But beyond those mandates and recommendations, efforts to implement sexual health curricula are made on a local level.
"It needs to be that way," said Mary Wiekle, coordinator for AIDS, HIV and teen pregnancy prevention for the state Department of Education.
"Because especially with this topic you are reaching over into areas that touch on value systems, and the value systems in each of the counties are going to be different because the communities are going to have a different profile," Wiekle said.
But the breakdown occurs at the county and the school level, with administrators and teachers who are uncomfortable with the subject matter or too strained to give it the attention it deserves.
To counter that, the Office of Healthy Schools at the state Board of Education has created a professional development tool available to teachers online, focusing on contraception for teens. The tool tries to show teachers what to say to teens about sex and how to say it. For now, though, the module is languishing as it waits for a home — officials need funding for an Internet server to host the large module.
Despite the rise in teen pregnancy, other factors relating to the health of West Virginia's children have improved in the last year:
n The child death rate has been reduced by nearly 11 percent, from 24.6 per thousand in 2005 to 21.9 per thousand in 2011.
n The rate of child abuse and neglect has shrunk by 27.2 percent, from a rate of 22.6 per 1,000 children in 2010 to 16.4 in 2011.
n There was a more than 19 percent improvement in the high school dropout rate.
n The teen injury rate improved by more than 23 percent, from 70 per thousand in 2010 to 53.5 per thousand in 2011.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.