Huntsville, TX

Huntsville's Windham School District Celebrates Second Chance Month

Dr. Jeff Livingston

April is Second Chance Month. Windham School District in Huntsville, Texas, is celebrating the bright futures of its student population as well as the 70 million Americans who have paid their debt to society.

The Windham School District reports, "the district is honored to celebrate Second Chance Month this April with other government agencies, educators, organizations, and volunteers across the nation."

Many readers may not have heard of Windham School District with its headquarters in the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. The Windham School District is a non-geographical school district serving the education needs of Texas inmates in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Windham School District provides educational programs to meet the needs of the eligible offender population.

In October of 1969, The Texas Board of Corrections and the Texas Legislature authorized the Windham School District to provide educations opportunities to offenders incarcerated in state prisons. The mission is to reduce recidivism by helping the prison population productive members of society through education.

WSD was named after James M. Windham, who served on the Texas Board of Corrections for 24 years.


During April, Windham School District is joining others to celebrate Second Chance Month. Windham School District's mission is to generate interest in the nationwide campaign is to raise awareness for its hard-working students who seek to unlock second chances. Windham hopes to provide educational opportunities for the tens of millions of Americans with a criminal record who have paid their debt to society

April was declared by the US Senate Second Chance Month in 2017. The effort is designed to raise nationwide awareness of the bipartisan issues unlocking second chances for those who have completed their sentences, allowing them to become productive members of society.

Second Chance Month is led by 501(c)3 Prison Fellowship, the nation's most prominent nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families. From their site, "Prison Fellowship advocates for a more restorative approach to justice that advances proportional punishment, constructive corrections culture, and second chances."


The Windham School District campus in Huntsville and across Texas will weave the Second Chance Month theme into all curriculum areas. Second Chance art projects will help expand the theme to give students hope. Art contests, original student poetry, essays, songs, and spoken word serve to get students involved and help them focus on their future potential.

Throughout the month, the district will host inspirational guest speakers. The district will feature formerly incarcerated individuals who have seized the Second Chance opportunity and are now successfully contributing to their communities and the workforce.

Former students are giving back to society by serving as entrepreneurs, managers, and substance use treatment counselors. Graduates have successfully rejoined the workforce in many roles. The Windham School provides incarcerated residents a variety of programs. Across the State of Texas, inmates are taught academic, career, technical, and life skills to reenter their communities successfully.

Entrepreneurs, managers, and substance use treatment counselors. These are just some of the jobs held by former Windham School District (WSD) students. Through WSD programs, incarcerated residents across the State of Texas are taught academic, career and technical, and life skills needed to successfully reenter their communities.  

The White House has celebrated the April Second Chance Month for the past five years. President Joe Biden issued a supportive statement emphasizing the need for "meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation."  Biden believes incarcerated individuals should have the opportunity to fully reintegrate into society after they serve their time.

During Second Chance Month, we lift up all those who, having made mistakes, are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions.

The Windham School District promotes Second Chances all year long by teaching literacy and adult secondary education, engaging participants in technical skills training to gain employment, providing them the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications. The school also works on lifeskills by teaching inmates to become better parents, friends, and citizens. 

Superintendent Kristina Hartman said, "Education is the key to second chances.  Not only educating our residents and providing them the skills they need to succeed but educating those in our communities to give these men and women a second chance.”

To help students get a second chance and obtain employment upon release, the district guides students on how to apply for necessary occupational licenses. The program includes classes on resume preparation and the job application process.  In addition, the district works with employers across Texas to facilitate the hiring process.  

The Windham School District educates future employers about the district programming, the certificates available, and the skills taught to students.  In return, employers share updated industry standards and requirements to ensure students gain the necessary knowledge to be successful in the field.  

We salute the outstanding work of The Windham School District.

Everyone deserves a second chance.

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Dr. Jeff Livingston is nationally recognized thought leader, speaker, writer, blogger and practicing physician who is considered an expert in the use of social media to educate patients, using new and innovative technology to improve care outcomes and the patient experience. He is a prating Obgyn and serves as the CEO of MacArthur Medical Center. Dr. Jeff is the co-founder of the health website and an active blogger on Medium.

Irving, TX

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