CATCH Program this School Year

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Your child’s health is important to us. Unintended pregnancy is a concern for New York City teenagers. About 43% of New York City public school students become sexually active before completing high school. In fact, 13% of students entering ninth grade have had sex. In 2018 in New York City, over 1,900 females under the age of 18 and over 4,600 females 18 and 19 years old became mothers or terminated a pregnancy. Most of these pregnancies were unintended. Most teen mothers do not graduate from high school with their class.

To provide our high school students with timely and accessible services the Office of School Health began a reproductive health program in 2011 called CATCH (Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Healthcare). This year the CATCH program will be offered at your child’s High School. Services will be provided by the School Health nurse and a School Health doctor or nurse practitioner. The program will include reproductive health education, including information on sexually transmitted infection prevention. The program will also include reproductive health services: pregnancy testing (urine testing, no physical exam will be required), and hormonal contraception (birth control), including emergency contraception and condoms. Students must sign a form consenting to these reproductive health services before receiving them. All services are confidential and free of charge.