The Evolution of a Curriculum
The Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education™ originated as a K-6 curriculum and was developed to provide for consistency in health education to all students in the state of Michigan. In a unique interagency effort, pooling ideas and resources, a new comprehensive health education curriuclum was born.
The roots of this collaborative effort trace back to 1982 when then Governor James Blanchard established the State Health Coordinating Council’s Task Force on Comprehensive School Health Education to review current health practices and develop a detailed plan for implementing statewide comprehensive school health education. In 1983, the State Board of Education accepted the findings of the task force and endorsed the concept of comprehensive school health education, recognizing the value of a more systemic approach to reaching young people with important health knowledge and skills. In that same year, the state Office of Substance Abuse Services launched a five-year prevention plan which included the development of a comprehensive school health education component.
1984 saw the formation of the State Steering Committee, which continues to this day, with representation from the various agencies collaborating on this initiative. Today's Michigan Model Steering Committee represents the same cooperative group of agencies that were responsible for the creation of the Michigan Model in 1985. With the restructuring of state government, their titles are different but their collaborative working relationship remains. The current Steering Committee include representatives from: Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Michigan State Police Department.
Grant funding was appropriated to the Michigan Department of Public Health and curriculum writers were hired. Recognizing the need to distribute information, training, and materials in an efficient manner, the network of implementing sites that still provides this important function, was established and School Health Coordinators were established at each site in the network. This network is the source of all professional development and technical assistance of the Michigan Model for Health™ in the state of Michigan. More information on this network is available at the website of the Michigan School Health Coordinators' Association.
In 1985, the center known today as the Educational Materials Center was established as a grant-funded fulfillment center responsible for publishing the brand new curriculum and the first non-draft publication of the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Curriculum™ was released for implementation.
Almost 30 years later, the structure is much the same in the state of Michigan, but the curriculum is now distributed nationwide and implemented in varying degrees in 39 different states.