CHoosing And Maintaining Effective Programs for Sex Education in Schools
Theory Behind iCHAMPSS
Welcome to iCHAMPSS, an interactive decision-support system forCHoosingAndMaintaining EffectivePrograms forSex Education inSchools.
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 acircularprocess.
Click on any part of the model to see a description of what that section entails.
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 iCHAMPSSresource libraryalign with these recommended tasks.
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: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol2/iss2/7
The Adoption Phase involves making evidence-based programs (EBPs) to prevent teen pregnancy a priority in the district, performing a needs and resource assessment so that the district can select an EBP that best fits the district, selecting an appropriate EBP for the district, and getting the program approved by the school board. This is the longest phase in iCHAMPSS. A district has completed this phase once an EBP has been approved by the school board.
The Assess Step consists of gathering information related to the district’s teen pregnancy and birth rates, current practices related to sexual health education, sexual health education policies, and resources to implement evidence-based programs (EBPs) in the district. Gauging stakeholders’ (e.g., school board members, health coordinators, parents) level of support for EBPs is also done in this step. A district has completed this step when a Needs and Resource Assessment of the district has been conducted.
The Prioritize Step involves raising awareness about teen pregnancy and evidence-based programs (EBPs) to prevent teen pregnancy in the school district. The Prioritize process also includes: creating a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), if needed; mobilizing an existing SHAC and other stakeholders to recognize that sexual health education is a priority; and educating SHAC members and other stakeholders about EBPs. A district has completed this step when their SHAC has created and signed a SHAC Resolution Statement.
The Select Step consists of identifying the district’s target population, goals, and objectives for sexual health education and selecting an evidence-based program (EBP) that meets these criteria. A district has completed this step once the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) has created a Recommendation Letter with information on the EBP for the school board.
The Approve Step involves following the district’s approval process to get the selected evidence-based program (EBP) approved by the district school board. This can be a long and arduous process for some school districts. Engaging school board members early in the process may help reduce some of the potential challenges. The approval process also includes presenting the SHAC recommendation regarding sexual health education to the school board for review. A district has completed this step once the school board has approved the evidence-based program and district and school staff members are made aware of the approved program.
The Implementation Phase consists of preparing for and implementing the approved evidence-based program (EBP). This is the most labor intensive phase for school-level staff because they must plan the logistics, attend trainings, teach the program and monitor the implementation of the program. A district has completed the implementation phase when all schools that planned to implement the program complete at least one round of implementation.
The Prepare Step consists of creating a detailed implementation plan to help ensure that implementation of the evidence-based program (EBP) is a success. The implementation plan provides an opportunity to think through critical programmatic and logistical components to make certain the EBP is implemented with fidelity, including identifying sexual health educators, attending trainings on the program, making minor modifications to the program to fit the district’s needs, and obtaining parent consent, if required. A district has completed this step once an implementation plan has been created.
The Implement Step involves carrying out the implementation plan and implementing the selected evidence-based program (EBP) with fidelity. Monitoring the implementation of the EBP also occurs in this step. Major changes to the EBP can decrease the effectiveness of the program. Thus, implementing the program with fidelity is critical. A district has completed this step when all schools that planned to implement the program complete implementation during the planned academic year.
The Maintenance Phase is the final phase in iCHAMPSS. This Phase involves evaluating the success of program implementation, making quality improvements, and developing plans to sustain the program once implementation of the program has been completed during the academic year. A district can remain in this phase as long as the district is satisfied with the evidence-based program (EBP) and implementation of the program continues each year. If a district is unsatisfied with the EBP or implementation does not continue, then the district should consider re-visiting a previous phase to ensure the district’s needs for sexual health education are met.
The Maintain Step consists of creating a maintenance plan to help ensure continued implementation of the program in the district. This is also an opportunity to plan and make quality improvements so that the future implementations of the program are successful. Recognizing the success of the district and teachers is also done in this step, as is reporting to key stakeholders. A district can remain in this step as long as implementation occurs each academic year and a maintenance plan is created, or revised as needed, at the end of each year.
Support or “Getting Others on Board” is a core component of iCHAMPSS and is needed throughout the decision-making process for adopting, implementing and maintaining an evidence-based program (EBP). This step ensures that district personnel have adequate support to carry out all iCHAMPSS steps. Getting Others on Board consists of having frequent and ongoing discussions with stakeholders, coordinating with district and school staff, and strategizing with all individuals who contribute to the success of the program. Support is achieved when district personnel feel as though they have the encouragement and resources to carry out each step in iCHAMPSS.