Inside FWISD August 30, 2018


All Fort Worth ISD schools and offices are closed Monday, September 3, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

Classes and District offices will resume normal operating hours, Tuesday, September 4.

Enrollment, Attendance Update

Fort Worth ISD campus enrollment and daily attendance is now being monitored through FOCUS, according to a memorandum to principals from the District’s elementary and secondary school leadership chiefs Raul Peña and Cherie Washington.

It’s expected that enrollment data is accurate and up to date in FOCUS by Friday, August 31.

School leadership chiefs are encouraging campus principals to assist in enrollment and daily attendance efforts by:

• Providing uninterrupted time for data clerks to complete all pending and new student enrollment

• Fill and process all prekindergarten seats

• Verify campus daily attendance is taken in FOCUS

• Welcome and encourage new student enrollment without delay

Campus principals experiencing difficulty completing student enrollment in FOCUS are encouraged to contact their executive director for immediate support.


Friday, August 31, is College Colors Day.

All across the nation, students, parents, family, fans and alumni display their team spirit by wearing their college team’s colors and college or university apparel.

We encourage this, also, in the Fort Worth ISD.

All Fort Worth ISD employees are invited to wear the colors of their alma mater or favorite college. Our mission is preparing ALL students for college, career, and community leadership –- and our example shows students the high regard we place on post-secondary education.

So, join us! Add your college sweatshirt, jersey, or other item of clothing to your usual professional attire on Friday and proclaim your support!

Don’t forget to post your photos on social media, using the hashtags #FWISD and #CollegeColorsDay – and tagging @FortWorth_ISD on Twitter and @FortWorthISD on Facebook and Instagram. We will share as many photos as we can on our District platforms!

Robinson, Carter Park Featured as Hometown Hero

Principal Howard Robinson and Carter Park Elementary School is Fox 4 latest Hometown Hero.

Earlier this week, veteran Anchor Clarice Tinsley was at the campus to film a profile on Mr. Robinson’s Amazing Shake competition and meet with competition finalists. The contest teaches third-graders firm handshakes, the importance of making eye contact, interview attire, holding a conversation, speaking, presenting, and reading fluency.

Nearly 30 third-graders who participated in Jump Start Camp competed in the Amazing Shake contest. The three-round contest challenged finalists to give an acceptance speech in the final round.

The Hometown Hero segment aired on Fox 4 Monday and Tuesday and will re-air between 6 and 8 a.m. Sunday, September 2.

Read more about the Hometown Hero here.


Fort Worth ISD’s Waverly Park and Worth Heights Elementary Schools have earned all the applicable distinction designations for a single school under the 2018 accountability system, according to an announcement made today by the Texas Education Agency.

Both schools obtained a Met Standard rating and earned designations for academic achievement in mathematics, science, English language arts/reading, ranking among the top 25 percent in comparative academic growth and comparative closing the gaps and postsecondary readiness. The two schools are among more than 400 Texas schools earning all possible distinctions for the 2018 accountability ratings.

“Earning one or several campus-level distinctions is notable and should be applauded by a community as an outstanding achievement,” said Mike Morath, Commissioner of Education, in a statement released by the TEA, Tuesday, August 28. “For a school to earn every potential distinction applicable to their campus is difficult, but a reflection of some truly amazing work by our educators.”

Each school is compared to 40 other schools “of similar type, size and student demographics” when determining distinction designations, according to the TEA.

View the complete campus reports for Waverly Park and Worth Heights Elementary Schools and other Fort Worth ISD schools at txschools.org.


The Fort Worth ISD 2018 varsity football season kicks off Thursday, August 30.

Don’t miss a moment of the exciting action on the gridiron. Make plans to attend these energetic 2018 games.

The 2018 season kicks off with the following games:

Thursday, August 30

Benbrook vs. Nevada Community, 7 p.m., Clark Stadium

Western Hills vs. Dallas Molina, 7 p.m., Farrington Field

Diamond Hill-Jarvis vs. Dallas Conrad, 7 p.m., Handley Field

Friday, August 31

Paschal vs. Irving, 7:30 p.m., Clark Stadium

Trimble Tech vs. R.L. Turner, 7:30 p.m., Farrington Field

Polytechnic vs. Dallas Hillcrest, 7:30 p.m., Handley Field

Frisco Lebanon Trail vs. Southwest, 7:30 p.m., Ford Center at The Star, Frisco

Lake Worth vs. North Side, 7:30 p.m., Kittrell Stadium

Springtown vs. Arlington Heights, 7:30 p.m., Poccupine Stadium

Seagoville vs. O.D. Wyatt, 7:30 p.m., Seagoville Stadium

Cleburne vs. South Hills, 7:30 p.m., Yellow Jacket Stadium

Saturday, September 1

Dunbar vs. Dallas Kimball, 7 p.m., Clark Stadium

Eastern Hills vs. Newman Smith, 10 a.m., Farrington Field

Carter Riverside vs. Castleberry, 7 p.m., Handley Field

Click here to view the entire 2018 varsity football schedule.

Busy Fall For FWISD Athletics

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following entry was submitted by Todd Vesely, Fort Worth ISD’s executive director of athletics.

The fall comes along quickly, and so does competition.

Fort Worth ISD coaches recently started the new year with a great Kick Off/University Interscholastic League Orientation meeting at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. Coaches also participated in sport-specific orientation events.

Getting “ready” for a new year involves training in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED), concussion protocols, safety management and coaching certification.

After training, comes competition.

Volleyball practices started August 1, and tournament play began August 9. Trimble Tech volleyball provided a great beginning to the District’s 2018 season, winning the Brewer High School varsity volleyball tournament earlier this month. Middle school volleyball matches begin today, August 30.

Competition for 6A tennis is underway, and 5A tennis play begins, Tuesday, September 4.

FWISD cross country runners trained throughout the summer months, and competition began August 18.

Middle school football coaches recently attended their annual coaches’ orientation meeting. New this year, mirroring the UIL “big school, small school” divisions, our middle schools will be divided into two divisions based on enrollment. Instigating this change is the wide range of student enrollment -- our middle school enrollment ranges from 1573 to 195. Games start September 4.

There's a great deal of positive energy surrounding our FWISD athletic teams. The air is full of anticipation and optimism for our student-athletes. Believe in the possibilities and be excited by the opportunities.

Photo courtesy of Belinda Waters

City Council Recognizes Fort Worth Student-Athletes

The Fort Worth City Council recently recognized youth athletes who traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy in July to compete in the sixth edition of the Tricolore Youth Sports Games.

More than 20 Fort Worth Independent School District student-athletes and coaches were part of the nearly 100-member delegation representing Fort Worth in the games. Student-athletes competed in girls’ volleyball, swimming and baseball. The delegation of student-athletes were the only American competitors in the games, according to Fort Worth Sister Cities International, a local nonprofit.

Michael Jacobson, a Sister Cities board member and Fort Worth Tricolore chair, gave a brief presentation recognizing the student-athletes at the city council’s August 14 meeting.

Photos courtesy of Fort Worth Sister Cities International

The Sister Cities delegation brought home gold in the under 18 baseball, under 12 baseball, and girls’ volleyball contests and bronze in under 15 baseball category.

More than 3,000 young athletes from around the globe participated in approximately 400 traditional and Paralympic sporting events during the Tricolore Youth Sports Games, July 7-13 in Italy.

More Than 7,500 Enroll for Benefits with FWISD

Open enrollment for insurance benefits with the Fort Worth ISD is officially closed.

A total of 7,515 employees completed the open enrollment process for medical, dental and other insurance coverage by the August 24, 2018 deadline, according to the Benefits Department. The department reports that 75 percent of employees completed the process on the final day of enrollment.

Benefits take effect Saturday, September 1, 2018.

New District employees have 31 calendar days from their hire date to enroll for benefits. For example, a teacher hired August 13, 2018, has until September 13, 2018 to enroll. New hires are encouraged to visit www.mybenefitshub.com/fortworthisd to complete the enrollment process.

Employees who experience a qualifying life event are eligible to enroll in benefits or modify their current coverages. Qualifying events include, but are not limited to, the birth of a child, a new marriage, divorce, death of a dependent, a spouse either starts or loses a job or an employee reaches the maximum dependent age.

Contact the Benefits Department at 817-814-2240 for more details on qualifying life events.

The benefits office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.

Dear Elsie,

Hi, I’m a student at a Fort Worth ISD school, and I was wondering why students aren’t allowed to use clear backpacks as an alternative to no backpacks. I’m an AP student, and have lots of heavy binders and journals that I have to lug around, as do many of my peers.

FWISD Student

Dear FWISD Student,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Cherie Washington, chief of secondary schools, and she had this response question: “I do not believe that district-wide we took a stand stating that students may not carry backpacks. Since this is obviously a secondary campus, it would help if we knew the name of the campus so that we can address with the principal.”

Thank you Mrs. Washington for your response, and thank you FWISD Student for your question.


Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put the words “Ask Elsie” in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.

New Technology for Secondary Students

New technology devices will soon be distributed at some Fort Worth ISD secondary campuses.

Chromebook devices will be distributed to FWISD eighth-graders and students at the sixth-grade centers in the coming weeks.

The devices will be phased in over the next couple of years with distribution slated for seventh-graders the 2019-2020 school year and remaining sixth-graders the following year, according to a recent memo to secondary campus principals.

Plans for distribution of the laptops to secondary campuses are currently being finalized.

There is no $30 technology usage fee for students this year because of program changes.

Students will be required to bring their Chromebooks, fully charged, to school daily for class. It is the student’s responsibility to charge the devices in the evening at home.

The Chromebooks will be distributed to students and collected at the end of the year at the campus level. Failure to return the device and its accessories at the end of the school year or when a student transfers out the District will result in student being charged a full replacement cost. Students and parents will also be responsible for replacing any lost, stolen or damaged items.

Mobile hotspots

Recently, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved the purchase of cellular hotspot devices and data services that will soon be issued to students.

According to board agenda documents, up to 3,000 mobile internet hotspots will be purchased by the District from T-Mobile using $120,000 in 2013 Capital Improvement Program funds.

Students at the secondary schools level with no access to high-speed internet at home will be considered for the mobile hotspots.

Plans for distribution of the devices are still being finalized.

A 2017-2018 “Bright Bytes” survey identified that the District has 10,500 secondary students without internet connectivity at home.

In July, the City of Fort Worth launched a similar program through its libraries. Patrons in good standing and with a valid library card may check out a mobile hotspot from four library branches throughout the city.

Guidance and Counseling Aids in Time of Loss

Losing a member of a school community, be it a student or employee, to tragedy brings on overwhelming circumstances.

In those instances, members of Fort Worth Independent School District Guidance and Counseling Department step in to not only support the grieving family but the entire school community in coping with and processing the loss.

First and foremost is support of the grieving family. The family is asked what information and or details they’d like shared with campus staff and students about their loss.

“They are the immediate need, the family that has experienced a loss,” said Cynthia Bethany, director of crisis response and prevention. “We are secondary.”

After verifying a tragedy has occurred, stakeholders are contacted person to person rather than via text message. School personnel are either called or a principal may schedule an early staff meeting to share the heartbreaking news. Staff having a tough time with the loss and unable to process the news can meet with a counselor individually. Other services, including a referral to a community resource, are also offered.

The support varies for students depending on the grade level.

Younger students are monitored closely, and the news is shared with their parents who can then determine how much they want to share with their child, Ms. Bethany said.

Classroom announcements with few details that the family is willing to share are made to students at upper grade levels. Safe rooms where students can have quiet time, meet one-on-one with a counselor or write a card to the grieving family are also available to older children.

In instances, when a child passes ways, counselors identify students who had close relationships with that child to help them through their loss.

Oftentimes a student’s normal trajectory for academic achievement is compromised when a tragic event occurs. Counselors step in to get students on a path where they can not only process their grief but reignite the ability to learn.

“We offer a variety of ways to process a loss,” Ms. Bethany said. “It helps a child feel safe about their whole experience at school.

“It creates safety for the long term and every child needs to be able to feel safe in order to learn.”

3 FWISD Educators Named to Magazine’s Top Teachers List

Three Fort Worth ISD educators are on Fort Worth Magazine’s 2018 Top Teachers list.

They are Eddie Arellano, a second-grade teacher at Dolores Huerta Elementary School, Devin Bohannon, who is a special education teacher at McLean Middle School, and Saleta Thomas, a vocation and business teacher at South Hills High School.

Fort Worth Magazine annually names 10 teachers—five apiece from public and private schools to its Top Teachers list. Readers vote for their favorite teachers in an online poll.

Being named to the 2018 list was a shock for Ms. Bohannon, she said.

“Very seldom is a special education person recognized for what we do,” Ms. Bohanon said. “What I do is my heart and I know that not only do I need to be the best for my students, but I also need to be the best for my students’ parents. I need to help them advocate for their child and help them create home learning environments, so the student has consistency across their life to ensure success.

“A child with special needs can do anything. It is how they learn and accomplish it that makes it different and that is what makes the child, their family and those that work with them special.”

Ms. Thomas calls the recognition “a joy.”

“It is such an honor and privilege to know that hard work does get noticed,” she said. “As a teacher, I enjoy the classroom. That's a given; however, I love being able to sponsor career and technical student organizations and offer students opportunities for growth in college and career readiness. I am one of three sponsors for Future Business Leaders of America and have seen students achieve great things beyond their own comprehension.”

Mr. Arellano said that he shares this “prestigious recognition” with his “elementary grade students and parent volunteers who were part of our years of award-winning History Fair group performances, community Readers Theater stage productions, multicultural student created museums, and participation in our Discover College Life pen pal project with college students attending the University of North Texas.”

“A special thanks go out to all my mentors, colleagues, university professors, and community leaders especially Dr. Gloria Contreras, Dr. Roberto Calderon, Mrs. Rose Herrera, and Mrs. Dolores Huerta for their support and who continue to inspire me to teach students about other cultures,” he said. “I truly believe that promoting and supporting multicultural education programs in public schools is the key to a better future, and an understanding of American history.”

View Fort Worth Magazine’s 2018 Top Teachers list at www.fwtx.com/topteacher.

Cliburn in the Classroom Returns to FWISD Schools

Cliburn in the Classroom piano performances at Fort Worth ISD elementary schools begin Monday September 10.

Through March 4, 2019, Cliburn pianists will travel to 80 FWISD elementary schools to perform half hour live piano concerts for second-, third- and fourth-grade students. Cliburn in the Classroom, the signature music education program of the Van Cliburn Foundation, introduces young children to classical music. A Steinway D concert piano is taken from school to school for interactive programs that align with District curriculum including various themes such as Beethoven, Musical Building Blocks, Musical Organizers, and Piano Tells a Story.

Annually, about 200 Cliburn in the Classroom performances reach more than 50,000 elementary students in the North Texas region.

“The majority of our students would not have this exposure to a classical pianist if it were not for this program,” said Christina Walk, FWISD’s executive director of visual and performing arts. “Ensuring that the program relates to our academic needs makes it invaluable.”

For more details on the program, visit www.cliburn.org/education.


Fort Worth ISD Board of Education trustees took time to recognize District staff who’ve supported an International Newcomer Academy student and family since a brutal attack last April.

Trustees acknowledged bus driver Teresa Dover, middle school counselor Lindi Dibi, Faiha Al-Atrash, INA parent coordinator, and Anglia Ross, INA principal, before an audience at their recent board meeting, August 21.82118

On April 19, 2018, a 13-year-old INA student was viciously attacked on the way to the bus stop. Ms. Dover came to the aid of the student, who was able to escape the attacker and get to the bus. Board President Tobi Jackson calls Ms. Dover, who immediately called 911 and dispatch for help, “some kind of hero.”

The student, who sustained severe injuries, remains in a Fort Worth hospital.

An arrest has been made in the case.

In the months since the attack, Ms. Dover, Ms. Dibi, Ms. Al-Atrash, Ms. Ross and many others have assisted the student and family. President Jackson at the August 21 meeting shared that a hospital chaplain stated the women have “worked far past school hours and even helped on weekends,” supporting the student and family.

“These employees brought food to the family, helped to transport the other family children to and from [the] hospital each day. They even helped pay the family’s cell phone bill,” she said at the meeting. “What you all each did is beyond amazing.

“You guys are just heroes.”

INA Principal Ross told board trustees that the support of the family was nothing she did alone.

“At INA, we are a team, we work together, we support each other, and we do everything for all children,” she said. “We’re here for the kids, all of them, until they graduate, and they work in Fort Worth and give back to the city. That’s why we do what we do, not for recognition, but for our babies and the future of Fort Worth ISD.”

Immediately following the August 21 recognition, trustees briefly recessed their meeting to capture a photo with the evening’s honorees.

View the full photo gallery here.

History Research By FWISD Students Earns National Recognition

History research projects from four Fort Worth ISD students recently gained national recognition.

The students -- Dai Pham of McLean Middle School and Violet Krogness, Cass Wheatley, and Karter Woods of McLean 6th Grade Center – presented at the National History Day Contest. This year’s theme was “Conflict and Compromise in History.”

For 44 years, the annual contest has brought students from across the country together in one place to present original research projects on various historic topics. Students may present their research as documentaries, an exhibit, paper, performance, or website.

Dai Pham’s project “Trying to Resolve Immigration Conflicts with Compromise” earned a top 10 national ranking in the individual website junior division.

Violet Krogness, Cass Wheatley, and Karter Woods of McLean 6th Grade Center presented their project, “Unfairly Interned,” in the group website junior division.

All four students advanced to the National History Day Contest after placing second in their respective categories at the 2018 Texas History Day competition earlier this year.

The 2018 National History Day Contest was hosted this summer at the University of Maryland in College Park. Students from every American state, Washington D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and international schools in South Korea, South Asia, and China presented at the 2018 contest, according to the National History Day website.

#ThankYouThursday: Facebook Fort Worth Data Center

Thank you to Facebook’s Fort Worth Data Center, which donated more than 1,000 books to S.S. Dillow Elementary School, Wednesday, August 29.

Following a brief program, students and teachers at the school helped data center employees deliver the books to classrooms. Among attendees at Wednesday’s book donation were Board of Education President Tobi Jackson, Kristin Sullivan of Read Fort Worth and Carter Cook, FWISD director of library media services.

Earlier this year, Facebook’s Fort Worth Data Center awarded Read Fort Worth a $25,000 grant in support of the Classroom Library Campaign, a community effort focused on advancing early childhood literacy by placing at least 100 “high-interest” and culturally-relevant books in Fort Worth ISD pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms.

Fort Worth ISD’s 100 X 25 FWTX initiative aims to have 100 percent of third-grade students reading on or above grade level by 2025. Superintendent Kent P. Scribner is partnering with Mayor Betsy Price and BNSF Executive Chairman Matt Rose to lead the community-wide Read Fort Worth initiative. This collective impact strategy engages parents, grandparents, and caregivers as well as volunteers from the city’s business sector, higher education, non-profit organizations, and the faith-based community.

2018-2019 Campus Directory Now Available

The 2018-2019 Campus Directory is now available online.

The directory includes school address, phone, fax and principal information.

Take a look at the updated campus list here or in the images below.

FWISD Students Participate in Junior Medical School

Nearly 50 Fort Worth ISD junior and high school students participated in the Texas Christian University and University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine’s Junior Medical School camp this summer. Students participated in interactive activities that focused on living healthy lifestyles, goal-setting, surgical knot-tying, and casting. Junior Medical School, a 2018 recipient of the INSIGHT Into Diversity Inspiring Programs in STEM Award, is supported by Arnold and Harriette Gachman and Family, local physician volunteers, a partnership with the District and a community grant from Constellation Energy. Photos Courtesy of the Junior medical School.

Campus Back to School events, August 7- September 28

Website Training for Web managers, Friday, August 24- Friday, September 28

College Colors Day, Friday, August 31

Labor Day, Monday, September 3

Voly Training, September 5- November 9

National Grandparents Day, Sunday, September 9

Education Go Get It Week, September 10-14

Patriot Day, Tuesday, September 11

Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, September 11

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15 (Send photos of events hosted at your campus to Inside@fwisd.org)

Billy W. Sills Lecture Series: “Nancy "Mame" Russell: Charlie's Muse and Love," Saturday, September 15

Trinity Trash Bash, Saturday, September 15

College Night 2018, Monday, September 17

Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, September 25

Last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election, Tuesday, October 9

Save the Date: Fort Worth Technology Conference Coming January 2019

Share your story ideas, successes, calendar items, photos, questions and feedback with us at Inside@FWISD.org. Check the Inside FWISD blog, www.fwisd.org/insidefwisd, regularly updated throughout the week with additional content and features.

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