Provo City School District reviews sex education curriculum data | News, sports, jobs

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Evan Cobb, Daily Herald file photo

The Provo City School District Administration building is pictured Monday, April 2, 2018, in Provo.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of sex education on Provo students have not been fully measured since 2020. On Tuesday during a Provo City School Board of Education study session, the group examined data on the effects of sex education on students by state requirements to review data and policies every two years.

Lindsay Baccus, curriculum specialist and educational coach for the district, gave a presentation on Utah County statistics on teen pregnancy, child sexual abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, infection, and pornography complaints within the district.

Teen pregnancy data focused on students ages 15-19, but was not disaggregated by age. All other data did not list the ages of the participating students.

In 2019, the teen pregnancy rate in Utah County was 7.6 per 1,000 female students. In 2020, the rate dropped to 5.7 pregnancies. In Provo specifically, there were 33.5 pregnancies reported out of every 1,000 females in 2019, and in 2020, that number is down to 28.9.

“I’ve been on the Sex Education Curriculum Review Committee since 2007, and this was really promising data to see because in 2017, we adopted Choosing the Best,” Backus said. And this is where we finally get to see the impact of changing our curricula to provide the education that children need. throughout their lives better. So it’s informing their choices now but also… (helping them make healthy choices) throughout their lives.”

Choose the best It is a program that focuses on abstinence and uses what it calls A “sex risk avoidance” approach that encourages sexual delay, decision making, and healthy relationships.

It educates students about the significant risks associated with teen sex, including pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and potential negative emotional consequences, emphasizes the benefits of sexual delay, and empowers students to make informed choices, according to their website.

In 2019 and 2020, Utah County saw a 1% decrease in child abuse cases — although Backus added that not all cases of child abuse are underreported.

In 2020, Utah County had a rate of 3.4 per 100,000 people infected with HIV, 209.1 with chlamydia, 37.8 with gonorrhea, and 3.6 with various forms of syphilis.

On District devices, 147 attempts to access pornography were found in the 2019-2020 school year. This number rose to 513 in 2020-2021 before falling to 103 in 2021-2022. As of April 12, 75 incidents have been found during the current school year.


Applications to be the next PCSD superintendent closed on March 27 and were reviewed by 33 volunteers before being passed on to the School Board for review on April 10.

The board narrowed down the list of candidates and held the first round of interviews on April 13th and 14th. The board is still deciding whether to select a candidate from this group or to conduct a smaller group of second interviews.

“I am delighted to report that we have received an impressive pool of very, very highly qualified candidates. We are very pleased with the number of people who applied as well as the quality of the candidate, and that there has been a lot of interest in the position. We are very grateful to all of you,” said Rebecca Nielsen, School Board Chair. Whoever is interested and sends a request.

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