WSD - Windham School District News

WSD meets families in PACT Conference Oct. 3

WSD meets families in PACT Conference Oct. 3 - The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) will be hosting a free informational conference for offenders’ families and members of the general public on Oct. 3. The Public Awareness — Corrections Today (PACT) conference will be held at the Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice Center in Huntsville and will be coordinated by the TDCJ Ombudsman Program. Windham School District will be offer a presentation from 1-3 p.m. at the conference, as well as provide one-on-one information and resource materials to participants.

WSD partnership with San Antonio Food Bank enriches graduates, gives back to community

WSD partnership with San Antonio Food Bank enriches graduates, gives back to community - The San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) recently held a commencement ceremony for students participating in the Texas Second Chance Warehouse Program. This partnership between Windham School District (WSD), Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the SAFB allows currently incarcerated offenders to participate in a 100-hour course. They work with pallets, forklifts and customer orders, learning “all of the ins and outs of making the SAFB an effective, smooth-running, logistical operation,” said SAFB Chief Development Officer Michael Guerra.

Get ready to join Windham School District

Make a positive difference in countless lives through the 2015 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)!

SECCSECC is a two-month charity fundraiser that allows state employees to conveniently make monetary donations to charities of their choice, helping those in need. The SECC will be held Sept. 1 – Oct. 31. SECC involves many state agencies and entities, and WSD is a well-known as a generous supporter. Last year WSD employees contributed an amazing $11,884, proving WSD a leader in giving.

WSD employees participate by making gifts through the Windham campaign, no matter where they work geographically.  WSD employees may participate through job assignment sites to include TDCJ facilities statewide, as well as WSD administrative offices in Huntsville. Unit and regional employees will participate in the WSD campaign at their job site.  Administrative employees in Huntsville will participate in the WSD campaign at their job site.

Donations may be made through payroll deduction or via check and cash.  Each WSD unit campus should designate an SECC contact person, who will then pass on campaign information. Make this person known to the WSD unit staff.   

All employees are invited and encouraged to join the WSD effort for SECC and easily make a great difference in many lives!  

Note to employees:  Specific campaign details will be communicated to units by email. WSD employees should be careful this year to mark their donation materials with “WSD” at the top of all forms, to differentiate from TDCJ’s separate contributions.

CHANGES at Windham School District

BY NICOLE WILCOX  
Staff writer
Published September 2, 2015
Reprinted courtesy of The Navasota Examiner
Navasota, Texas

 

Reporter Nicole Wilcox of the Navasota Examiner recently visited the Luther Unit for a first-hand look at Windham School District and how correctional education is helping offenders prepare for a successful life after release.  Her positive report is shared below, courtesy of The Navasota Examiner.

 

Welding instructor Van Campbell tells reporter Nicole Wilcox why he became a WSD teacher.

Most residents can recall four school districts within the county - Navasota, Anderson-Shiro, Iola and Richards – but there are actually five fully operational districts in our community.


Often forgotten about, the teachers of the Windham School District don’t have bus duty, lunch duty or parent conferences. What they do have is a school surrounded by security fencing and guard towers.

The Windham School District operates within 89 different Texas Department of Criminal Justice units, including both the Luther and Pack units in Navasota. The school district’s goals, as stated by Texas Education Code 19.003, are to reduce the odds of relapse and the cost of confinement or imprisonment, increase the success of former inmates in obtaining and maintaining employment, and provide an incentive for inmates to behave in positive ways during confinement or imprisonment. Students in the CNC Machining program at the Luther Unit learn valuable employment skills.

An individualized treatment plan is created for each offender, taking into account age, program availability, projected release date and varying needs of the offender. To accommodate those needs, the school district has different sections, including literacy and GED programs, career and technical education programs, and life skills programs.

“We are trying to put you in contact with jobs that will change your life,” Windham School District Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter said last week to a group of offenders in the vocational program of the Luther Unit.

The latest reports from the 2013-14 school year show 59,678 offenders statewide received WSD educational services. Of these offenders, 66 percent were able to attain a GED or high school diploma or showed significant gains in educational achievements. In addition to normal education classes, Windham offers offenders cognitive intervention and CHANGES programs designed to change the way they handle situations to prevent criminal behavior. CHANGES  is an acronym for changing habits and achieving new goals to empower success.

“I really believe in this program,” said CHANGES teacher Victoria Koehn. “Most of them really want to change but don’t know how. When the environment is right, they really open up.”

Those entered into CHANGES are within two years of getting out of the system. It is a 14-week program that includes role- playing scenarios and a seven-step system of behavior awareness that includes saying no to drugs, civic responsibility, healthy relationship development, apologies and amends, job interview skills and being open to change.

“The healthy relationship development is a big deal,” said Koehn. “Research shows that one good relationship is enough of a motivator to stay free.”WSD integrates vocational and literacy skills to help prepare offenders for successful lives after release.

If an offender has obtained a GED or high school diploma, they are eligible for vocational or college courses. Within the Luther Unit, a few of these courses include electrical, welding and computerized numerical computation. The computerized numerical control course deals with machining fabrication. The majority of fabrication and machining shops in the industry are moving to computerization because the machines are capable of being accurate to within 1/10000 of an inch.

“The majority of these guys are at 250 hours right now and can do the majority of the machine’s programming,” said instructor Mike Klodginksi.

The participating offenders in the computerized numerical computation course will be eligible for entry- level industry certification when they complete the minimum 600 hours of coursework and can opt for an additional 300 hours of advancement.

Electrical instructor Frank Goodman has simulated a work environment within his classroom with each student having an independent stall and project board. He is a firm believer in peer tutoring and teaches students that intrinsic motivation is self-motivation.

“I see my son in each of my students,” said Goodman. “I just want you to get paid for your knowledge.”

Like the majority of the WSD vocational classes, Goodman’s electrical course is six to nine months long, and the students are eligible for first or second year apprenticeship depending on the time put into the training.

“This was a blessing for me. I had an apprentice license before I was incarcerated.  I had the opportunity to go to school, but I wouldn’t do it. This made me come to school and work on becoming a journeyman. I have an opportunity to go back to work with LECS and work for them. I am retaining the info I knew when I was working,” said offender Antonio Rivera Camacho.CHANGES teacher Victoria Koehn (center) describes WSD’s pre-release life skills program to Navasota Examiner reporter Nicole Wilcox (left) and WSD Principal LeeEtta Clabron.

Everyone within WSD has a story. An overwhelming majority of the inmates talk about their families as motivation for participating. For the instructors and administrators, it is often a calling that differs from the course of their previous life.

Welding instructor Van Campbell was a 20-year member of the ironworkers union in Cincinnati before the birth of his first grandchild made him and his wife move to Texas. When asked if he would encourage anyone else to follow in his footsteps, Campbell replied, “As a teacher, yes! It is very gratifying. I’d hire any one of these guys when they leave my class.”

Message from Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter:

Career and Technical Education teachers help build future

Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers in the Windham School District (WSD) align job opportunities and learning with innovative instruction. The end result is a productive, positive journey for offenders seeking workforce reentry. Windham CTE teachers across Texas bring their own professional experiences to work to elevate their students’ skill levels.

Read More >>

Message from WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter:

Black History Month celebrates employees’ roles as mentors, offers students illustrations of diversity, perseverance

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of Black Americans in U.S. history. Within the Windham School District, Black History Month is frequently used as a historical classroom topic to illustrate positive examples of diversity, history, academics, and perseverance. However, recognition within WSD also means observance of an integral part the African American community plays in correctional education. These employees are exemplary educators, mentors and leaders helping our students take steps towards changing their lives – and society. Every race is connected to the rich history of this nation, and by celebrating Black History Month, everyone is included in a tradition of acknowledgment, inclusion and community engagement. We celebrate the accomplishments of Black Americans as a foundation of future success for all.

News

NEW WSD Appreciates its Board of Trustees & Their Service!
NEW 'New guiding lights': Representative James White praises graduates at Wynne Unit
Windham School District: Enhancing job opportunities through industry partnerships, updated career clusters, and apprenticeship training with TDCJ
Technology education supports job training
In Dallas: Habitat for Humanity partners with WSD
State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) 2017: NOW – Oct. 31!
2017 PACT conference scheduled for October
Industry support: WSD thanks Fluor
TDCJ Windham School District: An Ongoing Success Story (Reprinted from The Paducah Post)
Building the Workforce: Correctional educators from Windham School District sign collaboration agreement with Gulf Coast Workforce Board, affiliate of Workforce Solutions
Preparing tomorrow's workforce for industry: TIC training manager explains benefits of WSD partnership
Media Honor Roll: WSD joins TASB to recognize outstanding journalists
San Antonio Food Bank training cooks up Second Chance for newly-released offenders
Windham School District working with TDLR, strengthening employment opportunities by helping offenders earn state licensures
Austin businesswoman lists education, faith, sobriety as powerful life savers
WSD's first summer school offers reentry skills to Texas offenders
Industry employers partner with WSD to provide increased job opportunities
Why I Teach for Windham: Brent Frailicks
Life re-wired: Houston electrical superintendent credits WSD vocational training for career
WSD implements training by The Flippen Group for educator development, student leadership
Sen. Charles Perry speaks to graduates in Childress 
Cartel to Counselor: Finding HOPE through education
Livingston graduation ceremony: Rep. James White joins WSD in marking success
Congressman John Cornyn observes job training at San Antonio Food Bank
Central Texas welders thank CTE teacher for training, influence
Career Expo business presentation empowers former offender to succeed
Bastrop Man Receives Governor's 2016 Criminal Justice Volunteer Award
Windham Career Expo inside TDCJ's Terrell Unit brings employers, hiring support directly to offenders
Pablo Gonzales: Thanks to job-focused training, project manager enjoys work,  family, life
WSD Career and Technical Education: Preparing students for work, success 
WSD receives support from NCCER with efforts to connect trained offenders and employers
'We are Windham' video proudly explains why, how WSD changes lives. Now available online 
WSD Success Story:  Safety manager, former offender returns to prison to encourage job-readiness

Success Stories

Success Story IconWelding Success Story -
"I'm thankful for the welding program I was allowed to take while locked up".

Success Story Icon NEW - I learned to change my perspective - "It’s the education I learned in Cognitive Intervention class that changed me. I learned to change my perspective."

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 IconNEW - Thank you for this program - "My son received his GED through Windham School District. I just wanted to thank you for this program."

Teach for WSD

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