Oxford School District awarded for being a top CHART program

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Mississippi Department of Health made a presentation at the Oxford School District’s Board of Trustees monthly meeting — and the news was all good.

The department awarded the district and Nurse Meg Hayden for being a “champion district” and “champion program director” of the state-sponsored CHART (Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens) program which aims to teach school children about abstinence and a safe sex curriculum.

The CHART program is taught to students in the seventh and 10th grades.

Jermellody Christian and Josh McCawley from the department were at the meeting to present plaques to the board and Nurse Hayden.

“Nurse Meg Hayden has been doing an exceptional job with implementing the program,” Christian said. “Nurse Hayden is dedicated to ensuring that all youth have access to evidence-based, medically accurate age appropriate abstinence plus safety education. She has worked diligently to improve the sexual outcomes of youth in the Oxford School District.”

McCawley reported that out of the 32 districts that the CHART program works with, only five were honored by the state department this year. As a result of Mississippi legislation in 2011, public districts are required to have some form of abstinence or safe sex education program.

The OSD implemented both an abstinence and further sex education program the following year.

McCawley said that those who add the program to their curriculum, “get teacher training- all who teach it here have been taught by my colleagues at the state department. The district received technical assistance to support it in implementing the program and ongoing professional opportunities, so that they are able to teach sex education in a way that best meets the needs of students.”

Hayden has been in the district for the past five years and graduated from the University of Mississippi.

Though Hayden was unable to make the meeting, when she found out about her award from a coworker through text, she responded that she was “thrilled.”