WOISD makes tribute to Veterans on November 7

We would like to invite the community to join in with us as we celebrate Veteran’s Day and honor all of our veterans this Friday night at Roughneck Stadium when the White Oak Roughnecks play the Jefferson Bulldogs. All current military and all veterans will receive the United States Flag lapel pin entitling them to a free cup of coffee or hot chocolate-any time during the game. We also ask that those honored individuals make their way to the south end of the football field at 6:50 so we can have all Roughneck and Bulldog military walk out on the field together and honor them and the American flag. We hope to see you there to show you support for their invaluable service.

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.

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
programs, and inspire other educators to embrace technology integration.
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
Consortium and its role in technology integration in White Oak–and
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
Floyd, and White Oak ISD Chief of Technology Michael Gras will provide
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.”

White Oak High School Situation

The following is a copy of the message sent via our automatic phone system to our parents at 9:45 AM.

November 24, 2008

This is Mike Gilbert, superintendent at White Oak Schools. This message is being sent to inform you of a situation that occurred at the High School this morning, Monday, November 24.

At approximately 6:45 AM, White Oak Police informed the district that a 911 call had been received by an anonymous caller stating that someone was bringing a bomb to school. No other information was given to police. At this time the process of starting the school day was well underway.

After consulting with police, the decision was made to continue the school day with very strict procedures in place to insure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. I am pleased to tell you that by 8:45 AM the caller had been identified and the matter will be turned over to the White Oak Police Department for investigation. Let me assure you that White Oak ISD intends to prosecute this matter to the fullest extent of the law when the responsible parties have been charged.

Many of you may have seen the police in front of the High School today. The procedures that were put in place this morning were:

  1. All access to the high school was restricted to the East and West doors.
  2. All items carried into the school were searched by White Oak Police officers.
  3. Campus Principals at the Primary, Intermediate, and Middle School were informed of the situation and secured their campuses. Backpacks and materials were checked by faculty and staff.
  4. High School classes began on time and students experienced no delays getting to class.
  5. White Oak Police continued to search the belongings of those entering the school until well after the start of school and police were on campus until the caller was identified.

It is my firm belief that your students are safe and that all necessary precautions were taken to insure that they remain safe. If you have any additional questions, please call 903-291-2001 and speak with High School Principal Dan Noll.

Thank you.

Michael E. Gilbert
Superintendent of Schools
White Oak ISD

White Oak ISD Nature Center Community Meeting

There will be a Kick-Off meeting for the development of the White Oak Nature Center Monday, November 3rd at 6:00 PM. The meeting will be held in the Secondary Food Services Building and is scheduled to last about forty-five minutes. You will learn about the vision for the Nature Center and be given a chance to sign up for committee service, if you so choose. There is no obligation, just an opportunity to learn about a project that I feel will be beneficial to the students of White Oak at all grade levels for many years to come.
Check your schedule and plan to attend if you can. I think you will be please with what you see and hear.

Thank you,

Michael E. Gilbert
Superintendent of Schools
White Oak ISD

New WOISD Website Unveiled

White Oak Independent School District recently unveiled a new website district-wide. The new site is intended to offer parents and the community an easier to navigate portal into the school system. It also gives the teachers and administrators more options for sharing information.

Community members are encouraged to visit the campus sites and see just what our teachers and students are involved in both inside and outside of the classroom.

The site make-over was handled in-house with WOISD staff and took roughly a month to complete. The district’s web address is still www.woisd.net. Campuses can be found linked from the main page, or you can find them at the following URL’s:

This site update is just the beginning of a number of web-based offerings White Oak ISD plans on unveiling over the next few months. Stay tuned.

White Oak Independent School District – Tax Rate Election

White Oak ISD has announced a Tax Rate Election for October 11, 2008. Early voting for the election will begin September 24, 2008 and end October 7, 2008. Times and location for the voting are included in the election notice published in today’s Independent. I would like to present some information to you as voters that can be helpful in making an informed decision in this election. The purpose of this letter is not to persuade you to vote for or against the proposed tax rate. This letter is meant to give you accurate information about the request that has been made by White Oak ISD.

On August 4, 2008, The Board of Trustees at White Oak ISD adopted the budget for 2008-2009 and set the tax rate at $1.24 per $100 value. The tax rate includes a $.13 increase for maintenance and operation of the district. The total tax rate represents a five cent increase per $100 value over the $1.19 tax rate of 2007-2008. The increase will allow the district to increase revenues by approximately $680,000. That increase includes money generated through local tax collections and extra state aid.

There are four points that I want to present to the voters concerning the request for this tax increase:

  1. This tax increase will be used to maintain the quality of education provided at WOISD and avoid the use of our reserve funds (Savings) to pay the annual operating cost of the district. No new programs or large expenditures have been added to the budget in this planning process. The 2008-2009 Budget includes a 3% increase over the previous year and includes adjustments for rising fuel and materials’ cost, as well as state-mandated pay raises. The M&O Tax Rate of $1.17 will allow the district to provide a high quality education to the students of WOISD.
  2. This proposed tax rate is the maximum tax that the state allows. By maximizing tax collections at the local level, the State of Texas will increase funding for the district. White Oak ISD will receive approximately $300,000 from the state that otherwise would not come to White Oak. There are only two methods available to local school districts for increasing revenue. First, the district can receive more students and thus receive and increase in state funds for attendance. An increase in students also represents increases in expenses which negates any gains to the district. Second, the district can increase local taxes and the state will respond with increased state aid.
  3. The tax rate in 2007-2008 was $1.19 per $100 value. The new proposed rate is five cents higher per $100 value. The average home in White Oak will see an increase in taxes of $4.00 per month and a home valued at $250,000 will see an increase of about $9.00 per month. This represents a very modest increase compared to the benefits that the district will receive.
  4. Total revenues, including the funds from the increased tax rate, do not match the approved budget. This year’s budget has been worked over and reevaluated several times. As I stated earlier, it is only 3% larger that last year. The deficit, including the extra $680,000, will be approximately $200,000. With the approval of the tax rate and sound fiscal management by our principals and directors, WOISD will not realize that deficit. If the tax rate is not approved, the deficit will be close to $880,000 and reserve funds will have to be used to operate the district.

There is a great deal of information to digest when it comes to school finance and what is best for all stakeholders of the district. Please know that the Board of Trustees at White Oak ISD are doing their very best to meet the needs of our students and be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money. Many of you will have questions about the proposed tax rate and I encourage you to contact a school board member or call me at 903-291-2201. I will be glad to meet with you individually or in a group setting to help clear up any confusion or concerns. Thank you for your time and for all the support you give to White Oak Independent School District.


Michael E. Gilbert
Superintendent of Schools