Sexual Health and Safe School Environments
Comprehensive Health and Sexual Health Services
Sexual health services are programs and services provided for students to assess, protect, and promote health. Research shows that healthy children learn better. Access to health care resources include: 1) school-based health centers; 2) school nurses; 3) on-site health care providers; and 4) off-site health care providers.
This partnership works to increase adolescents' access to developmentally-appropriate health services that can include discussions and information about healthy relationships; education about and access to contraception, including the availability of condoms; HIV/STD and pregnancy testing; and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations.
Working collaboratively with school personnel and community agencies, key elements of increasing access includes:
- Implementing policies that support student access to sexual health resources.
- Developing a district-based resource guide for sexual health.
- Developing a district referral system for sexual health services.
- Expanding knowledge about and access to related topics such as Human Papillomaviros (HPV) and school-based health clinics.
Laws, regulations, and policies affect the health and safety of students and school personnel by shaping the learning environments and other aspects of the school community.
Samples of condom availability and accessibility policies
Each district should develop a comprehensive guide of health resources, including those for sexual health.
Each district should have written procedures for making health referrals, including those for sexual health. Such a document helps ensure that the adults who support and give guidance to the students know the school's protocols and local resources.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination of young adolescents against HPV.
School-Based Health Centers (SBHC)
SBHCs are licensed by the state Department of Public Health as outpatient or hospital satellite clinics. They are comprehensive facilities located in or on school grounds. SBHC personnel work closely with school nurses to provide a range of physical and mental health services, and, in some cases, dental services.
Stephanie Knutson, RN, MSN
Content Last Modified on 7/20/2017 10:39:18 AM