This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. We would like to take advantage of this special week to acknowledge the passion and dedication of our White Oak staff. There is no occupation more noble than that of a teacher for without teachers no other occupations would exist. Thank you for giving your life to this calling.
Image from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kara-bishop/souper-sayings_b_2201007.html
This past week three White Oak ISD educators were honored in Austin by Texas Computer Education Association for their roles in the advancement of technology at White Oak. Mitzi Neely was named District Administrator of the Year, and Pam Cranford was named Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year. White Oak Superintendent Mike Gilbert was recognized as one of the state’s top three finalists for Superintendent of the Year. White Oak ISD has moved to the forefront in the development and integration of technology under the 6-year leadership of Mr. Gilbert and continues to be an innovative leader in education in the State of Texas.
Front: AmeriShaye G.
Next row behind that L to R : Katelyn J. (apprentice), Tristan B., Keatyn H.,
Next Row L to R : Karlyn J., Kenzie J.
Top row L to R: Emma H., Avery S., Anna R.
The White Oak students who participated in ArtsView Stone Soup once again did a fantastic job! Congratulations to the cast and Director, Alisha Kimbley for a job well done.
Many of you have concerns about the safety of the students, faculty and staff at White Oak ISD. Recent events in Newtown, Connecticut are a stark reminder that evil exists in the world and even our most precious treasures (children) are not immune to its brutal intentions. I would like to provide you with information about some of the precautions and procedures in place at WOISD to help ensure the safety of all involved in the education of our children.
White Oak ISD is comprised of buildings constructed from 1945 through 1981. Most of these structures were built without modern security measures in mind. The district is making a concentrated effort to ensure student safety while maintaining an environment that is not perceived to be punitive in nature. Here are some of the measures in place:
- Every entrance and parent pick up/drop off area at every campus is monitored with cameras (day and night vision) recorded and archived. Each campus will receive additional cameras in the next few weeks to cover hallways and parking lots. These cameras can be monitored through the web at off campus locations.
- White Oak ISD has emergency procedures in place for room, building and district wide evacuation that are coordinated with White Oak PD and Fire Department. All campuses are drilled on evacuation and shelter in place procedures. This safety plan is sent to the Texas Attorney General’s office for review each year.
- Police, Fire and Medical first responders are literally seconds away from every campus in the district. All of these agencies have an intricate knowledge of the campuses and the procedures in place at the district. All of these personnel are on the grounds of the district regularly.
- Should the need arise for assistance from agencies outside the White Oak PD, the knowledge of these officers will be invaluable in the process of regaining order.
- The first line of security in our district has been, and will continue to be, an actively monitoring faculty, staff and administration. It is correct that someone may, by design, think they can enter one of our buildings and get into areas without challenge. I will say that that is not true in practice. Teachers, staff and administrators are very consistent to welcome visitors and direct them to the proper location to check-in. You will find, in practice, that our adults are where the children are located.
Please know that these procedures do not give any member of this district a false sense of security. We are constantly looking for ways to better protect our students and continue with the goal of providing a first class education to all of our students. The safety of our students will most certainly be discussed at the next School Board Meeting.
There is no doubt that steps can be taken to improve the safety of any location, school or otherwise. As you know, the campus that was attacked in Newtown had what is considered to be an up to date secure entrance system. A lone lunatic, with intent to do harm, found a way in despite those measures.
I do believe that a reasonable measure of security is in place for the students, faculty and staff at White Oak ISD. The facts are that students, across the country, and in White Oak, are much safer in school and on the school bus than they are in their own homes and personal vehicles. It is my hope that the information provided is beneficial to you and your family.
Michael Gilbert, Superintendent
White Oak ISD
Christmas Parties for Primary and Intermediate will take place on the last day of school prior to the holidays. Party and Early Dismissal Schedules for both campuses are listed below:
- December 21st, Friday – PRIMARY PARTIES 9:00-10:00
- PRIMARY EARLY DISMISSAL 11:00
- December 21st, Friday – INTERMEDIATE PARTIES – 3rd & 4th 9:00-10:00/5th 9:30-10:30
- INTERMEDIATE DISMISSAL 11:30
- Staff will leave at 12:00
ROOM MOTHERS –
IMPORTANT NOTICE BELOW- PLEASE ADHERE TO THESE RESTRICTIONS!
*PER DISTRICT POLICY– All food that is brought in needs to be store bought, no home made goodies. If you have a child with a peanut allergy in your class you will need to let your classroom parents know. You can not tell which student because of confidentiality, but just share that there is a peanut allergy in the class and that all products must be peanut free.
The office will be sending out a note to parents asking if they are planning on attending the class party. If they are planning to attend and already have their license scanned we will pre-print their badges for the party so they do not have to wait in a very long line. This is to ensure the safety of our students.