Sex Education Curriculum:
Grades 6-12 KNOW and FLASH
“Sexual health education is a critical component of comprehensive health education that helps students develop knowledge and skills needed to become successful learners and healthy and productive adults.” WA Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
The WA Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSHE) Law (RCW 28A.300.475) passed by the Legislature and Washington voters in 2020 requires all public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education by the 2022–23 school year. The curriculum, instruction, and materials must be medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate, and inclusive of all students. The Washington Legislature found that “young people should have the knowledge and skills necessary to build healthy relationships, and to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. The primary responsibility for sexual health education is with parents and guardians. However, this responsibility also extends to schools and other community groups. It is in the public’s best interest to ensure that young people are equipped with medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate information that will help them avoid unintended pregnancies, remain free of sexually transmitted diseases, and make informed, responsible decisions throughout their lives.”
The FLASH curriculum has been aligned to the CDC Health Education Standards, as well as standards for Washington State.
FLASH is a widely used sexual health education curriculum developed by Public Health – Seattle & King County and designed to prevent teen pregnancy, STDs, and sexual violence, and to increase knowledge about the reproductive system and puberty. FLASH is available for elementary, middle, high school and special education classrooms. High School FLASH has been proven effective by rigorous evaluation.
FLASH is based on the Theory of Planned Behavior. Lessons include a variety of strategies designed to create positive attitudes, beliefs and norms and to build skills in order to reduce rates of pregnancy, STDs and sexual violence. See additional details below.
FLASH includes a strong family-involvement component in order to further increase protective factors that support students in remaining abstinent, using birth control and condoms, and respecting other's decisions not to have sex.
FLASH supports and respects diverse community values through its inclusive design, its use of the Values Question Protocol, and through the design of the Family Homework, which encourages discussion about values with family members.
High School FLASH is a proven program. It has been rigorously evaluated and found to be an effective, proven program at reducing unintended pregnancy and STDs among teens.