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Community Health: Education, Prevention and Inspiration

Empowering people to make healthy, respectful and responsible choices.

(Sexual) Health Education in Illinois

Posted by Tammi A. Tannura -

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) lists the mandated and optional health education topics for instruction for grades K-12. The 2010 Illinois School Code for Comprehensive School Health Education from ISBE identifies more than a few topics that are optional. Of those topics that are optional, three speak to sexual and reproductive health. They are listed below.


  • Family life education
  • Sex education
  • Teen dating violence prevention

Additionally, optional staff training includes:

  • AIDS training for school guidance counselors, nurses, teachers and other school personnel who work with students in grades 7-12
  • Child abuse and neglect staff development for personnel who work with students in grades K-8

While sex education is an optional topic, there are several mandated topics that are clearly related to sexual and reproductive health, or have sexual and reproductive health implications. The mandated topics and their corresponding grade levels are:


  • Abandoned newborn infant protection (Grades K-12)
  • AIDS education (Grades 6-12)
  • Cancer (Grades K-12)
  • Child abduction prevention (Grades K-8)
  • Human growth and development (Grades K-12)
  • Sexual assault awareness (Grades 9-12)

If you've been paying attention, you might notice that while AIDS education and child abduction prevention are mandated topics, staff training in these areas is optional. While many teachers are skilled at teaching, they may not be entirely comfortable teaching these content areas.

Remember that Community Health Extension Educators are available for classroom instruction related to sexual and reproductive health, as well as for teacher professional development.

For a full list of optional and mandated health education topics from ISBE, feel free to contact me, or check out the ISBE website at Click on physical education and health mandates. You may have to contact ISBE directly for the most up-to-date requirements. The link to their contact page is

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