It is spring and the birds and the bees are coming out, which means my fifth grader’s class is now doing the Growing and Changing unit. I don’t want my child learning about sex without my morals. What are my options?
Jeffco rewrote their text a couple of years ago and some people don’t like what our
children are now being taught. Colorado passed a law last year that requires districts who take state health grants to teach things some of us prefer our children not learn in school.These words are now in Colorado state law meant for students as young as fourth grade: “anal intercourse” and “homosexually transgender sensitive environment”. Fortunately, the Jeffco board has not taken any of these funds yet.
So for your fifth graders (and seventh graders who might have a reproductive system unit) here are some options. Require the school to provide alternative lessons during this time of day. Usually, that means your child goes to the library and works on related topics. The down
side to this is that conversations will be happening on the playground, so please be sure you get the materials and have discussions at home.
The second option is to be selective about which days your student participates; some people don’t mind the biology lessons but prefer not to have the reproductive lessons. This requires that you stay in close contact with the teachers as lesson plans can vary based on student needs. In this case, your student likely will go to the library just for these classes. The third option is let your student participate fully and ask questions every night. Most schools use a question box that allows students to ask questions they might be embarrassed to ask in public.
Require the teachers give you the list of questions at least weekly so you can have discussions at home. And, in all cases, go to the parent meeting so you know how sensitive topics will be handled and get a copy of the text so you know exactly what your child will be learning. Remember these are public schools and they must be responsive to parents.
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I have a graduating senior. Why didn’t someone tell me her seventh- and eighth-grade choices could
determine her future path?
We often wonder why there isn’t more information on the Jeffco website that will help parents understand how choice your child makes in middle school and high school will affect his or her choices after graduation. If your student is interested in a military academy or top ranked university he or she may need to have taken Differentials Calculus. So, they should have taken Algebra 1 in middle school and possibly even Geometry. That allows for Algebra 2, Calculus A/B and C/D, as well as Differential Calculus, in four years of high school.
In addition, be aware that most universities won’t take AP credits for core classes. Balance your child’s work load knowing that 3s, 4s and 5s on AP tests may only get your student elective credit.
Finally, if your child has their heart set on a particular college or university, we strongly recommend you look at summer programs for their sophomore and junior years of high school. Getting into college has become a very competitive process and having relationships at your desired college can be very helpful come admissions time.