Justin Black
Director of Curriculum and Technology
Phone: 360-273-5536 x1006
Fax: 360-273-5547

The heart of our work as a school district is the teaching and learning that occurs every day in our classrooms. To guide teaching and learning the Rochester School District has defined what we expect students to know and be able to do in order to ensure students have mastered the Washington State Grade Level Standards.

Rochester schools offer a wide range of learning opportunities including special assistance in basic skills, advanced placement courses, college credit, and professional technical courses for career paths. In addition to classroom instruction, extracurricular programs provide enrichment in academics, the arts, athletics, and areas of special interest to students

For more information about curriculum and technology please call or email by using the above contact information.

Information about Sexual Health Education for the 2022-2023 School Year

In regards to SB 5395 and Referendum 90, there will be NO change in the Rochester School District Kindergarten through 5th-grade curriculum and minor changes in grades 6-12.  

Kindergarten-3rd Grade

With the passage of SB 5395 and likely voter approval of Referendum 90, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will require Social Emotional Learning in Kindergarten through 3rd grade.  The following is taken directly from the OSPI Website:

Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, schools must provide social-emotional learning (SEL) to students in grades K-3. SEL provides skills to do things like to cope with feelings, set goals, and get along with others. No sexuality content or curriculum will be required.

What is social-emotional learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (

The social-emotional learning benchmarks/topics are:


An individual has the ability to identify their emotions, personal assets, areas for growth, and potential external resources and supports.

Social Awareness

An individual has the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures. 


An individual has the ability to regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Social Management

An individual has the ability to make safe and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

Self Efficacy

An individual has the ability to motivate themselves, persevere, and see themselves as capable.

Social Engagement

An individual has the ability to consider others and show a desire to contribute to the well-being of the school and community.

In our schools, these topics/benchmarks have been taught for well over 10 years.  At RPS and GMES (K-5) students and parents would know this as Kelso’s Choice, Zones of Regulation, and Second Steps.  The focus is to teach students the skills needed to regulate themselves and act appropriately while interacting with those around them.  If you would like to review any of the Kelso’s Choice or Second Steps curriculum please contact the building principal. 

4th-5th Grade

Students in 4th and 5th grade will continue with the current SEL curriculum so again there is no change to current practice.  At present 5th grade is when sexual health education is introduced.  Sexual health education in 5th grade has been occurring for a little over two decades at GMES.  With the new requirements going into effect we will not have to make any changes to the current practice or curriculum.  Sexual health education will not occur in 4th grade.  If you would like to review any of the materials please contact the building principal.  Also, parents have the opportunity to opt their students out of the sexual health education, again please contact the building principal.

6th-8th Grade

Currently, 8th grade is when students receive sexual health education during health class.  The minor change that will need to occur is to do annual education about HIV/AIDS prevention during health classes in grades 6 and 7.  The annual education will be up to one class period each year.  The rest of the sexual health education will remain in 8th grade.  The current content and curriculum will not change.  If you would like to review any of the materials please contact the building principal.  Also, parents have the opportunity to opt their students out of the sexual health education, again please contact the building principal.

9th-12th Grade

RHS students take Health during their 9th-grade year.  Sexual health education is part of the health class. There are no changes based on the new requirements.  Also, the high school already does annual HIV/AIDS prevention in grades 10-12.  So there will be no changes based on the new requirements.  

The school district is compliant with the new state requirements.  If you have any questions, you are encouraged to call your student’s building or the district office.

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