In March 2022, the Council of the District of Columbia passed the Expanding Student Access to Period Products Act of 2022 (DC Law 24-92), which outlines requirements and strategies to improve menstrual health education and student access to period products. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) developed menstrual health education standards for all students regardless of gender beginning in grade 4 to ensure that students have the information, support and enabling school environment to manage menstruation with dignity, safety and comfort. In March 2023, the DC State Board of Education adopted supplemental DC state learning standards for menstrual health education.
Menstrual Products Requirements
As an integral part of the Expanding Student Access to Period Products Act (DC Law 24-92), local education agencies (LEAs), private schools and higher education institutions in the District shall install and maintain dispensers with free-for-use menstrual products in women's and gender-neutral restrooms. If a school building does not have a gender-neutral restroom, then the menstrual products shall also be available in at least one men's restroom.
Recommendations for Placement of Menstrual Products Dispenser
Schools should carefully determine the placement of the menstrual products dispenser or container and consider students’ different accessibility needs.
- Install dispenser in a clean and dry space and at an accessible height.
- Maintain student access to menstrual products when a restroom is temporarily unavailable to students.
- Ensure that menstrual products are available after school hours and during field trips when students are participating in school activities.
Recommendations to Promote Student Access to Menstrual Products
- Inform students about the location of menstrual products throughout the school (e.g., during school announcements, in school bulletins and in any visual announcements via email / advisory).
- Identify trusted adults in the school building who can be available to support students.
- Consider a student-led school-wide or social media campaign for student engagement.
Menstrual Products Poster
In addition to providing free-for-use menstrual products in women's and gender-neutral restrooms, local education agencies (LEAs), private schools and higher education institutions in the District shall place a menstrual products poster with medically accurate information near the menstrual products dispenser.
Download period products poster(s) here:
- Period products poster in English
- Period products poster in Spanish
- Period products poster in Amharic
- Period products poster in Chinese
- Period products poster in French
- Period products poster in Korean
- Period products poster in Vietnamese
Educator Resources: Virtual Trainings
- Menstrual Equity 101
- Menstrual Health Education Standards Walkthrough
- Deep Dive on the Menstrual Products Poster
OSSE wants to hear from you! Email us at [email protected] to share your ideas, kudos, concerns and photos of menstrual health equity in your buildings.