The CPS sexual health education curriculum is aligned with the National Sexuality Education Standards. Topics and skills include consent and healthy relationships, anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescent sexual development, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and identity, sexual health, and interpersonal violence prevention.
CPS Sexual Health Policies
In accordance with the CPS Sexual Health Education Policy:
- Schools teach sexual health education every year in grades PK-12, providing all lessons, topics, and skills outlined in the sexual health education scope and sequence.
- Every school must have two trained instructors who have completed the District's sexual health education instructor training. Schools that have a diverse learner student population must have at least one Special Education instructor trained by the District.
- Schools can bring in outside, pre-approved organizations to provide sexual health education.
- The CPS curriculum is medically accurate, age appropriate, and comprehensive. It is also aligned with the National Sexuality Education Standards and Erin’s Law.
- Schools must provide at least three forms of notification—at least one in writing—to inform parents/guardians that instruction will take place. Per Illinois state law, parents/guardians have the right to opt out their children.
- The curriculum is LGBTQ+ inclusive.
- The sexual health curriculum is not available to the public. Parents/guardians can meet with the sexual health education instructor at their child(ren)’s school to review specific lessons.
Illinois Laws on Sexual Health Education
CPS’s curriculum is in line with the Illinois law Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act, Illinois Public Act 102-0552. Signed into law in August 2021, this act requires that when sexual health education is taught, it must be in alignment with the National Sexuality Education Standards, and include information on healthy relationships, anatomy and physiology, puberty and adolescent sexual development, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and identity, sexual health, and interpersonal violence. The law requires that instruction be medically accurate, age and developmentally appropriate, trauma informed, and inclusive of LGBTQIA+ and pregnant/parenting youth.
CPS’s curriculum is in line with Erin’s Law, or Illinois Public Act 097-1147, which requires public schools to provide child sexual abuse prevention education for children in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. The law requires that schools annually teach children to recognize child sexual abuse, equip them with skills to reduce their vulnerability, and encourage them to report abuse.
Schools must provide at least three forms of notification to inform parents/guardians of instruction at least two weeks prior to the start of sexual health education, one of these notifications must be in writing. The Scope and Sequence should be included with the notification letter. Parents/guardians may opt their child(ren) out of some or all sexual health education lessons by communicating with the sexual health education instructor.
Every CPS student in grades PreK-12 must receive Personal Health and Safety (in grades PreK-2) or Sexual Health Education (in grades 3-12) yearly unless opted out by a parent or guardian.