Health Education

Empowering Health Education Together!

At Kent ISD, we wholeheartedly recognize the profound importance of health education and are passionately dedicated to fostering a culture of well-being for educators and students alike. Our commitment revolves around a multifaceted approach, including professional development, opioid prevention, substance abuse education, engaging parents, community outreach, and a holistic approach to health and learning.

"A healthy and safe school environment that provides risk prevention efforts can contribute to improved health and academic outcomes" (O’Neill et al., 2016).

Our Foundation

Supporting the Whole Child: We believe in the strong connection between health and learning, emphasizing a holistic approach that nurtures the physical, emotional, and social well-being of students.

Michigan Model for Health: Our core foundation rests upon the effective implementation of the Michigan Model for Health. We provide educators with vital training and resources, ensuring students receive evidence-based health education that is both informative and engaging. This comprehensive health curriculum for grades kindergarten through 12 has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing various problems and related risk behaviors, such as drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and poor nutrition while promoting character and a positive school climate (O’Neill et al., 2016).

Substance Abuse Prevention: We're committed to equipping educators with the knowledge and tools to address substance abuse prevention and promote well-being through professional development opportunities.

Community Engagement and Parent Involvement: We actively engage parents, increase community awareness, and support co-facilitation with parents to create a community focused on the well-being of our students. Simultaneously, we offer support and resources for parents and caregivers of 6th to 8th-grade students, enhancing their involvement in their children's health education.

Let's work together to create a healthy and supportive learning environment for educators and students.

Health Education Supports and Services

Our Health Education Team offers a variety of health support and services that can be personalized to fit your district's unique needs. Whether you need assistance with curriculum development or implementation, professional learning coordination or delivery, or assessments, we are here to help.

Our Approach to Health Education Professional Learning

At Kent ISD, we offer a dynamic approach to health education professional learning, moving beyond traditional methods. We prioritize staying current with the latest Health Education Standards from the Michigan Department of Education and other state agencies, ensuring alignment with our comprehensive Michigan Model for Health (MMH) curriculum. This skill-based, evidence-based curriculum is continually updated to maintain synchronization with newly published National and Michigan Health Education Standards.

Additionally, we embrace the principles of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), integrating SEL core competencies into our professional learning opportunities. "SEL programming not only does not detract from academic performance but actually increases students’ performance on standardized tests and grades." (Elias, 2008, p. 16)

We aim to create a network of educators who engage in meaningful, collaborative experiences, cultivating social and emotional skills and contributing to improved student outcomes through comprehensive, standards-aligned health education. Explore our upcoming professional learning for Health Education.

Leading Learning for Health Education Excellence

At Kent ISD, our mission, "We Lead Learning," is at the heart of our commitment to creating a culture of well-being through health education for educators and students. We actively engage in key initiatives like the Kent County Opioid Task Force, Michigan School Health Coordinators Association, West Michigan Health Equity Coalition, and the Kent County STI Alliance to promote health education while championing equity. We proudly serve as the voice for our local districts, ensuring that their opinions matter and every perspective contributes to shaping a healthier and more informed community. These engagements underscore our leadership in learning, dedication to equity, and pioneering role in shaping the future of health education, all while staying true to our ethos of Empowering Health Education Together!

Health Ed Updates and News

January 11, 2024
Teen Tobacco Realities: Key Insights from 2023 and Effective Strategies for Change
In the latest 2023 data, a concerning reality surfaces: more than 2.1 million teens nationwide are currently using...
January 17, 2023
Substance Abuse in Kent County: What Educators and Parents Need to Know
You might be aware of vaping, but what do you know about dab pens or pressed fentanyl pills? Do you know both are present in...

O’Neill JM, Clark JK, Jones JA. Promoting Fitness and Safety in Elementary Students: A Randomized Control Study of the Michigan Model for Health, J Sch Health. 2016; 86: 516-525.

O’Neill JM, Clark JK, Jones JA. Promoting Mental Health and Preventing Substance Abuse & Violence in Elementary Students: A Randomized Control Study of the Michigan Model for Health, J School Health, 2011; 81: 320-330.

Elias, M.J. (2008). The Connection Between Academic and Social-Emotional Learning, Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), 10.1037/bul0000383

2022-2023 Health Education Professional Learning Fast Facts

266 active Michigan Model for Health Digital Licenses in Kent, Ionia, and Montcalm counties
47 professionals and community stakeholders were engaged in a substance use prevention presentation.
50+ teachers were trained in the Michigan Model for Health, and 44 teachers completed mandatory HIV Certification.
633 community members engaged in substance use prevention education, 100 kits of Narcan were received, and 244 medication storage bags under the GR Southeast Promise Neighborhood initiative.

Sarah Flinsky

Health Education Consultant
Phone: 616.365.2296


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