New Updated Sexuality Education Curriculum

A subcommittee of the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) has been meeting over the past two years to investigate the state of the current sex education program in the Needham Public Schools and to determine program needs and future direction. The subcommittee’s efforts have led to a recommendation that we revise portions of our current curriculum and increase the amount of time devoted to sex education within our existing Health Education Program. A new sexuality education curriculum is being proposed and can be viewed on this site. In this new program, various aspects of sexuality education will be touched upon at each grade level.  In grades 5, 6, 9, and 11, there will be a specific unit dedicated to sexuality education. In grades 7, 8, 10, and 12, sexuality related topics will be integrated into the existing curriculum.  A detailed outline of the topics and lessons that will be taught at each grade level can be viewed by following the links on the left hand side of this page.

Parents As Partners:  The Needham Public Schools Wellness Department provides curriculum and instruction designed to help students make good decisions, and practice healthy behaviors. We understand that this is an important endeavor and it requires a strong partnership with parents.  We believe that parents are their children's primary educator and that each family has it's own values and beliefs about sex and sexuality.  This proposed curriculum, therefore will include homework assignments that will encourage students to discuss topics that are being covered in class with a parent/guardian or other trusted adult. This will ensure that parents will have opportunities to share information that is important to them with their own children.  This web-site is designed to be a communication tool for parents.  It will provide parents with information about our health curriculum and/or provide resources that may be useful in talking with your child(ren) about important topics.

Parent Notification: Parents of children who are in grades where sexuality education content will be taught will receive a letter in the fall that will notify them that topics related to sex and sexuality will be included in their son/daughters health classes. The letter will also include a detailed outline of each lesson, and will invite them to a parent information night to learn more about the program.  Under Massachusetts law, parents have the right to opt their child out of any single lesson or out of an entire unit that includes information about human sexuality.  Parents can do this by writing a note or letter to the building principal requesting that their child be opted out of the sexuality portion of the health education curriculum.  If a parent chooses to do so, an appropriate alternative activity will be provided for their son/daughter.

For a limited time, a copy of Dr. Kathy Pinkham's presentation to parents and the community about the new proposed sexuality education curriculum will be posted on this website.  To see and hear this presentation click "play" on the movie icon below :

NOTE:  If you are having trouble viewing this Quicktime Movie - you may need to download a new version of Quicktime or use a diferent browser.   

Dr. Pinkham is interested in hearing what you think about the new proposed curriculum. After listening to the above presentation and viewing the curriculum outlines, please send your comments by email to Dr. Pinkham at

Let us know what you liked
What you are concerned about
Ideas you might have for resources to share on this web-site

Office located at:
Needhan High School
609 Webster Street
Needham, MA 02492
Fax: 781-455-0895
Kathy M. Pinkham, Ed. D
Director of Wellness Dept. K-12
781-455-0800 x2140