Some of Bibb County’s high schools will test out a new sex education curriculum this fall.
Those schools will be part of a pilot study of the FLASH curriculum, said Floyd Jolley, the district’s executive director of teaching and learning. Bibb County’s current sex education curriculum goes back to the early 1990s and is due for an update, Superintendent Curtis Jones said.
Right now, each school’s health or physical education department teaches the lessons and follows state guidelines, but there is not really a systemwide curriculum, Jolley said.
“We have been working with the state department as well as other agencies to ensure we update our curriculum for sex education,” Jones said. “It’s something that’s needed in the community, and I think it’s going to be found to be more appropriate for what it is we’re teaching.”
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FLASH was created by Public Health of Seattle and King County, Washington. It teaches students about abstinence, birth control methods, sexual consent, communicating about sexual health, safe decisions and reproductive health care, according to the program’s website.
Of 10 schools around the area being considered for the program — including Bibb County’s six high schools — five schools will receive the full FLASH curriculum to implement this fall, Jolley said.
The Bibb district will find out in August which of its schools have been selected. After the study is completed, district staff will work to implement FLASH across all the district’s high schools. Jolley said parents will be able to preview the new curriculum or opt their children out if they wish.
“What we wanted to do is make sure we’re providing the best information that our community would be accepting of, but also make sure our students found it relevant and something useful,” Jones said.
At their Thursday meeting, Board of Education members revised the language of the district’s sex education policy to put more emphasis on its goals, said Randy Howard, chief legal counsel. The changes make it clear that the superintendent is in charge of implementing the guidelines of the curriculum.
The board also approved:
▪ A purchase order of $320,600 to Pruett Air Conditioning to replace HVAC equipment at Bernd Elementary this summer.
▪ Contracts to five vendors totaling nearly $4.8 million for food products for the 2017-18 year.
▪ The purchase of pre-packaged meals from an outside vendor, ES Foods, for the district’s summer meals program for $250,000. Meals are normally prepared at the Central Kitchen, but the facility will undergo renovations this summer.
▪ The purchase of virtual desktop infrastructure and 200 Chromebooks for use in the district’s elementary schools, at a cost of nearly $271,000.