Dear Community Members:
Over the last several weeks, much attention has been paid to the recent efforts of the district’s Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee. This letter provides some additional information about the committee’s purpose and its work to date.
The Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee was formed in response to a recently passed law affecting all Wisconsin districts that teach human growth and development. This law requires that these districts provide students with a comprehensive curriculum that includes information about contraception and sexually-transmitted diseases. It also requires that they provide parents with an annual outline of the human growth and development curriculum.
If the school board does not elect to provide human growth and development instruction to pupils enrolled in the school district, the law requires that the district send home an annual statement of notification to parents and guardians indicating that this is the case.
We understand that in other districts this issue has proven to be a very contentious one. That is why our first priority is to ensure that community members have the opportunity to have a voice in the decision. Just as it has with other instructional areas, the district created a committee comprised of a wide cross-section of community members who are charged with evaluating curricula and making formal recommendations to the board. The Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee includes parents, health care professionals and clergy members.
The committee’s work is ongoing. The committee is scheduled to provide a formal report to the school board on Sept. 8. The MAPS board will then decide, during an open meeting, how to proceed with human growth and development instruction.
We know that this topic is very important to community members. That is why the district has developed processes that allow community members to be part of this conversation.
Thank you once again for your encouragement in this and other issues related to the Merrill Area Public Schools.
Dr. Lisa L. Snyder
Merrill Area Public Schools