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.”

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.

White Oak High School Receives College Readiness Recognition

November, 2009

White Oak High School has received the “2009 College Readiness Award” from the Texas ACT Council for maintaining or increasing the number of students taking the ACT Assessment over the past five years and significantly increasing their level of achievement and college readiness. The Texas ACT Council is comprised of secondary and post-secondary educators who advise ACT, Inc. on the utilization of ACT programs and services in Texas schools and colleges. ACT, Inc. is the not-for-profit organization that provides assessment, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development, and the publisher of the ACT Assessment. The ACT Assessment is the college admissions test that is used and accepted by all colleges nationwide and throughout Texas. In 2009, nearly 160,000 Texas students took the ACT which was an all-time high and Texas ACT scores have increased substantially over the last five years.

According to Karen L. Pennell, Assistant Vice President and ACT Southwest Regional Manager, “The Texas ACT Council wanted to recognize those Texas high schools that have made significant strides in increasing the college readiness of their graduates as demonstrated by their ACT score increases over the past five years. This can only happen as a result of the high school’s faculty and staff efforts and the dedication of White Oak High School students and parents to focus on college readiness and raise the level of college readiness for all students. Less than 5% of all high schools in Texas were honored for this superior level of accomplishment.

Flu Update for White Oak ISD

In the past few weeks, and increasingly over the past few days, concerns about the H1N1 Flu have increased. It is my hope that the information included in this report will help many of you understand the nature of the problem and give you some piece of mind about the actions being taken by White Oak ISD.

What do we know?

  • There are White Oak ISD students at home sick with flu-like symptoms.

  • Some of the local doctors have made a clinical diagnosis that their patients have H1N1 Flu. Although these diagnoses are most likely correct, WOISD has not received any conformation of a Laboratory Test Confirmed case of H1N1.

  • The symptoms that should alert you to see your doctor are, fever over 100 degrees and a cough or sore throat. The treatment for H1N1 and Type A influenza are basically the same and early diagnosis along with staying at home will help the healing process and cut down on the spread of the flu.

  • WOISD is not experiencing an increase in absences. Attendance for the week of September 14, 2009 remains above 96%.

What are we doing?

  • Our custodial staff is cleaning and disinfecting all common-use areas every night. Industrial strength aerosol disinfecting “bombs” are being used throughout the district.

  • Antibacterial hand soap is available for all students and staff. Our faculty and staff are monitoring all students to insure proper procedures are being followed.

  • WOISD has been approved to provide the H1N1 Vaccine to all students, faculty, and staff as soon as it becomes available. When the plan is ready, all parties involved will be notified as to how and where the vaccine will be dispensed.

There is no doubt that this flu strain is very contagious and that we must be diligent in our efforts to keep everyone healthy. I know that if all the stakeholders in White Oak will make themselves aware of the facts concerning this problem, we will be able to stay healthy and continue the education process for our students. You can find more information about the flu and the vaccination process on the following websites:

www.cdc.org

www.texasflu.org

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/txflu/default.shtm

Thank you for your help in keeping facts separate from rumors. Everyone at White Oak ISD is concerned about the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community.

2009 State Robotics Winners

Texas Computer Education Association 

White Oak High School wins second place

in TCEA Annual Robotics Contest 

      The TCEA 2009 Annual Robotics Contest was held Saturday, May 16, 2009, at Fairmont Junior High School, Deer Park ISD, near Houston.

      A total of 128 teams from elementary and secondary schools participated in the contest by designing, collaborating, programming, and competing with robots in a prescribed problem contest and an open-ended invention contest. The teams qualified for the state competition by placing first or second, or selected as a wildcard in area competitions.

      Each year TCEA provides its members with the opportunity to explore the impact of robotics. Participating students from elementary and secondary schools design, collaborate, plan, redesign, construct, create, assemble, invent, reinvent, write, present, and compete to see who has developed the smartest robot. The contests vary based on strategies that involve speed, accuracy, sensing objects, and light. A programmable robot is limited only to the imagination of its inventor. TCEA will use a three-round schedule system to determine the winning teams in two divisions.

      Students not only have the opportunity to compete in a prescribed problem contest, there is also an open-ended invention contest. Students use marketing, programming, writing, constructing, and presentation skills to find a solution for a problem of their choice.

      The students used LEGO Mindstorms robots and were allowed to compete with either RCX or the newer NXT versions.

      Judges for the contest come from universities, industries and K-12 education.

      For a list of the winning teams and their sponsors’ and students’ names, please refer to the table below. To view photos of the winning teams, go to http://www.tcea.org/StudentContests/Robotics/Pages/slideshow.aspx. 

About TCEA

      The Texas Computer Education Association is the largest state organization devoted to the use of technology in education. Founded in 1980, the organization has grown to more than 8,000 members and has been a leader in supporting instructional technology throughout Texas and the nation. TCEA’s primary focus is integrating technology into the PreK-12 environment and providing its members with state-of-the-art information. For information about TCEA, visit www.tcea.org. The association’s annual convention and exposition, which is expected to attract 13,000 attendees, will be held Feb. 8-12, 2010, at the Austin Convention Center.  

Contacts:

      Kathy Sargent, Communications Director; [email protected];

      Marisol Valdez, Communications Specialist; [email protected] 

Inventions – Advanced  
Place Sponsor Students
1 Bryan Edwards Brett Clubb, Callie Hill, Ciara Ihle, Mark Hebert
2 Desiree Hutchins-Boyett Katie Billingslea, Kyle Stephens, Tyler Corley
3 Julie Juneau Karel Beetge, Matthew Bowman, Thomas Macias, Michelle Geng

UIL Schedules Altered Due to Swine Flu

This is from the UIL office. For more information, please read the statement here.

UIL Schedules Altered Due to Swine Flu

Media Contact: Kim Rogers
Phone: 512) 471-5883
Fax: (512) 471-6589
Email: [email protected]
Date: 04/29/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, TX— On the recommendation of Dr. David Lakey, Commissioner of the Texas 
Department of State Health Services, and in consultation with Texas Education Agency 
Commissioner Robert Scott, the University Interscholastic League is altering its schedule of 
events due to the outbreak of the swine flu in Texas. Effective immediately, all UIL 
interscholastic competition is suspended until May 11.  

“The health and safety of our student activity participants is of the utmost importance,” said 
UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt.  “Taking every possible precaution to 
prevent the further spreading of this disease is an important contribution to the welfare of 
our great state, and altering the schedule of our events is a way to keep our participants 
safe.”

As this is a fluid situation, the UIL tentatively releases the following schedule for UIL 
regional and state events affected by this situation.

Academic State Meet
The UIL Academic State Meet, originally scheduled for May 7-9, will be rescheduled at a 
later date.  The Conference 4A and 5A One-Act Play competition will continue as 
previously scheduled on May 15-16. All other conferences competing in One-Act Play will 
be rescheduled. A schedule of the Academic State Meet, including One-Act Play, will be 
posted on the UIL web site once finalized.

Texas State Wind Ensemble Festival
The Texas State Wind Ensemble Festival, originally scheduled for May 9, has been 
cancelled.  The UIL staff will consult with the 16 participating schools to determine 
whether or not to reschedule the event at a later date. 

Regional Track Meets
All UIL regional track meets originally scheduled for this weekend, May 1-2, have been 
cancelled.  The state track and field meet will be extended to a three-day format to include 
semifinal heats.  The meet is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 
14-16.

Semifinal qualifiers will be based on the district track meet results.  Each region will be 
represented at the state meet by the top four performances in each event for all conferences.  
Hand-held times will be converted to fully automatic times as defined by the National 
Federation of State High School Association rules.  A revised track and field state meet 
schedule will be posted on the UIL web site no later than Friday, May 1.  Qualifiers to the 
UIL state track and field meet will be posted on the UIL web site on Wednesday, May 6.

Golf State Tournament
The UIL golf state tournament will take place at the previously scheduled times beginning 
May 11.

Tennis State Tournament
The UIL tennis state tournament will take place at the previously scheduled times beginning 
May 11.

Baseball and Softball
No interschool games will take place until May 11 for either softball or baseball.  Below is 
an altered playoff schedule for both sports.

                                                 Softball                                        Baseball   
  District Certification                         April 28                                    May 19   
  Bi District Deadline                           May 16  (1 game or 2 out of 3)              May 23  (1 game or 2 out of 3)   
  Area Deadline                                  May 19 (1 game only)                        May 26 (1 game only)   
  Regional Quarterfinal Deadline                 May 23  (1 game or 2 out of 3)              May 30  (1 game or 2 out of 3)   
  Regional Semifinal Deadline                    May 26 (1 game only)                        June 2 (1 game only)   
  Regional Final Deadline                        May 30  (1 game or 2 out of 3)              June 6  (1 game or 2 out of 3)   
  State Tournament                               June 4-6                                    June 10-13

Phone Outage at the Elementary Campuses

This message is to inform parents with children in the Primary and Intermediate Campuses and all students that ride the school bus that we are having phone problems. Until further notice you will need to use these temporary numbers to communicate with the buildings.
 
Transportation – 903-452-3705
Intermediate – 903-452-3715
Primary – 903-452-3717
 
If you have special request for your student, please include a written note to the Principal or Teacher involved. This will insure the request is handled properly. Use the phone numbers to communicate any needs that arise during the school day. We hope to have the regular phones back online by Wednesday but continue to use these temporary numbers until instructed to do otherwise.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.


Michael E. Gilbert
Superintendent of Schools
White Oak ISD
903-291-2201

WO Educator named 2009 TCEA Educator of the Year

From the TCEA website:

Classroom Teacher of the Year

The winner of Classroom Teacher of the Year was Pam Cranford, an elementary teacher in White Oak ISD.

As a SUPERnet peer coach for third-grade teachers at White Oak ISD,
Pamela Cranford has published 100-plus online lessons through MicroSoft
ClassServer’s Technology Applications Readiness Grants for
Empowering Texas, or TARGET.Her high interest in promoting the use of
technology for special education students led her to write and receive
more than 20 grants, adding to the classroom word labs, hardware,
software, EWords Language system, Lintor publishing kit, iPods,
external speakers, Flip Cameras, and Geo Safari units.Her students
regularly use databases, access PDFs, create podcasts, and build their
electronic portfolios.

She has led professional development sessions for staff members from
primary to high school including summer workshops in Web Design. The
accomplishments of her challenged students have brought respect and
touched all grade levels culminating in the 2008 GLOBE Teacher of the
Year Award.

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