San Diego Unified School District (District) requests funding for Components 1 and 2 to improve the health and wellbeing of our district’s, and the nation’s, youth. Youth within the District are diverse and face many challenges and risks to their health. The District’s population is 46.5% Hispanic, 23.4% White, 10.2% African-American, 5.4% Filipino, 4.9% Indo-Chinese, 3.3% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Pacific Islander, and 5.4% Multi Racial. Twenty-seven percent of the students are English learners and 60% qualify for free or reduced meals. The middle and high school population, coming from 59 schools that cover grades 6-12, currently totals 62,670 students. A population of 31,330 students exists within this project’s 33 designated priority middle and high schools.
To support Component 1, the District will implement the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in years 2019, 2021, and 2023 and School Health Profiles (Profiles) in years 2020 and 2022. These instruments, and the data they provide, will enable monitoring of health programs and policies, an increased understanding of our students’ risk behaviors, and helpful guidance to increase student knowledge and skills in avoiding and reducing sexual risk behaviors. Among the top 20 largest districts in the nation, and the second largest in California, San Diego Unified is an important source for data on health behaviors for the county, state, and nation. The District has achieved weighted YRBS data since 1991 and weighted Profiles data since 1996. Surveillance activities outlined in the Project Narrative will allow the District to collect, monitor, and asses student risk behaviors and analyze district-wide education efforts and policy implementation, with the goal of disseminating the resulting data to District staff, youth, parents, and the community to increase awareness and guide effective health programming. The District included questions about sexual minority status on the YRBS from 2011-2017 and will continue to include these questions, in addition to standard sexual behavior questions and those addressing sexual health education, sexual health services, and safe and supportive environments.
To support the requirements of Component 2, the District will scale up district-wide and school-based implementation efforts to increase the efficacy of already established sexual health instruction (SHE), expand student access to sexual health services (SHS), and augment current efforts to foster safe and supportive environments (SSE). Targeted strategies will be implemented within priority schools with the goal of expanding effective approaches to all secondary schools. Anticipated outcomes include delayed onset of student sexual activity, increased safer sexual practices, decreased rates of HIV/STD infection and pregnancy, reduced health disparities experienced by specific populations such as LGBT youth, and ultimately increased student academic success and overall wellbeing.
Our multi-tiered approach will build upon our firm foundation of PS1308 programming to address San Diego County’s concerning teen birth and chlamydia rates and will expand from priority schools to all District secondary schools throughout the project period. This includes improving existing strategies to provide students access to comprehensive SHE, SHS, positive youth development activities such as mentorship programs, and GSA clubs; providing staff with professional development and support to increase competency in delivering SHE, fostering classroom SSE, supporting LGBT youth, and referring students to SHS; and providing parents opportunities to work with District and community partners via SHAC participation, engagement in conversations with their children about general and sexual health, and skills to assist them in effectively monitoring their children’s behaviors and safety.