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The Maine Approach

ELEMENT 6 - Curriculum


After the school has created an awareness among staff and community, adopted policy and procedures, improved the climate, established support groups and provided student awareness, it is appropriate to implement a primary prevention curriculum, kindergarten through grade twelve. Teacher training needs to precede curriculum implementation. Integration with other curricula ensures ownership and institutionalization of ATOD prevention curriculum. Plans must be developed for ongoing teacher training, updating, coaching, monitoring and evaluating as the program evolves. This element is critical if new teaching materials and behaviors are to become part of each teacher's repertoire.

Curriculum is an essential component of the process of institutionalizing "THE MAINE APPROACH" to prevention and education. The adopted or adapted curriculum needs to guarantee continuity when addressing the developmental experiences, interests and needs of all students throughout their school years.


(Rating your understanding from 1 to a high of 5 may help you in your planning and evaluation.)

A diverse, representative committee ( including administrators, teachers, parents, students and other community partners who have a common understanding of ATOD prevention) is responsible for recommending a course of study in ATOD education. They will:

_____ Determine how ATOD curriculum implementation will support the vision and mission of the school and community.
_____ Determine the extent of the problem and need for programming.
_____ Obtain official support for the work from the school board, administration, and staff (in that order).
_____ Ensure that policies and procedures are in place and operational (including those related to controversial issues and provision for support groups).
_____ Utilize Charting a Course * as a guide in the selection of ATOD instructional materials.
_____ Solicit information from teachers, students, and available resources on what is already being taught, and at what levels.
_____ Review materials and resources already available in the school and preview materials.
_____ Select materials and instructional strategies that will reinforce a comprehensive, sequential and developmentally appropriate approach.
_____ Select the course of study based on opportunities for student interactive learning, opportunities for family and community involvement, date of publication, potential for updating, soundness of theory and research on ATOD issues, field test reports, and affordability.
_____ Obtain endorsement for final recommendations from staff, administration, and school board.

The course of study selected:
_____ Includes realistic, clear and measurable objectives that are suitable for students' diverse social, economic and cultural experiences.
_____ Incorporates a variety of teaching methods to provide opportunities for all students with various experiential backgrounds, cultures and learning styles.
_____ Contains a clear "no use" message for students.
_____ Provides opportunities for practice and reinforcement.
_____ Provides a balance of cognitive and affective content.
_____ Contains easy to use manuals and materials.
_____ Enhances classroom flexibility.
_____ Is scheduled for short, frequent lessons.
_____ Includes evaluation strategies for student and instructor objectives.
Training includes:

_____ Staff development for all whose students will use the curriculum.
_____ Strategies for piloting, revising, implementing, and evaluating the curriculum.
_____ Plans for ongoing staff development, coaching and support for those providing the program.

Content provides information, skill building exercises, and strategies for developing self awareness suggested learner outcomes, designed for grade levels, can be found in Charting A Course. (Call the Office of Substance Abuse Information and Resource Center to borrow a copy of Charting a Course.)


_____ Relates to legal, medical, safety, and social issues surrounding ATOD use and its relationship to other problems (suicide, AIDS, FAS, pregnancy, violence, etc.).
_____ Includes risk factors associated with gateway drug use.
_____ Is presented in an integrated, holistic/wellness orientation.
_____ Provides opportunities for transfer to multiple life settings.

Skill building includes information and opportunities to practice:

Decision making
Coping strategies
Refusal skills
Stress management
Problem solving
Peer mediation
Consumer awareness
Peer acceptance
Asking for help
Peer leadership
Conflict management
Goal setting

Self awareness activities:

_____ Allow students to identify attitudes and beliefs, and explore reasons for personal choices.
_____ Encourage enhancement of self esteem through consistent CARE AND SUPPORT, HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEANINGFUL INVOLVEMENT.
_____ Provide opportunities to receive experience, feedback and integration of new learning through participation in groups.

Revised March 1995.

Maine Office of Substance Abuse
#11 State House Station
A.M.H.I. Complex, Marquardt Building
Augusta, ME 04333-0011

Main Office: 207-287-2595
Information and Resource Center: 1-800-499-0027 (In-State Only)or 207-287-8900
TTY : 1-800-606-0215

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