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 school-based health centers, school nurses, on-site health care providers, and 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 include:
- 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; and
- expanding knowledge about and access to related topics such as 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.
- Addressing Sexual Health in Schools: Policy Consideration (Advocates for Youth)
- Sample of Sexual Health Services Policy
Sample Condom Availability and Accessibility Policies
- Consolidated School District of New Britain
- District of Columbia Public Schools
- Holyoke Public Schools, Massachusetts
Each district should develop a comprehensive guide of health resources, including those for sexual health.
- How Do I know if Our Services are Youth Friendly? (Healthy Teen Network)
- Healthy Resource Tool Guide (sample)
- Establishing Partnerships to Increase Student Access to Sexual Health Services (Connections for Student Success)
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.
- Developing a Referral System for Sexual Health Services (NCSD)
- Making Health Referrals in the Health Resource Room: A Step-by-Step Guide for CAP-Trained Staff (New York City)
- School Health Services Referral Toolkit (San Diego Unified School District)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination of young adolescents against HPV.
- HPV (CSDE)
- HPV: A Guide for Young Adults (Immunization Action Coalition)
- HPV Vaccine Gardasil What You Need to Know (CDC)
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.
- SBHC (Connecticut Department of Public Health)
- Connecticut Association of School-Based Health Centers
Related CSDE Webpages
- Comprehensive School Health Education
- Exemplary Sexual Health Education
- Health Educators Bulletin (Click on the "Documents/Forms" section to access the bulletins)
- Healthy School Communities for Successful Students Partnership
- Safe and Supportive Environments