The Oakland Unified School District proposes the Healthy Oakland Teens project to reduce HIV/STD among the 16,669 students attending its middle and high schools. OUSD has invested heavily in student health services, rolled out a comprehensive sexual health education program for all secondary schools, and implemented widespread policies supporting safe environments, yet continued investment is needed to better understand the sexual health-related needs, including risks and protective factors and implement evidence-based programs to reduce high rates of HIV/STD across the District.
The proposed project builds on a highly successful first round of funding from CDC from 2013 to 2018 during which time extensive infrastructure was developed, surveillance was established through implementation of YRBS and School Health Profiles, an evidence-based Sexual Health Education curriculum was developed, teachers were trained, and partnerships with local service providers were established to connect students to sexual health services. Within this time, project evaluation showed significant increases in student knowledge, awareness, comfort, behaviors and attitudes about sexual health, including protective factors such as school and parental connectedness.
Under the project, OUSD and its partners will collect data on youth risk behaviors utilizing YRBS and School Health Profiles tool. It will then utilize data from these tools to increase its understanding of youth risk behaviors and develop responsive school health policies, practices, strategic partnerships, and interventions. These interventions include comprehensive sexual health education; age-appropriate school and community-based sexual health services; and a variety of activities designed to create safe and supportive school environments.
The expected outcomes for the 5-year project include increases in: understanding of youth risk behaviors and school health policies and practices by education and public health agencies; teacher ability to teach sexual health education effectively; student receipt of effective Sexual Health Education; student knowledge, skills, and behaviors to avoid and reduce sexual risk; student awareness of SHS needs and services; delivery of onsite sexual health services; referrals for sexual health services to community providers; student HIV and STD testing; teacher implementation of best classroom management practices for safe and supportive environments; student participation in positive youth development activities; student connectedness to school; parental monitoring; and parent/student communication about sexual health.