional Resources are used to create lessons at the middle school level that teach to the BSD Learning Targets.  For information regarding when specific lessons will be taught, please contact your student's teacher.  The links below provide information on each of the resources utilized.

In addition to the electronic materials listed here, each school will have available beginning in the fall of 2019, hard copies of all Health instructional resources.  If you would like to make arrangements to review the materials, please contact your student's school.

McGraw Hill   

  • User Name:  HealthDemo
  • Password:  Beaverton

Advocates for Youth - Rights, Respect, Responsibility

Cares Northwest

  • Lessons available at schools


  • Lessons available at schools

SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program

  • Lessons available at schools


HS Instructional Resources

The following Board Adopted Health Education Instructional Resources are used to create lessons at the high school level that teach to the BSD Learning Targets.  For information regarding when specific lessons will be taught, please contact your student's teacher.  The links below provide information on each of the resources utilized.

In addition to the electronic materials listed here, each school will have available beginning in the fall of 2019, hard copies of all Health instructional resources.  If you would like to make arrangements to review the materials, please contact your student's school.

McGraw Hill   

  • User Name:  HealthDemo
  • Password:  Beaverton

Advocates for Youth - Rights, Respect, Responsibility

Sexual Assault Resource Center

  • Lessons available at schools


  • Lessons available at schools

SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program

  • Lessons available at schools


Health education is achieved through a partnership of all stakeholders: teachers, students, families, administrators, schools, and community.  The task of the Beaverton School District is to create a learning environment in which all students are valued for their diversity, fostered in their wellness development, challenged, and motivated to continue learning and leading a healthy lifestyle throughout their lifetime.

Comprehensive Health Education Guide

Glossary of Health Education Terms

Glossary of Health Education Curriculum Terms

The Beaverton School District shall develop and maintain a developmentally appropriate, comprehensive plan of instruction focusing on functional knowledge and skills necessary to develop healthy relationships, promote diverse understandings of healthy sexuality, prevent violence, and disease. The comprehensive plan of instruction shall be developed in accordance with the following concepts:  

  • Age and developmentally appropriate: Research-informed regarding the appropriate time to introduce specific topics and skills.
  • Comprehensive: Inclusive of multiple types of student learning activities that go beyond raising awareness and focus on building skills. Course materials will enhance students’ understanding of sexuality as a healthy aspect of development and will provide medically-accurate and balanced information.

  • Culturally responsive: Recognize the diverse cultural characteristics of students and educators as assets. Culturally responsive teaching empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes. Instruction will recognize each school community, including those that have been historically oppressed, have powerful and often unrecognized, sources of resilience and protective factors that must be honored through dialogue.

  • Ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum: Each student will have access to an effective teacher, and access to the same content, knowledge and skills in each section or class. The plan of instruction will ensure adequate instruction time over multiple sessions so that the programming lays the foundation of knowledge and skills and adds layers of complexity over time.

  • Implemented by well-trained staff: Ensure that staff are willing, empathetic, competent, and have received sufficient training, support, and supervision to deliver high-quality instruction.

  • Inclusive: The learning environment and instruction material will be strive to create an open and affirming space for all students. Instruction and material will:
  • ​​​​​​​Be tailored to affirm the validity of all types of relationships, identities and family structures in accordance with the District Equity Policy.
  • Ensure students with learning differences or on IEP/504 plans will not be excluded from sexuality education, but rather, provided the accommodations and time needed for instruction.

  • Medically accurate: supported by peer-reviewed research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods, and recognized as accurate and objective by leading medical, psychological, psychiatric and public health organizations and agencies; and, where relevant, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

  • Sexuality: A broad term that is inclusive of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual preference, relationships, and the way these things interact with emotional, physical, social, and spiritual life.

  • Theory-driven and evidence-informed: Uses the best available research and practice knowledge to guide program design and implementation. This informed practice allows for innovation while incorporating knowledge of culturally responsive and trauma-informed practices and the lessons learned from the existing research literature, curricula, guidelines, and standards. Uses participatory methods to give students opportunities to practice the skills and appeals to diverse learning styles.              

  • Trauma-informed:  Realize the widespread impact of trauma and potential paths for recovery; recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in students, families, staff and communities; and respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices, and seek to actively resist re-traumatization and promote healing. Sexuality education will adhere to best practices in trauma-informed education including: safety; trustworthiness and transparency; peer support; collaboration and mutuality; empowerment, voice and choice; and attendance to cultural, historical and gender issues.

Controversial Issues Policies

Beaverton School District

Controversial Issues Policies


Since our society is based on the free exchange of ideas and diversity of political and social thought, it shall be the policy of this district to encourage unbiased, unprejudiced, and scientific study of controversial issues as they arise as part of the school curriculum. A controversial issue may be defined as any topic or problem which society is in the process of debating, on which there is honest disagreement. Such issues arise when different interpretations are given to a particular set of circumstances. The basic goal in study of controversial questions should be to enable the student to develop techniques for considering such questions techniques which he/she will use habitually in later life. Learning situations shall provide opportunities for the development of clear thinking, balanced judgment, intelligent choices, informed opinion, an ability to differentiate fact from opinion, and an understanding of propaganda devices. Questions treated should come within the range of the knowledge, maturity, and competence of the students. Issues selected for study should be current, significant, and of interest to the students. The teacher has the responsibility of handling controversial issues. The role of the teacher should be such as will reveal to students the processes used by the social scientist with which problems are identified, studied, and solved. The teacher shall avoid indoctrination in his/her own personal viewpoint and shall not attempt to control or limit the judgment of students. The selection of materials, guest speakers and classroom activities in general shall be done with studied impartiality for the purpose of fairly presenting all sides of an issue. The administration of this policy in the schools of the district is the immediate responsibility of the principal under the guidance of procedures established by the superintendent.

END OF POLICY Legal References: ORS 336.067 Code: INB OAR 581-022-1020 Adopted: 12/2/63 OAR 581-022-1910 Readopted: 2/9/98 Orig. Code: 6144 United States Constitution, Amendment I Oregon Constitution, Article 1 Code: INB


 Controversial Issues clearly outlines the position of the Board on the introduction of controversial issues and speakers into the classroom.


1. At the beginning of the school year, teachers, in conjunction with a building administrator,  will review the policy and guidelines concerning controversial issues and speakers, and will reevaluate the preceding year’s activities as they pertain to the use of controversial resource persons. Implementation of the policy will be evaluated continuously throughout the year to avoid oversights in procedure.

2. The teacher shall notify his/her immediate supervisor and his/her principal concerning the controversial topic he/she plans to introduce and/or the guest speaker he/she plans to utilize in his/her program. It shall be the responsibility of the principal, the department and the teacher to ensure impartiality. When opinions differ as to the advisability of addressing a particular topic or using a particular speaker, the principal shall have the final determination.

3. As appropriate, the teacher shall discuss with the guest before his/her appearance in the classroom the fact that he/she is in a school class and language and behavior should be appropriate for public school students.

4. The teacher must remain with the students while the guest speaker is with the class.

Code: INB-AR Adopted: 7/83 Readopted: 4/1/00 Orig. Code: 6000-15


Q: Can grade 9-12 teachers of health discuss controversial issues?

A: The role of the health teacher is to provide information and assist in building skills which will enable students to make informed decisions and build foundations for healthy lifestyles.  As public school employees, teachers of health are expected to honor the diversity of our community and keep their own personal beliefs in check. 

Although there are a variety of controversial issues which are health related and provide context for discussion and learning, teachers are asked to distinguish between widely shared beliefs or values and controversial issues. The Health Education Question and Answer Protocol is expected to be utilized when controversial issues arise.

Teachers of health are asked to provide instruction that is within the scope of the health education standards/targets health curriculum. Best practices in health education tell us that using the evidence based curriculum adopted by the district is the most effective way to impact student behaviors in a positive way.  When providing instruction in a controversial area, all teachers need to operate within the  parameters of the Board Policy, INB: Studying Controversial Issues.

Q: Can grade 9-12 teachers of health invite in guest speakers on controversial issues?

A:  It shall be both the principal’s and the teacher’s responsibility to insure that the presentation be aligned to the district’s health education standards/targets for that grade level. It is also their responsibility to insure compliance with district policies and state laws. Like the teacher, it is the expectation that the guest speaker share medically and scientifically accurate information. The guest speaker must refrain from indoctrination of their own personal viewpoint and shall not attempt to limit the judgment of students.

Parents must be informed in advance of all guest speakers on controversial issues and an opportunity must be provided to opt their child out of the presentation.

Prior to the event, the teacher shall discuss the parameters of the presentation with the guest speaker. If the guest speaker agrees to the guidelines, the use of district procedures on handling sensitive topics will be expected. If the guest speaker does not stay within the district guidelines, it is the responsibility of the hosting teacher to interrupt, correct or reframe any inappropriate or misinformation. If necessary, it is the responsibility of the hosting teacher to stop the presentation.  The teacher must remain with the students while the guest speaker is with the class.  Arrangements for appropriate supervision shall insure a reasonable adult/student ratio.

BSD HEALTH EDUCATION STAFF GUIDELINES - Guest Speakers from Outside Agencies

The Beaverton School District, with the leadership of the Health Project Team, developed carefully crafted comprehensive health education learning targets aligned to the Oregon State Standards in Health Education. Decisions about the learning targets at specific grade levels were made after much consensus building and community input. It is expected that all presentations by guest speakers from outside agencies comply with grade level learning targets, district policies, philosophy, and state laws. It is also expected that the guest speaker employ the district guidelines for handling sensitive topics.

Teacher  Responsibilities

1. Share the following guidelines with potential presenter and determine if they can present within the following constraints:

a. District Health Education Standards/Targets linked to the presentation

b. The learning targets and curriculum agreements for the grade level(s) of the students

c. The K-12 District Abstinence-Based Statement

d. The Comprehensive Health Education Guide for the appropriate level

2.   IICC-AR Classroom Guest Speaker (speaking to an entire classroom)

Note: School staff must be present at all times, managing the classroom. Guest speakers from the community are a valuable resource for enriching district curricula. Guest speakers who are presenting information to an entire class will not be required to complete a volunteer application and criminal records background check. Guest speakers must adhere to the following:

  1. Information presented must be educational, not promotional.
  2. Presenters are prohibited from gathering personally identifying information from students. It is allowable for presenters to post their name, the name of the organization with which they are affiliated, and phone number, email address, or other contact information. This contact information should be given in a neutral way. It can remain posted throughout the presentation and shall be removed when the presentation is over.
  3. The information presented should be age appropriate and relevant to curriculum and classroom instruction. The information must be presented in a neutral and nondiscriminatory manner.
  4. District representatives have a responsibility for the vetting and the supervision (maintaining a presence) of guest speakers and outside presenters. Building administrators have the authority to cancel or stop presentations deemed to be inappropriate.

3. During the event, if the presenter is not staying within the District guidelines, it is the responsibility of the hosting teacher either to stop the presentation entirely or interrupt it long enough to bring the presentation back in line with the guidelines. The hosting teacher will be expected to correct any misinformation shared with students or reframe it within District guidelines (which may include referring students to parents for further discussion.) The teacher needs to report any of those kinds of situations to the principal immediately.

Administrator Responsibilities

1. Provide notification to parents of a controversial speaker as per Board policy, Administrative Regulations and the Health Education Guidelines for Use of Guest Speakers from outside agencies.

2. Appropriate supervision of students is the joint responsibility of the hosting teacher and the school administration. Ratios of adults to students need to be appropriate to the nature of the event/presentation.

Abstinence Based Statement

Health Education Abstinence-Based Statement

Abstinence is a key concept in the K-12 Beaverton health education curriculum. The position of Beaverton School District is to support abstinence in a variety of contexts. Abstinence means “voluntarily choosing not to participate in a particular activity.” In the context of human sexuality and HIV/AIDS prevention programs, abstinence refers to choosing not to engage in sexual activity, including other behaviors that contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted disease/infections. Beaverton School District, in accordance with Oregon state laws and rules, mandates abstinence-based sexuality education.*

Abstinence-based sexuality education programs emphasize that abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases/infections, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C. Abstinence will be emphasized, but not to the exclusion of other materials and instruction on contraceptives and disease prevention methods. Abstinence-based programs are balanced, medically accurate, and include age appropriate information about condom use and other forms of contraception.

The plan of instruction for K-12 shall include information and skills-based teaching strategies that:

●      Promote abstinence for school age youth

●      Provide medically accurate information that is free of race, gender, and ethnic bias.

●      Incorporate refusal skills and decision-making activities

●      Encourage positive family communication and involvement to help students learn to make        responsible, respectful and healthy decisions

●      Promote healthy and consensual relationships with an uninfected partner for adults as the safest and most responsible sexual behavior

●      Teach that no form of sexual expression, or behavior is acceptable when it physically or emotionally harms oneself or others and that it is wrong to take advantage of or exploit another person

●      Reinforce the benefits of abstinence without devaluing or ignoring those young people who have had or are having sexual relationships or participating in sexual activities

●      Provide students with information about Oregon State Laws that address young people’s rights and responsibilities relating to their sexual health*

* In accordance with: Oregon State Law 336.455, Oregon Administrative Regulation 581-22-1440 and 581-022-1440 Abstinence-based programs are supported by: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Adolescent School Health (DASH), American Medical Association (AMA), American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Red Cross, Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, National Association of State Boards of Education, The Kaiser Family Foundation, Child Trends, UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Harvard AIDS Institute, The National Commission on Adolescent Sexual Health

Approaches to Teaching Health Education

Approaches to Teaching Health Education


Q: Can grade 6-8 teachers of health discuss abortion?

 A: The topic of abortion is not addressed in the middle school health curriculum. If a student initiates a question regarding abortion, the student should be referred to a parent/guardian and/or counselor for further information.


Q: Where does discussion of sexual abstinence first appear in the Beaverton human sexuality curriculum?

 A: The term “abstinence” is first used in relation to sexual activity at grade 5. At all middle school grades students learn about the benefits of practicing abstinence, such as attaining personal goals, remaining disease and pregnancy free, gaining respect for self and others, demonstrating character, and contributing to family harmony. They also learn the following abstinence strategies: dealing with peer pressure, setting personal boundaries,

saying “no” assertively, understanding what an affirmative “yes” is, refusal skills, and communication skills. Lessons include data which demonstrates that more teens are abstinent than are not abstinent, which supports saying “no” to peers who put them under pressure.


Q: Can grade 6-8 teachers of health discuss contraception in class?

 A: The topic of contraception is first introduced at 6th grade. Students younger than 6th grade raising questions about contraception and their use should be referred to their parents/guardian and/or counselor for discussion of the topic.

 Q: How is the topic of contraception addressed in the middle school health curriculum?

 A: The topic of contraception (abstinence and condom use), is briefly introduced in the 6th grade curriculum as methods of protection from STDs/STIs, HIV, pregnancy, and Hepatitis B. At the 7th and 8th grade level a more in-depth discussion of the various types of contraceptives (including emergency contraceptives) are presented, again in the context as a method of protection from STDs/STIs, HIV, pregnancy, and Hepatitis B. Abstinence will still be stressed as the safest and best choice for adolescents.

Q: How should this discussion be framed?

 A: In order to remain consistent with the Beaverton School District K-12 AbstinenceStatement, it is important to communicate to students that the teacher is not suggesting that any method except abstinence will guarantee 100% prevention of either pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted diseases/infections. It is also important that the teacher does not communicate that the use of one contraceptive choice is recommended for students over abstinence. Part of the emphasis of the sexual health curriculum is that such decisions need to be made by individuals who have matured in their decision-making ability, are fully cognizant of the implications and consequences of sexual activity, are able to manage those consequences in their lives on their own, and have developed the communication skills necessary to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. It is the opinion of this community and this district that such decisions are best made by individuals who are older than high school age.

Beaverton School District’s health curriculum promotes abstinence for adolescents. It also incorporates refusal skills and personal empowerment throughout all units on sexual health and the prevention and control of disease.

Masturbation & Nocturnal Emission

Q: Can middle school teachers discuss masturbation and nocturnal emission as part of the health curriculum?

 A: The topic of masturbation and nocturnal emission is in the curriculum beginning at grade 6. Masturbation is defined as “self-stimulation of the genitals.” Masturbation and nocturnal emission is introduced at this level for the following reasons:

• It is age-appropriate information for students.

• An adolescent boy may experience a nocturnal emission, an involuntary ejaculation of semen during sleep, at this point in his life.

The curriculum does not negate family beliefs about masturbation. Beliefs of the family as to whether masturbation is appropriate or not appropriate need to be shared with the student at home so that the information learned at school can be put into the context of each family’s own value system.

Sexual Activity/Contact

Q: When in the middle school health curriculum is the term “sexual activity /sexual contact” introduced?

 A: Sexual activity is introduced at grade 5 by teaching the definition only. Sexual activity/sexual contact is referred to in grades 5-8, both in the context of sexual health instruction and disease transmission including HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases/infections.

Q: What can middle school teachers say about the types of sexual activity/sexual contact?

 A: Vaginal, anal, and oral sexual activity are defined in the context of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases/infections, including HIV/AIDS at grades 5-8. Students asking more specific questions about this topic are to be referred to their parent/guardian and/or counselor to answer their questions.

Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Q: Is instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity part of the health curriculum?

A: Yes, both sexual orientation and gender identity are addressed in the Beaverton School District health curriculum K-12 in accordance with National and Oregon Health Education Laws.  Topics around sexual orientation and gender identity will include:

●      Identifying the differences between biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

●      Reduction/ elimination of teasing, bullying, and harassment due to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

●      Demonstrating ways to treat yourself and others with dignity and respect, with regard to gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

In Beaverton, we recognize the diversity and worth of all students.  The District prohibits discrimination and harassment based on any basis protected by law, including but not limited to, an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation1 , gender identity2 , gender expression3 , national or ethnic origin, marital status, age, mental or physical disability or perceived disability, pregnancy, familial status, economic status, veterans’ status, or because of an association with any other persons within these protected classes.

1 “Sexual orientation” means an individual’s sexual, emotional and romantic attraction to other people. 2 "Gender identity" refers to a person's innate, personal (psychological) sense of being male or female, both or neither, which may or may not correspond to the person's body or gender assigned at birth. 3 "Gender expression" refers to a person’s external presentation of gender identity such as dress, grooming, mannerisms, behavior, voice, and social interactions.

 Sexual Violence

Q: Can middle school teachers address the topic of sexual violence?

A: Yes.  Erin’s Law (SB 856) requires the development and adoption of child sexual abuse prevention programs for grades K-12 in all Oregon public schools. The Healthy Teen Relationship Act (HB 4077) requires all school districts to adopt a policy addressing teen dating violence, and to incorporate age-appropriate education for grades 7-12.

Q: What materials or content would be acceptable in instruction?

A: Board adopted, developmentally appropriate, and inclusive curriculum is acceptable to use. Within this curriculum, effective interpersonal strategies to build healthy relationships may include:

•Components of a healthy relationship

• Assertive communication skills

• Consent education

• Setting personal boundaries

• Positive dating relationships

• Refusal skills

• Self-esteem building skills

• Decision-making skills

• Violence Prevention

• Analyzing and avoiding potential abuse situations

• Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) abuse prevention

• Accessing valid and reliable resources

Suicide Prevention & Awareness

Q:  Why is suicide prevention and awareness essential?

A:  Beaverton employees that work in schools are well-positioned to observe students’ behavior and act when they suspect that a student may be at risk of self-harm and/or suicide.

Q:  What specific steps should be followed in order to identify and help young people at risk?

A:  Listed below are steps that need to be taken by school employees to help those at risk:

●      Be informed on district protocol for helping a student who is at risk

●      Be aware of the warning signs that require immediate action

●      Know how to respond to warning signs:

○      Be prepared to act

○      Do not leave a student at imminent risk of suicide or self-harm alone

○      Get help when needed

○      Use your school’s support system

○      Connect with parents and/or guardians

●      Access additional information:


Q:  Do People Threaten Suicide to Get Attention?

A:  Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress and an alert that someone needs help. Any warning sign or symptom of suicide should not be ignored. All talk of suicide should be taken seriously and requires attention. Threatening to die by suicide is not a normal response to stress and should not be taken lightly.

Q:  If You Ask Someone About Suicide, Does It Put the Idea Into Their Head?

A:  Asking someone about suicide is not harmful. There is a common myth that asking someone about suicide can put the idea into their head. This is not true. Several studies examining this concern have demonstrated that asking people about suicidal thoughts and behavior does not induce or increase such thoughts and experiences. In fact, asking someone directly, “Are you thinking of killing yourself,” can be the best way to identify someone at risk for suicide.

Q:  What Should I Do if I Am in Crisis or Someone I Know Is Considering Suicide?

A:  If you or someone you know has warning signs or symptoms of suicide, particularly if there is a change in the behavior or a new behavior, get help as soon as possible.

Often, family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can take the first step toward helping an at-risk individual find treatment with someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. If someone is telling you that they are going to kill themselves, do not leave them alone. Do not promise anyone that you will keep their suicidal thoughts a secret. Make sure to tell a trusted friend or family member, or if you are a student, an adult with whom you feel comfortable. You can also contact the resources noted below.

Q:  What if Someone Is Posting Suicidal Messages on Social Media?

A:  Knowing how to get help for a friend posting suicidal messages on social media can save a life. Many social media sites have a process to report suicidal content and get help for the person posting the message. In addition, many of the social media sites use their analytic capabilities to identify and help report suicidal posts. Each offers different options on how to respond if you see concerning posts about suicide. For example:

●      Facebook Suicide Prevention webpage can be found at[use the search term “suicide” or “suicide prevention”].

●      Snapchat’s Support provides guidance at [use the search term, “suicide” or “suicide prevention”] 

●      Tumblr Counseling and Prevention Resources webpage can be found at[use the search term “counseling” or “prevention,” then click on “Counseling and prevention resources”].

●      Twitter’s Best Practices in Dealing With Self-Harm and Suicide at [use the search term “suicide,” “self-harm,” or “suicide prevention”].

●      YouTube’s Safety Center webpage can be found at [use the search term “suicide and self injury”].

If you see messages or live streaming suicidal behavior on social media, call 911 or contact the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741) available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1–800–799–4889. All calls are confidential. This service is available to everyone. People—even strangers—have saved lives by being vigilant.

Q:  Is Non-Suicidal Self Injury (cutting, etc.) a suicide attempt?

A:  No. Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI) is most often used as a way to try to regulate emotional pain, or sooth oneself - not as a means of ending one’s life. Nor does the presence of NSSI indicate suicidal ideation. While self-injury is a risk factor for NSSI, they differ in several important ways including but not limited to:

●      Expressed intent: the expressed intent of NSSI is almost always to feel better whereas for suicide it is to end feeling (and hence, life) altogether

●      Frequency: NSSI is often used regularly or off and on to manage stress and other emotions; suicide-related behaviors are much more rare.

Q:  Where can I find more information on Non-Suicidal Self Injury?

A: The link listed below provides additional information and resources regarding NSSI.

Q:  Where can I get additional training on mental health and suicide prevention?"

A:  Information and free local training options can be found on for the programs listed below:

●      ASIST

●      Youth Mental Health First Aid

●      QPR (question, persuade, refer)

Trauma Informed Instruction

Q:  What is trauma informed instruction?

A: “Trauma-informed in schools means being informed about and sensitive to trauma, and providing a safe, stable, and understanding environment for students and staff. A primary goal is to prevent re-injury or re-traumatization by acknowledging trauma and its triggers, and avoiding stigmatizing and punishing students.” (

Q:  What are the Seven Key Elements of Trauma-Informed Systems?

  1. Screen routinely for trauma exposure and symptoms.
  2. Implement culturally appropriate, evidence-based assessments and
    treatments for traumatic stress and symptoms.
  3. Provide resources to children, families, and providers on trauma, its impact,
    and treatment options.
  4. Build on the strengths of children and families impacted by trauma.
  5. Address parent and caregiver trauma.
  6. Collaborate across child-serving systems to coordinate care.
  7. Support staff by minimizing and treating secondary traumatic stress, which
    can lead to burnout.

 Source:  National Child Traumatic Stress Network


Health Education Question and Answer Protocol

Health Education Question & Answer Protocol


The role of the health teacher is to provide information and assist in building skills which will enable students to make informed decisions and build foundations for healthy lifestyles. The Beaverton School District recognizes that families are the primary health educators of their children. In respect for the diversity of our community, health educators are expected to distinguish between widely shared beliefs or values and controversial issues related to the learning targets in the K-12 health curriculum. Widely shared beliefs or values are those shared by most families, or specifically written into law or policy, which the teacher is, in fact, expected to teach.

Young people tend to have a lot of questions. These questions can have many different motivations. As a health teach, you will likely receive many questions that at times can be difficult to answer. The protocol listed below is intended as a guide to help you navigate and answer some of the more challenging/sensitive questions that you may receive

An important component to remember:  Students won’t remember every fact you tell them, but they will remember if  they felt comfortable, validated and/or reassured and whether you conveyed positive health attitudes through your words, tone of voice and facial expressions.

A – Affirm the asker.

N – Note the question as values-based.

S – State the facts.

W – What is the range of values and beliefs people have?

E – Encourage talking to family, faith leader, or another adult that they trust.

R – Remain available.

 Health Education Question & Answer Protocol

A – Affirm the asker. “That’s an important issue… I’m glad you asked… A lot of people wonder that.”

N – Note the question as values-based (if it is one). “That’s a belief question. Many people, families, and religions have different answers.”

S – State the facts. “Before we look at beliefs, let’s examine a few facts…”

W – What is the range of values and beliefs people have? (This does not mean asking the class to share their personal beliefs.)

 “Different people believe things about _________.  What do you think some people believe?” Here the teacher has four jobs:

(1) to ensure that as complete a range of beliefs as possible is described

(2) to ensure that each belief position is expressed in as fair and even-handed a way as possible…preferably in the way the person who holds it would describe it if he/she were there

(3) to create a climate in the classroom where all beliefs are respected

(4) teachers should not be sharing personal beliefs that are not widely shared on a topic with students - Stick to the facts.

E – Encourage talking to family, faith leader, or another trusted adult.

“Since people have such different beliefs about _____, I would encourage you to find out what your families believe. Talk about it with people you trust, especially adults.”

R – Remain available.  “I appreciate your question, and I want you to know that I am here as a support and resource for you.”  Provide students with your school contact information and the opportunity to ask questions in a safe environment (email, question box, before/after school, etc.).

Additional Health Education Resources

The following resources contain information and guidance on the Health Standards required by the State of Oregon.

Oregon Department of Education Health Guidance

Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Oregon

SHAPE America