Windham partners with Mullin ISD, TDCJ. Begins new High School Diploma program in prison

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Texas’s first in-prison High School Diploma (HSD) program in more than 30 years is underway, with a new class of 42 female HSD graduates recognized in December, 2014.  This unique program began with approximately 30 other young women earlier in the year, thanks to a unique partnership among Windham School District (WSD), Mullin Independent School District (ISD) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

Dr. Clint Carpenter with Political Officials 
TDCJ offenders who were incarcerated at the time they had nearly earned a diploma were given an opportunity to attend classes at the San Saba Unit, with WSD providing desks, computer equipment and high school software.  Mullin ISD provided the teaching staff for these students behind bars, who met the eligibility criteria for enrollment in Mullin ISD courses, according to Texas Education Agency guidelines.  WSD provided administrative oversight, and TDCJ provided classroom space and security services.  The program opened on February 18, and the first graduation of 27 took place in June amid cheers from graduates, parents, and teachers. Contagious pride in accomplishment and intense emotions were on display as each student received their diploma from Mullin ISD and a certificate of completion from WSD. The program’s second class of 42 diploma recipients was also recently honored at San Saba, along with eight GED recipients.

Carpenter-Speaking-to-San-Saba---DSC 2772Students in this program gain course credit in subject areas needed for the Texas HSD.  Diplomas are awarded when all coursework and required state assessments are passed.

"We are exceptionally proud of these graduates for working hard to earn their diplomas despite tough circumstances.  They have turned their negative situations into personal, family success stories," WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter said.  "Mullin teachers have provided excellent instruction to these young women, and their families have given the women the backing needed to make positive changes in their lives. This becomes a better story for generations to come.  We thank TDCJ and Mullin ISD for the exceptional support they gave to make this program a reality."

 

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Why teach offenders in Windham School District? - "Correctional education is important because someday these guys are going to be my neighbors. They are somebody's child, somebody's father, and somebody's brother. We need to help them get there. They are going to be back in society, and I want them to be productive citizens. … so I need to help them -- or we need to help them – I can't do anything by myself. I expect my students to learn respect, empathy and the ability to succeed."

Sen. Charles Perry speaks to graduates in Childress - Graduation speaker Sen. Charles Perry recently inspired WSD students and their visiting families at a Roach Unit commencement ceremony in Childress. He addressed graduates who had completed their High School Equivalency certificates (HSEC) and presented each one with a leather bound copy of the book "Jesus Calling".

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Perry praises WSD graduates for educational accomplishments : ‘You’ve done something you didn’t have to do’ - Rep. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) recently recognized hard work and educational accomplishment in a West Texas prison.