Division of Instruction
Windham School District programs are designed to meet the unique needs of adult offenders and address the legislatively-mandated goals of reducing recidivism, reducing the cost of confinement, promoting positive behavior during confinement, and increasing offendersí success in obtaining and maintaining employment.
Offenders are selected for enrollment in WSD programs based on the Individualized Treatment Plan (ITP) process. The ITP is a plan of treatment for an individual offender. The plan outlines programmatic activities and services for an offender, and prioritizes his/her participation in recommended programs based on the offenderís needs, program availability, and projected release date. Offenders who are less than 35 years of age have the highest priority for enrollment in academic classes. Offenders who are less than 35 years of age and within five years of projected release have the highest priority for placement in academic and vocational programs. Contact information
Literacy Programs provide adult basic education for offenders functioning below the sixth grade level and secondary level adult education for those who are working toward attainment of a high school equivalency certificate (GED). Based on individual achievement, students are assigned to beginning (Literacy I), intermediate (Literacy II), or advanced (Literacy III) level classes. Literacy classes are non-graded, competency-based, and operate on a 12-month scholastic year. Students generally attend literacy classes three hours per day. Students with reading skills below the fourth grade level may be enrolled in Literacy IóReading, a special program designed to provide intensive instruction in reading.
Understanding the wide range of learning needs, learning styles, prerequisite skills, and interests of their students, literacy teachers provide differentiated instruction using a variety of teaching strategies. Literacy teachers also work collaboratively with Career and Technology Education (CTE) teachers to promote workplace competencies and learning in real-world contexts. In all programs, emphasis is placed on the skills employers demand, such as personal qualities, cultural sensitivity/tolerance, teamwork, decision making, and problem solving.
Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) labs are available at most campuses, providing opportunities for diagnostic, prescriptive, computer-based instruction to support and enhance the academic program.
A comprehensive referral and assessment process is used to identify offenders who may be in need of Special Education services Special instruction is provided for students with learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, intellectual disabilities, vision and/ or hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, traumatic brain injury, and speech impairments. Certified Special Education teachers employ a wide variety of instructional strategies and materials to address each studentís individual learning style. Special computer equipment is used to meet the unique needs of students who are blind or have significant visual impairments. Related services are provided when needed. These services include interpretive services for deaf students, assistive technology, and needed support services. Students in the Special Education program who are not able to demonstrate progress in the regular academic curriculum may be considered for placement in an Adaptive Skills class. Adaptive Skills is a Special Education class that focuses primarily on functional literacy and life skills.
Windham also provides a special program for eligible students who exhibit limited English proficiency. A language assessment is administered to determine a studentís level of proficiency in English. Students who demonstrate a significant lack of English proficiency are recommended for placement in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Certified ESL teachers provide intensive instruction in English language development, reading and writing.
Changing Habits and Achieving New Goals to Empower Success (CHANGES)II is a 60-day life skills program designed to prepare offenders for release. Offenders who are within two years of projected release are eligible to participate in the program. The program content includes personal development, healthy relationships, living responsibly, drug education, health maintenance, emotional development, employment and other related life skills.
Through instruction and exercises in interpersonal problem solving, the program helps offenders:
- Develop personal accountability and responsibility
- Develop anger management
- Develop impulse control
- Overcome criminal thinking
- Create positive attitudes and beliefs
- Set goals.
WSD offers a 30-day Parenting & Family Wellness program at a few facilities. The curricular content of the Parenting & Family Wellness program includes The Middle Way Parent Education Program, a communication-based, interactive program that supports the development of healthy family relationships. The program addresses compassionate assertiveness, empathic/active listening, empowerment and other skills to strengthen family relationships. Participants engage in an introspective process of positive personal change.
A 15-day program entitled Perspectives and Solutions is offered at intake facilities. In this progressive program, students explore cultural diversity, personal identity, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination (including racial, ethnic, religious, gender, age, sexual orientation, and physical disability). Students also receive extensive exposure to problem solving techniques.
A supplemental Title I program is provided for educationally underachieving students who are 20 years of age or younger. These students are enrolled in a three-hour Title I class in addition to another regular program of instruction. The Title I teacher works collaboratively with the other teacher to reinforce and/or reteach literacy and math concepts. Interactive computer equipment and computer-assisted instruction are used in the Title I program to provide remediation of basic skills and encourage participatory learning.
WSD uses Title II, Part A Ė Teacher and Principal Training & Recruiting funds to support professional development activities for teachers and principals. Title II funds are also used for class size reduction at two facilities that house the TDCJ Youthful Offender Program for offenders ages 14 to 17.
Windham School District maintains libraries at facilities operated by TDCJ. Libraries offer offenders a wide variety of books, reference collections, and materials in support of educational programs, as well as recreational reading. Librarians promote the use of libraries with library orientations, poetry contests, book reports, and essay contests. They also maintained newspaper and magazine subscriptions at each library.