Safety at White Oak ISD

This statement was cross posted at the superintendent’s blog.

Safety is our top priority.

At the Town Hall Meeting on January 6, 2013, I spoke to a group of concerned White Oak Stakeholders about the safety and security of our students. The conversations had two main parts.

First, we discussed the procedures and culture in place at White Oak ISD that help to ensure our students can receive a high quality education in a safe learning environment. I want to assure you that we continue to train, practice and review policies and procedures that deal with specific threats to or students be they natural or man made in origin. Along with our fire drills, shelter-in-place drills and foul weather contingencies, we also conducted the district’s first mock evacuation drill designed to move every member of the student body, faculty and staff out of the district. School district personnel and local first responders were involved in this process. The drill was successful and very informative to everyone involved.

Second, we had a discussion about areas of concern with regard to the facilities at all grade levels. Since the meeting in January 2013, WOISD has been involved in a widespread upgrade with security in mind. Over eighty-three (83) security cameras have been installed in the district. These cameras are high resolution and all activity is stored on a DVR for an extended period of time. These cameras record activity in all the main traffic areas inside our campuses, entryways and a majority of the parking areas in the district. Monitors are in place at each campus office and the administration building. The district has installed fifty-two (52) new doors in the district. The majority of the new doors are “exit only” doors that do not have any hardware on the exterior. The doors cannot be opened from the outside. All entry-level doors are now equipped with programmable locks that allow the campus to restrict access to the building and monitor who is coming in during the instructional day. The Intermediate and Middle School have new entrances that direct traffic into the office before entering the instructional areas.

It is my belief, and that of the Board of Trustees, that these improvements have greatly increased the physical plant security at White Oak ISD. These improvements combined with an engaged community, a positive relationship with all first responders and a well trained/caring district workforce come together to create an atmosphere that is conducive to the educational success of the students at White Oak ISD.

As we prepare to begin the 2014/2015 school year, I hope this information is helpful to everyone sending their young people to school each day. The faculty, staff and administrative team at White Oak ISD is fully aware that no plan is perfect and can not guarantee the complete safety of your children while they are at school. What we can do is plan, prepare and provide an environment that is the safest place your children can be in White Oak, Texas, at any given time.

It is a privilege to serve as Superintendent of Schools at White Oak ISD. I look forward to all that is in store for our students and our community in the coming year.

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WOISD Selected as US Dept. of Education’s Connected Educator Month Example

October is Connected Educator Month (CEM). The United States Department of Education (USDoE) created CEM to help “hundreds of thousands of educators learn, reducing isolation and providing ‘just in time’ access to knowledge and opportunities for collaboration.” For 2013, the USDoE identified four school districts from across the United States that are putting a high value on the connected educator process.

White Oak ISD is proud to announce its selection as one of those four school districts. The selected districts are “intended to serve as models for forward learning along your district’s connected learning journey.”

WOISD is spotlighted in the USDoE’s Connected Educator District ToolKit to provide direction to those wishing to improve the level of connectedness their staff currently has. Within the Toolkit are links to videos of all four of the districts. White Oak’s video is available below.

Questions concerning WOISD’s selection can be addressed to:

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach: @snbeach or sherylnbeach@gmail.com

Michael Gilbert: gilbertm@woisd.net

 

Click HERE for more information about Connected Educator Month.

Download the District ToolKit HERE.

Video Interview posted on Connected Educator site:

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Limeades for Learning

White Oak teachers submit projects through Sonic’s Limeades for Learning.Voting for projects enrolled in this education outreach program continues through Oct. 27.

Currently, there are 10 White Oak teachers with projects in the program. Sonic will fund projects that gain enough votes.  There are two ways to vote.  The first step, is to sign up for an account through the website, www.limeadesforlearning.com.  Then, account holders can vote once a day for the project of their choice. Supporters can increase their votes by visiting Sonic. Sonic gives a sticker with a voting code worth two votes with each purchase at their locations. There is no limit to the number of voting codes allowed each day.

Since 2009, Sonic has funded over 4,000 projects totaling more than three million dollars. Forty-seven of these projects were from White Oak ISD.

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White Oak ISD selected Texas High Performing School Consortium member

White Oak ISD has been selected as one of 23 school districts in the State of Texas to develop the next generation learning standards, assessment and accountability systems for Texas.

Additional Information:

White Oak ISD is honored to be chosen for this project that will start this fall and go through January of 2018. During that time, we will work collaboratively with consortium members to develop and implement a new statewide assessment system. This new system will incorporate digital learning, multiple assessments and an element of local control that allows communities to have a voice in the education of their students.

White Oak ISD is the fourth smallest district in the consortium by enrollment and the only member located in East Texas.

TEA News Release 2

TEA News Releases Online

Sept. 19, 2012

23 districts selected High Performance Schools Consortium members

AUSTIN – Texas Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams today invited 23 school districts to participate in the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, which will help develop innovative, next-generation learning standards, assessments and accountability systems. TEA will host the first consortium meeting next month.

“The school districts selected to participate in the consortium are already known for their innovative work and are looked to by many as educational leaders. This exciting project will help the Governor, legislative leaders and the Texas Education Agency craft a sound, well-thought out plan to move all Texas schools to the next performance level,” Williams said.

The consortium will make recommendations in four key areas:

  1. Digital learning–Engagement of students in digital learning, including the use of electronic textbooks and instructional materials and courses offered through the Texas Virtual School Network;
  2. Learning standards–Standards that a student must master to be successful in a competitive postsecondary environment;
  3. Multiple assessments–Various methods of measuring student progress to keep students, parents and schools  informed, and the actions consortium participants are taking to improve learning; and
  4. Local control–Ways in which reliance on local input and decision-making enable communities and parents to be involved in the important decisions regarding the education of their children.

Districts submitted an application and went through a rigorous selection process to become part of the consortium. To be eligible to participate, a district or charter must have:

  1. Received either national, statewide, or regional public acknowledgement for district-wide or campus-wide excellence in academic performance or innovative practice;
  2. Supplied proof of compliance with TEA audit requirements; and
  3. Met performance ratings requirements– Only districts and campuses that have received Academically Acceptable, Recognized, or Exemplary ratings and open enrollment charter schools that are rated Exemplary in the 2010-2011 state accountability system are eligible.

In selecting the participants, state law required the Commissioner to create a consortium that reflected the state’s diversity in district size and type, as well as student demographics.

Following is an alphabetic list of those selected to participate in the consortium.

Anderson-Shiro Consolidated ISD

Clear Creek ISD

College Station ISD

Coppell ISD

Duncanville ISD

Eanes ISD

Glen Rose ISD

Guthrie Common

Harlingen CISD

Highland Park ISD (Dallas County)

Irving ISD

Klein ISD

Lake Travis ISD

Lancaster ISD

Lewisville ISD

McAllen ISD

McKinney ISD

Northwest ISD

Prosper ISD

Richardson ISD

Roscoe ISD

Round Rock ISD

White Oak ISD

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WOISD Nature Center to Expand with Funding from Education Foundation

The White Oak Education Foundation voted in a Special Meeting held Thursday, May 20, 2010, to donate $20,000.00 to White Oak ISD to go toward construction of a new 30′ X 50″ steel Pavilion for use by White Oak students in conjunction with the District’s Nature Center.  There will be Check Presentation Ceremony at the site of the Nature Center on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 3:45 PM.  The Public is invited to attend.

Members of the Nature Center Steering Committee, chaired by Kevin McGuire, will accept the over-sized check facsimile from Billy Sallee, President of the White Oak Education Foundation.

For the past several weeks, White Oak Intermediate School children (grades 3-5) and White Oak Primary School children (K-2) have held a competition between grade levels to see which grade could collect the most “Nickels For Nature”.   The Intermediate Third Grade class and Primary grade level winners celebrated Friday, May 21, with ice cream on the location behind the school where the new Pavilion will be constructed.   The all steel constructed building is expected to be ready for use by students at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.

Linked below are photos of the students, led by Intermediate Principal, Karen Dickson, forming the shape of the rectangular Pavilion on the very site where it will be built.  If you have any questions, you may contact Michael E. Gilbert, Superintendent of Schools for White Oak ISD at 903-291-2201.   Click on the link below to view photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegras/sets/72157623984069439/

C. V. Dickson
White Oak Education Foundation
Publicity Committee
Cell: 903-720-7690

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AMS/TEA Press Release on WOISD Filming

“The Texas
Education Agency is developing a video and
website that features best practices in the use of technology to enhance
teaching and learning in the classroom. The video will highlight
activities in
selected school districts, focusing on classrooms where teachers have
successfully integrated technology into the curriculum. White Oak ISD is
one of
the districts that will be featured in the video and website. 

TEA’s goal is to increase awareness of
the benefits of
technology integration, provide tips on how to plan and implement
successful
programs, and inspire other educators to embrace technology integration.
The
video will feature not only classroom activities, but also the planning,
goal-setting, administrative support and professional development that
led to
the effective use of technology in each district. The role of the
Supernet
Consortium and its role in technology integration in White Oak–and
throughout
East Texas–will also be explored. 

AMS Pictures, the creative media
company that is producing
the video and website for TEA, will be in White Oak, May 24-27, to cover
selected classroom activities and interview teachers and students.
Superintendent Michael Gilbert, Instructional Technology Coordinator
Scott
Floyd, and White Oak ISD Chief of Technology Michael Gras will provide
the
background information on the development, implementation and growth of
technology integration in the district and its impact on teachers,
students and
the entire White Oak community.”

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WOISD Educators to be Featured in TEA Film on Technology Integration

Monday through Wednesday of next week (May 24-26), AMS Pictures will be in the district to produce a film using White Oak ISD students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of the film is to promote the integration of technology in the classroom. We were selected by the Texas Education Agency to take part in this project based on the presentations of our teachers at January’s TCEA Conference. Mrs. Monica Floyd, Mrs. Shelly Huggins, and Mrs. Nina Peery are scheduled to be the featured educators in the film. This is an honor for WOISD and we are looking forward to seeing the final product.

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