THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – Friday, February 7, 2020 Page 17 JUSTICE | FROM PAGE 5 don’t know where the kids are when they’re home.” Healthy Youth Act In other news, Health Coordinator Julie Ann Whitson spoke about the district’s sex education curriculum as it relates to the state’s Healthy Youth Act, which is currently being considered by the House of Representatives. Whitson assured the committee that Everett’s curriculum is delivered in a meticulous manner depending on the age of the students. “In our program, these topics, which are highly sensitive to some, are presented age-appropriately and with less detailed information on the middle school level,” she said. In addition, Whitson said the central part of the curriculum is presented to all students using HealthSmart. “It is comprehensive based on research and best practice,” she said. Whitson said the district also uses Get Real for students in grades 6-12 and Botvin LifeSkills Training for students in grades 5-12. She said sex education classes meet once every six to seven days on the middle school level and every other day for high school students. Whitson said letters are sent to middle and high school parents 30 days before the start of the sex education unit. She also said parents can elect to have their child excused from certain parts of the curriculum. Whitson said the district’s Parental Notification Policy appears to comply with the Healthy Youth Act. However, Interim Superintendent of Schools Janice Gauthier asked the committee members to review the letters and make any revisions they deem necessary. LIFT OUR KIDS | FROM PAGE 2 “certainly not people in Massachusetts.” The Lift Our Kids Coalition, which is comprised of 127 organizations, is led by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Greater Boston Legal Services. The Coalition organized in late 2016 to advocate for repeal of the welfare family cap, the law that barred benefits for children conceived while the family received assistance. The Legislature repealed the family cap in 2019 by an almost unanimous vote. About 11,000 previously excluded children are now receiving benefits, but the benefits are so low that families still struggle to pay for necessities like children’s shoes and socks.

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