Aledo ISD trustees have unanimously approved a change in the district’s sex education curriculum, following a recommendation from Director of Student Services & Safety Scott Kessel and members of the School Health Advisory Council.
The new curriculum, REAL Essentials, published by the Center for Relationship Education, replaces Worth the Wait, published by Scott & White, which has been used by the district for the last several years.
REAL is an acronym for relationship education and leadership.
“To me it’s a very ambitious curriculum,” said Trustee Dr. David Tillman, who two months ago asked that action on the proposed change be postponed until trustees could study the two curriculums more.
“In 10 days a lot of things are discussed. You mentioned human trafficking, there’s also bullying and a couple other important subjects.
“I’ll just mention my concerns: two days are spent with STDs. I would love to see more time with pregnancy. There are two stories that are the focus of the teen pregnancy, after that it moves on …
“I would also like to see more homework. The important aspect of this subject really needs to occur at home, between parent and child. And anything that the district can do to facilitate those kind of conversations, I think, would be a plus.
“I would also like for a conversation on morality to occur. It’s a challenge in the public setting for that to occur without moving into religion, and there are obviously those concerns, but I’ve never felt the STD discussion was a reason for a decision to or not to have sex, as opposed to getting down to why we make decisions. “
The Pure Truth group of Grace House Ministries, which does outreach and educational programs throughout Parker County school districts, will deliver the new curriculum as part of the high school credit health courses at Aledo Middle School, Daniel Ninth Grade Campus and Aledo High School, as it did with Worth with Wait.
Kessel told the school board that both staff and students felt the former curriculum had become outdated.
“The format with Worth the Wait is primarily direct instruction, teachers teach and students listen,” he said. “Our own students have asked in follow-up surveys for something more engaging on this topic.”
Kessel said the REAL Essentials curriculum will provide for more dialogue between students and teachers through most of the lessons and lines up with a new state law mandating students be taught about student trafficking.