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Windham School District (Windham) recognizes the value and importance of collaboration. Through networking and outreach opportunities, Windham establishes partnerships with a variety of purposes and shared goals in mind. From partnerships with employers and state agencies to business and support groups, Windham strives to create connections in support of the district and students.

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Windham partners with employers such as WM (formerly known as Waste Management) and Bulkley Trucking to refer students with the required industry training and certifications to the appropriate business for employment consideration. Employer partnerships aim to help Windham students obtain jobs and fulfill workforce needs.

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Women’s Storybook Project of Texas (WSP)

WSP builds relationships between mothers who are incarcerated and their children through literature. This special program helps mothers comfort and nurture their children with activities such as reading bedtime stories through audio recordings. Volunteers visit women’s campuses in Central and East Texas once a month to record mothers reading books aloud to their children. The children receive a copy of the recording and a new book each month. Twelve campuses in the district participated this school year with over 3,400 books added to children’s home libraries. WSP contributes the largest number of Windham volunteers and is constantly growing.

Postsecondary Institutions

The district has formal partnerships with Lee College and Central Texas College to provide dual-credit courses to eligible students in Windham’s high school program. With these established agreements, men and women are able to earn college course credit, while simultaneously finishing their high school education. This helps to create a pathway to postsecondary education, so that upon reentry, students are prepared to continue their education or enter the workforce with a postsecondary certificate or degree in hand. In addition, Windham partners with Lee College to provide Integrated Education and Training to women at the Plane campus. Through academic instruction that is contextualized to students’ career and technical education program, students are more engaged, and experience increased motivation to complete their program and advance to postsecondary education.

State Agencies

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)

In December of 2020, Windham, TDCJ and TWC partnered with TDLR to address occupational licensing barriers. In the 2021-2022 school year, TDLR provided training to Windham student advisors and career and technical education staff to support enrollment of eligible students in regulated fields. This training ensures that students will be eligible to obtain the required occupational license for employment.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)

Windham School District works with TDCJ to provide an array of educational, technical and professional opportunities for students as they prepare for reentry. Partnerships with TDCJ include postsecondary education, work certification, on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs. 

An example of a partnership program is the Reading is Freedom program. Reading is Freedom began as a vision of Windham School District Board of Trustees Secretary Pastor Larry Miles and developed into a collaborative partnership between the Windham School District (Windham) and the TDCJ Rehabilitation Programs Division (RPD) Chaplaincy department. 

The Reading is Freedom program aims to increase the literacy of residents with low literacy levels by providing them with a systematic, sequential phonics and reading program taught by the RPD Field Ministers. The program coordinates educational services that are much needed and are specialized towards the needs of each individual.

The Reading is Freedom program is currently offered at the following men’s campuses: Clements, Jordan, Stringfellow, Robertson, Huntsville, Torres and Beto. The Reading is Freedom program will be expanding to additional men’s campuses, and will be available to women’s campuses after the first class of Field Ministers at the Hobby campus complete their Bachelor’s degrees in May 2024.

Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS)

The DFPS works with communities to promote safe and healthy families and protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation. During the 2021-2022 school year, Windham established a partnership with DFPS to refer TDCJ residents with open Child Protective Services cases to complete Windham programs. DFPS caseworkers submit referrals for students to enroll in parenting, cognitive, academic or career and technical education programs.

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)

Windham and TWC have collaborated to focus on workforce development outcomes. The use of Integrated Education and Training (IET) engages adult learners through contextualized literacy instruction concurrently with workforce activities in preparation for specific occupations. Through adult education, workforce preparation and workforce training, students are positioned for success as future Texas employees.

Workforce Solutions

Workforce Solutions is a local and statewide network comprised of the TWC and its statewide operations. The primary focus of Workforce Solutions is helping local businesses meet their workforce staffing and training needs. Windham School District, TDCJ and Workforce Solutions – Deep East Texas have a formalized agreement, which aims to provide enhanced resources and connection opportunities to students nearing reentry. Windham collaborates with various Workforce Solutions offices in Texas and plans to develop additional agreements in the future.