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CHoosing And Maintaining Effective Programs for Sex Education in Schools

SHAC Recommendation Letter

CHAMPSS Toolbox > Select > SHAC Recommendation Letter

What is the SHAC Recommendation Letter?

The School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Recommendation Letter is a formal statement presenting the SHAC’s official recommendation of an evidence-based sexual health education program to the local school board. It explains the role of the SHAC in reviewing school health curricula, and describes the process by which the SHAC selected the recommended program.

Who should fill out the Recommendation Letter?

The Recommendation Letter shall be completed by all SHAC members or a designated SHAC sub-committee. All SHAC members should review the final letter and sign their names, indicating broad support for the recommendation.

What do I need to complete it?

Insert information specific to your school district in the corresponding sections of the Recommendation Letter template. This information should be based on local data, state and local policies, and the process by which your SHAC selected the sexual health education program. The text in the Recommendation Letter template may be altered to reflect your district’s specific needs. Be sure to insert the name of your school district in relevant areas throughout the letter.

Background/Synopsis of the Needs Assessment

  • Include teen birth rates relevant to your district – the more localized the better;
  • Include the number of teen pregnancies/births from the current and/or previous school year (if available);
  • Summarize the district’s programs for pregnant and parenting teens and what these cost the district in terms of expenditures, student absences, etc.

Texas Law

  • Summarize requirements for human sexuality instruction outlined in the Texas Education Code § 28.004 (e-j) – this is a lengthy statement, so focus on the issues that are pertinent to your district’s concerns (e.g., emphasis on abstinence from sexual activity, no condom distribution, parental notification);
  • Include relevant information from your district’s EHAA Local policy regarding sexual health education (if your district has an EHAA Local policy on sexual health education; most districts do not).

Process

  • Include a timeline describing important events within the SHAC in the selection of an evidence-based program(s).

Goals and objectives

  • Specify goals and objectives for the target population that you anticipate the program will accomplish;
  • Identify goals and objectives to be added to district and campus improvement plans that reflect the use of evidence-based sexual health education programs.

Recommended action

  • List as separate bullet points specific actions the school district should take moving forward with the selected evidence-based sexual health education program(s). These actions may include voting to adopt the program, updating campus and district improvement plans, and/or modifying district policies.

Description of the recommended program

  • Insert a description of the selected evidence-based sexual health education program(s) including
    • behavioral outcome(s) of program in other setting(s);
    • program details: number of lessons, targeted grade level for instruction, recommended course in which program will be implemented, scope and sequence of curriculum;
    • components of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) that the program will satisfy;
    • availability of training for implementation; and
    • cost of program to district.

Signatures of all SHAC members

  • Have all members of the SHAC sign their name in support of this recommendation.

How do I use the Recommendation Letter once it’s completed?

Once the Recommendation Letter has been signed by all SHAC members, a copy should be included in the official SHAC meeting minutes. The SHAC might also want to post the recommendation letter on its web page to notify district parents and other community members. It is then ready to be presented to the school board as part of the approval process (see the iCHAMPSS School Board Approval Process Facts & Tips Sheet).

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