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CHoosing And Maintaining Effective Programs for Sex Education in Schools

Theory Behind iCHAMPSS


Welcome to iCHAMPSS, an interactive decision-support system for CHoosing And Maintaining Effective Programs for Sex Education in Schools.

Here you will learn the steps to adopting, implementing, and maintaining effective sexual health education curricula in your school or school district. The CHAMPSS model was developed from theory, research, and practical experience to guide individuals through this process. For more information on how the CHAMPSS model was developed, read our article in the Journal of Applied Research on Children1.

There are three phases in the CHAMPSS model: Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance. Under these phases are seven steps: Prioritize, Assess, Select, Approve, Prepare, Implement, and Maintain. At the core of the model is Getting Others on Board - this is our Support step, an essential component throughout all phases and steps.

It is important to note that while you may begin in one step, you may have to go back to previous steps for various reasons. This happens in many school districts. For this reason, we typically represent the CHAMPSS model as a circular process.

Click on any part of the model to see a description of what that section entails.

Support Prioritize Adoption Assess Select Approve Prepare Implement Maintain Implementation Maintenance

Another way to view this model is shown below in its “rolled out” form. Here you can see that each step contains specific, critical tasks to help you accomplish that step and move to the next one. The tools in the iCHAMPSS resource library align with these recommended tasks.

Phases Rolled Out image


If you are unsure of where your district is in the process of adopting, implementing, and maintaining an effective sexual health education program, use the quick 5-minute Stage Your District tool to find out.

1Hernandez BF, Peskin M, Shegog R, et al. “Choosing and Maintaining Programs for Sex Education in Schools: The CHAMPSS Model,” Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: (2011) Vol. 2: Issue 2, Article 7. Available at: