What You Should Know About White Oak ISD

White Oak Independent School District just completed another successful year. The term “successful” has different meanings to different people but in this case, I am referring to the success of our students in multiple categories of school business. Throughout the year, the accomplishments of our students are well chronicled in the print and broadcast media. The purpose of this publication will be to inform the stakeholders of the district about the processes and planning involved in creating this environment of success. The district’s students, faculty, staff, leadership team and trustees are all involved in a collaborative effort to create what is White Oak ISD. The instructional mission of this district is to transform the classroom into a quality, this century educational experience. The vision for moving forward in that mission is to provide our students with a multitude of educational opportunities to develop their talents in innovative and collaborative experiences at every grade level.

First, it is very important for you to know this district has a well thought out plan of curriculum and instruction. Our faculty and staff work diligently to align the curriculum to the required state standards and ensure that there are no gaps in the instruction of our students. This process is monitored by the Board of Trustees on an annual basis to ensure a continued focus on the instructional Mission and Vision of the district. Our students are well prepared for the next grade level and/or the educational expectations placed on them when they leave the district as graduates. Students that pursue post secondary educational goals will find those goals difficult to achieve. If that were not the case, then the money spent on that level of education would be wasted. You should know that the education your students are receiving at White Oak ISD is the result of a very intentional process.

You should also know that the instructional strategies in place at White Oak are well defined and based on mountains of research to determine the best way to prepare our students for the world they will live in. It is not the focus of the district to prepare students to enter the workforce of the past. That is not the world our students are going to live, work and contribute to. A growing number of our faculty and staff are embracing the Professional Learning Communities model of planning for the instruction of our students. Working as a team to meet the individual needs of our students as opposed to working in isolation relying on just one’s own experience and knowledge. The collaborative working process is also important to our students. We are using a Project Based Learning (PBL) method of incorporating higher level thinking skills and deductive reasoning skills. We are increasing the inclusion of technology to enhance the educational experience in many subject areas. Technology is not the focus of instruction but it is a vital tool in the overall learning process. You should know that White Oak ISD has Professional Educators in place to provide the most current and effective instructional practices currently available.

Response to Intervention (RTI) is the process used in White Oak ISD to monitor, plan for and meet the individual needs of every student in the district. As students are identified with specific learning disabilities, this process allows us to increase the focus on the students needs, individualize instruction and create an environment that will allow those students to succeed. This is a process that takes place with individual students at every grade level. You should know that the educational process at White Oak ISD is not mass-produced or one size fits all at any level.

The most visible areas of success at White Oak ISD have to do with our student’s performances in extra-curricular activities. The district takes great pride in providing our students with a platform to pursue their passions, polish competitive skills and measure their abilities against those from other school districts. In the areas of Academics, Athletics, Fine Arts and FFA, our students excel. This level of success is well known around the state of Texas. White Oak ISD has been ranked in the top 10 of the UIL Lone Star Cup for the past 5 years. There are two things you should know about the success of this district. First, it has not and will not take place at the expense of the academic readiness of any student in the district. This district has its priorities in the proper order. Second, this kind of overall success cannot take place in a district that is not dedicated to the needs of the students. Our student’s put out the best effort they can in every aspect of this districts performance because they know they are cared for by all involved.

This is just an overview of all the important and meaningful pieces that make White Oak ISD one to the best school districts in the state. We have just under 180 employees and operate on a budget of $11 million. We are responsible for the most precious commodity in this community, our children. Education is a labor-intensive business. We are not perfect corporately and/or individually. We are and will continue to be good stewards of your students and your tax dollars. The district is not a factory trying to meet a production schedule nor are we necessarily looking to squeeze every minute out of the day with activities. This is a school; an institution of learning that requires reflection and diversification in the learning process. The pace of learning is as varied as the students we teach. Time has to be factored in to meet those needs.

The last and most important thing you should know is that I, nor anyone that works at White Oak ISD, does so without keeping the students as the absolute center of every decision made in this district every day. That includes the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and leadership team of the district. The work being done here is very important. The work being done here is planned and very intentional in nature. The trust of this community in the work being done and the people doing the work is vital to the continued success of this district.

As you engage in conversations about the district, it is my hope that this information will be helpful. The teaching staff at White Oak ISD is the finest I have ever been associated with in my 34 years of service to the Texas Public Schools. They are the tip of the spear in this districts effort to provide a quality, this century education for our students. This is a group of people that deserve a great deal of credit and support from the community for the work done each and every year.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve this community and this school district as Superintendent of Schools. Thank you for your time and consideration as you read through this document.

District Response To Allegations Against WOISD Staff Member

Over the past week and a half, White Oak ISD has been cooperating with the White Oak Police Department in an investigation of a WOISD Staff member. Allegations have been made that this individual was involved in an inappropriate electronic messaging conversation.

The issue was first brought to the attention of school personnel and quickly turned over to law enforcement officers due to the nature of the allegations. White Oak PD has interviewed several individuals and is looking at information that will be used to determine the next steps to be taken in this process.

It is and will continue to be the position of the district that there will be no confirmation of anyone involved in this stage of the investigative process. The district has taken steps to ensure the safety of all students and will continue to monitor the investigation as it develops. It is not our intent to hinder and/or interfere with the police investigation in any way.

It has been reported to me by both print and television news media that calls have been made to the press offering names and information about the case. These same outlets have requested that I confirm details that are not appropriate for this stage of the investigation. As stated earlier, the safety and security of the students at White Oak ISD is and will continue to be the highest priority of this district. Our students are safe and the instructional day continues, as it should. What we will not be a part of is the premature condemnation of any employee of the district. Meeting a deadline for a story or getting the word out first is not a concern of the district. When facts are in place to indicate further action is required, the district will act accordingly. Along those same lines, if the facts do not support the allegations, releasing the name would be terribly irresponsible.

I want to assure all stakeholders in the White Oak Independent School District that this situation is being handled with the utmost level of concern and urgency required. The safety and well being of our students drives all decisions being made in this process and finally, the level of transparency (or lack thereof) is consistent with the responsible handling of all parts of this investigative process.

Speaking on behalf of the district leadership team and the Board of Trustees, We value the trust you place in us each day as we work to provide a first class, this century learning experience for your students. Speaking for myself, I want to assure you that your trust is not misplaced. We will work this process to it’s conclusion and take, or not take action accordingly.