iMAD is the name of our sexual health education program that stands for “I Make a Difference”. We believe that each of our students has the power to make a huge difference in their own life, the lives of others, and our community at large. The iMAD Program is one of the many programs offered by Heartland Rural Health Network (HRHN). 

The curriculum is reviewed by medical and educational personnel at the developer’s level to ensure medical accuracy and age-appropriateness.  Additionally, the curriculum is reviewed and vetted through the Superintendent and staff at the School Board; the same process all curriculum goes through, as well as approved by the School Board.

The version we use is a tiered curriculum; meaning that there is a different set of lessons for each grade that builds on knowledge from the prior year. Since the 2016-2017 school year, the iMAD program has administered the Get Real Curriculum every school year. We administer the program to students who are in the Highlands County middle schools, which are grades six through eight.

The iMAD Program Staff has a close working relationship with the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education. We have had School Board staff members serve on our Community Action Advisory Board, which helps drive the iMAD Program. The relationship for providing the in-school education is formalized between the School Board of Highlands County and Heartland Rural Health Network in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). HRHN and the iMAD Program have worked closely with the Superintendent to complete all required tasks, and then some, to get our program and the curriculum approved through the same channels as any other curriculum taught in the schools.

Teachers, school administrators, school board executives and parents have observed the iMAD program administering the Get Real evidence-based curriculum, as edited and approved by the School Board, to students in grades 6 through 8 in Highlands County middle schools throughout the duration of this program. We have always invited anyone that would like to, to observe us – as long as they follow school procedures for being on campus. 

Students and parents are given multiple opportunities through HRHN and the schools to opt out of the program. We provide letters that go home that discuss when the iMAD Program will be delivering the Get Real curriculum and our Entry and Exit Surveys. This letter provides information on how parents can opt their student out of the program. Additionally, call outs by the schools are made to all parents before we begin at each school. The schools also post the Opt Out information on their webpages. Parents are also encouraged to attend parent nights that are held prior to the start of the iMAD Program at each school to learn more about the Get Real Curriculum and the Program. We also encourage anyone that has questions to contact Larry Moore, the Program Director, to discuss any questions or concerns. Once we start at a school and throughout our time there, we inform the remaining students that they are able to opt out of the program themselves at any time for any reason.

HRHN, together with the School Board, provides multiple opportunities for parents to view materials before classes are taught. The program holds parent nights for each school so that parents can attend, view the full curriculum and ask questions about the curriculum that is being facilitated to their children in the school. The iMAD program provides a flier to each school, and each school is responsible for informing parents about the parent night. Full copies of the Get Real curriculum are available at the District Office where parents may also make an appointment to view (as is the process with all curriculums). However, we always suggest that parents either attend the parent night, or follow up with the iMAD team after reviewing the full Get Real curriculum, because we teach an edited version of the curriculum. Because of curriculum copyright laws, we are unable to put the Curriculum directly on our website, but have included a crosswalk of the Get Real Curriculum and the National Sexuality Education Standards that outlines the standards covered in the full curriculum on our website for viewing at any time. 

If there are any questions or concerns, we welcome the opportunity to discuss this further. Thank you!

  1. Susan   On   April 8, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    This is nothing but words! You sound like Washington DC! What do you actually TEACH! I have no children in school! Yet I have a 2 year old I’m petrified about!

    • Tatiana Phillips   On   April 8, 2022 at 2:18 pm

      Hi! Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us to ask about our program. At this time every year, we review curriculum options and updates that are out there to help us prepare for the next school year. Right now, we are reviewing options for what exact curriculum we are going to be trained on to present to participants in the coming year. However, in general, we aim to provide age and culturally appropriate, medically accurate, inclusive, evidence-based education. In the past we have used versions of curriculums like Get Real, Choosing the Best, Draw the Line/Respect the Line and many others over the past 16 years. Additionally, we like to ensure our program promotes parents/trusted adults as the main source of guidance on the topics we cover, letting participants know that we provide them factual information only and encourage them to seek further guidance, including answers to moral-based questions, from their parents/trusted adults. Our program also covers three other main ideas, which our funders call Adulthood Preparation Subjects, which are Healthy Relationships, Adolescent Development, and Life Skills, such as Decision Making, Goal Setting, and Self-Management. Most of the time, we find an evidence-based curriculum that already has these concepts embedded into it.

      Once a new curriculum is chosen and we have been trained, we always hold parent nights prior to starting any programs in any areas we are providing education. At these parent nights, we review the curriculum fully with parents and welcome any and all questions, comments, or concerns. We are also open to receiving questions at any time via our email address at [email protected]. I hope this helps quell some of the concerns.

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