Condolences

Windham School District offers deep condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Texas Department of Criminal Justice Corrections Officer Mari Johnson. Officer Johnson, who was noted for her professionalism and dedication, lost her life while on duty at Abilene's Robertson Unit.

Her service and sacrifice, along with that of all TDCJ officers, is valued, respected and appreciated by WSD educators. TDCJ officers are essential to correctional education efforts in Texas.

Dale Wainwright, chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, stated the loss of Mari Johnson was “difficult to put into words.” Wainwright further stated, “I ask the public to remember their acts of unselfishness, remember their many acts of courage, and remember the dedication and commitment demonstrated every day by correctional officers.”

News

NEW WSD Career and Technical Education: Preparing students for work, success - Each year it is our privilege to recognize Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers working behind the walls of Texas prisons. When offenders leave TDCJ, they must be able to make career connections, remain employed, and avoid returning to prison.  Training by Windham School District (WSD) CTE teachers is a critical part of this process, with students learning relevant, cutting-edge trade skills geared to meeting industry standards and the needs of the Texas workforce.

NEW Message from Board Chairman Dale Wainwright - Under the capable leadership of Windham Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter, WSD employees have made ambitious and successful efforts to improve operations and student performance.

WSD expands vocational programming, course lengths, training opportunities - WSD is proud to share its plan for program expansion through an ongoing series of changes and improvement in the Vocational Trades and Career and Technical Education certifications. New course lengths, course offerings and training opportunities are becoming available to men and women in TDCJ. In the past, courses in vocational trades matched the course requirements for Windham, rather than just the hours needed for certification. While completing the total hours in a course will provide additional skill practice, many students finished the skills much faster than the course was completed.

WSD receives support from NCCER with efforts to connect trained offenders and employers - Windham School District vocational training programs are certified by the nationally-recognized National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Industrial Certification Verification program. This program is widely recognized in industry as a leading certification endorsement for the construction and manufacturing trades.

Windham School District honors professional counselors - Message from WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter: Each year in February we proudly honor The Windham School District’s professional counseling staff, an integral part of correctional education success! All public school counselors provide guidance to students while working with teachers and administrators, but Windham counselors perform their jobs within the challenging environment of the Texas prison system. By promoting the best interests of students, our counselors help transform lives and reduce recidivism.

NEW Teachers: WSD WANTS YOU To join its new Summer School program! - Windham School District is expanding educational opportunities for TDCJ offenders during Summer Break 2016, and teaching positions are currently available. New summer school classes will focus on additional certifications, jobs, parenting, and life skills -- all designed to assist WSD students in obtaining and maintaining employment.

Message from WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter: Thank you to the WSD Board of Trustees! - While January is School Board Recognition Month, the Windham School District thanks the Texas Board of Criminal Justice for serving year round as its School Board.  These nine governor-appointed volunteers tackle the challenging job of governing one of the largest – and most unique -- school districts found in Texas.

Huntsville Item - Thanks to investments in treatment and education opportunities, offenders in Texas have better chance now to make it in free world - Wardric Thomas sits on a bench outside the bus station on 12th Street, grinning as he enjoys his first cigarette in two years. Thomas served the past 24 months in a Texas prison for narcotics charges. It's Friday morning and Thomas is one of about 40 former inmates who just walked out of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Huntsville "Walls" Unit as free men after paying their debts to society. He's waiting for the Greyhound bus to show up to take him to his hometown of Houston where he intends to begin again. Thomas hopes to keep the Bradshaw Unit in Rusk in the rearview mirror.

Campus tours share WSD's success story: Notes from WSD Division of Instruction Director Amy Lopez (From "Good Things" Report, Jan. 18) - "Key policy analysts from the Governor's office recently requested to tour a couple of our campuses in West Texas," reports WSD Division of Instruction Director Amy Lopez. "Principals Azure Mach and Richard Hamilton hosted the large group, showing them what we do and how we serve our students. Our teachers and students were on point and the visit was a great success. 

Special strategic planning committee meets for life skills review - Updates and effective revisions to WSD life skills programs were the focus of a two-day strategic planning meeting held Jan. 21-22 in Huntsville. WSD teachers, academic specialists, regional administrators and principals; former Board of Trustee members, current TDCJ partners, university researchers, and community stakeholders came together as a special committee to offer input on WSD life skills curriculum revisions.

WSD Success Story:  Safety manager, former offender returns to prison to encourage job-readiness - "I have been out of prison for five years, and it makes it a very emotional day to come back: the sights, the smells and the tattoos," Johnathan Granados tells offenders during his visit to a Texas prison facility. Granados was invited to share information about his experience and employment preparation at a Windham School District (WSD) Career Expo. Since his release, Granados has been working with Yantis, a San Antonio construction and land company, and he is one of several businessmen and women participating in a Career Expo at Dominguez State Jail.

Message from WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter: Thank you to the WSD Board of Trustees! - While January is School Board Recognition Month, the Windham School District thanks the Texas Board of Criminal Justice for serving year round as its School Board.  These nine governor-appointed volunteers tackle the challenging job of governing one of the largest – and most unique -- school districts found in Texas.

Texas Tribune reporter Johnathan Silver & photographer Neil Cooper made a trip to Abilene to spend the day with WSD literacy teacher Jody Addy and school staff at the Robertson Unit. The result is an article showing the reality of WSD teachers' work, sharing the WSD success story and portraying an amazing teacher. Read this story: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/12/11/prison-teacher-reflects-20-year-career/.

'We are Windham' video proudly explains why, how WSD changes lives. Now available online. 

WSD Newsletter

Success Stories

Success Story IconNEW - They didn’t give up - "It makes me feel really good to know that these guys aren’t giving up just because they’re in prison."

Success Story IconInspiration Success Story -
"You are inspiring people you haven’t even met!"

Success Story IconNEW - We can learn and be successful - "My life is proof that we can learn and be successful and stay out of trouble."

Success Story IconEducation changed my life -
"These opportunities [GED classes or learning a trade] are great, but WSD is so much more than that; for me it was a change of life."

Teach for WSD

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