Date of Publication


Project Team

Amy O'Meara, DrNP and Andrea Nicoletta


Adapting the "Get Real" Curriculum: Improving Sexual Health in School Age Children

Jessica L. White

Background: Vermont does not have standardized sexual health education. Curriculums such as “Get Real” have been shown to increase the age of sexual debut in middle school students and improve their relationships with parents. One barrier to implementing “Get Real” in Vermont is it has not been adapted to match the health proficiencies required by the Vermont Department of Education for students to graduate middle school.

Purpose: Increase buy-in of curriculum by Vermont school districts by applying proficiencies and adaptations to meet graduation criteria.

Methods: “Get Real” was adapted to meet the new health proficiencies implemented by the Vermont Department of Education via a quality improvement project. The curriculum was reviewed, health proficiencies were matched to each lesson and lessons adapted to meet proficiencies. Qualitative data from school districts was collected to assess buy-in. This project focused on Chittenden east, Milton and Orange North school districts.

Results: Health proficiencies were met by all lessons in the middle school curriculum. Adaptations facilitated teachers’ decisions to choose certain lessons that were time and content effective. Further intended results will be the adoption of the “Get Real” curriculum by middle schools around the state of Vermont.

Conclusions: The Get Real middle school curriculum meets the Vermont Department of Education’s health proficiencies required to graduate from middle school. Adaptation of lessons allowed for a greater number of proficiencies to be met in classrooms with limited time for the curriculum. If these proficiencies improve buy-in by school districts in Vermont is still to be determined.

Keywords: sexual health, health proficiencies, sex education curriculum

Document Type


DNP Poster.pdf (577 kB)