Inside FWISD July 6, 2018

Families Turn to Parent Information Hotline for Online Registration Assistance

The Fort Worth ISD launched its District-wide online registration, Monday, July 2 with open arms to assist families in completing the process.

The first two days, multiple calls from parents wanting to complete the registration process were fielded on the Parent Information line. Staff from the Family Communications department also helped parents who walked into their offices for assistance.

Of the more than 78,000 returning FWISD students, registration for more than 1,600 was completed by early Tuesday evening, and an additional 900 registration applications were in progress.

Angela Garcia (right), strategic communications coordinator, assists a parent with registering her children for school, Monday, July 2.

For this, the inaugural year, all students –both new and returning –must complete the online enrollment process.

The District-wide online registration completely eliminates paper forms.

It’s easy and convenient.

Fort Worth ISD parents and guardians will receive a Snapcode – or identifying number – for each of the students in their families. Some Snapcodes went out with this year’s final report cards; others are being sent in the mail.

Parents can visit www.fwisd.org/registration, click the Registration button, and create an account.

District employees will receive training in use of the PowerSchool Online Registration System July 31- August 3 so that they can better assist families with the process.

All training sessions will take place at O.D. Wyatt High School, 2400 E. Seminary Drive.

Employees can soon register via Eduphoria to attend a training session.

The following training sessions are scheduled:

July 31: High school data clerks and secretaries

August 1: Elementary school secretaries

August 2: Help Desk, SIS support team and Central Administration personnel

August 3: Middle school data clerks (two-hour morning sessions) and middle school secretaries (two-hour afternoon sessions)

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner praised the convenience of online registration, “because as a Fort Worth ISD parent, I, too am excited about this time-saving tool.”

Technical support is available to parents from the company that helps the District host the online solution.

When parents hit a snag or have a question, they can call 866-434-6276, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For non-technical information, parents are encouraged to contact the Parent Information Hotline at 817-814-2070.

After Multiple Years on IR list, 6 fwisd schools turn curve

EDITOR'S NOTE: This communication from Superintendent Kent P. Scribner was published in the Friday, June 29 edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

By Kent P. Scribner, Ph. D.

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent

Students aren’t the only ones who receive report cards. Districts are measured through state accountability testing, and this is the time of year we start to learn from the Texas Education Agency how we did.

The 2017-18 school year began with grave concerns for John T. White and Maude Logan elementary schools, which had been rated “Improvement Required” for five and six years, respectively. Just one more year of failure for either school could have triggered a state takeover of the Fort Worth ISD.

Additionally, Como, Mitchell Boulevard, West Handley and Maudrie M. Walton elementary schools had received IR status for three years. Another unsuccessful academic year would have marked those campuses for closure in 2019-20.

The 2018 data are preliminary, but it appears all but one of the District’s multiple-year “Improvement Required” schools are no longer on the Improvement Required list. Most of these campuses that were labeled low performing are now meeting standard, including White and Logan ES, where the results are nothing short of amazing.

How did two schools that brought our District to the brink of state control experience such a dramatic turnaround?

A year ago, we reconstituted White, Logan, Como, Mitchell Boulevard, and Forest Oak Middle School as FWISD Leadership Academies.

We invested time, money, other resources, and – most importantly – top talent at these five campuses.

We invited the most effective teachers in the District to teach at the Leadership Academies, rewarding them with a stipend for their commitment. We placed top principals there, along with every resource for success. A $1 million gift from the Rainwater Charitable Trust allowed us to extend the school day to include before and after-school tutoring and other support proven to help children who are “coming from behind.”

The early reports from the TEA in Austin indicate double-digit improvements for all five campuses, with the greatest gains at the Leadership Academy at Maude Logan and the Leadership Academy at John T. White, formerly our two most challenging campuses.

Overall, the Leadership Academies showed significant increases in the percentage of students passing STAAR from 2017 to 2018 in over 80 percent (17 of the 21) of the subjects tested.

At Maude Logan, there was a 10 percent- point increase in students passing math (54 percent to 64 percent), a 16 percent-point increase in students passing reading (40 percent to 56 percent), and a 14 percent-point increase in students passing science (55 percent to 69 percent).

And, at John T. White, the data show a 24 percent point increase in students passing math (42 percent to 66 percent), a 10 percent-point increase in students passing reading (51 percent to 61 percent), and a 35 percent-point increase in students passing science (36 percent to 71 percent).

These early results validate three core beliefs.

Our strategy is working. We are focusing on fewer things – and doing them better. Every organization has a finite amount of resources. In the last year, the Fort Worth ISD has chosen to make elementary literacy, middle years’ math, and college and career readiness the top priorities.

Our commitment is worthy. From the launch of our 100X25FWTX District goal and a robust partnership with Read Fort Worth (led by Mayor Betsy Price and BNSF Chairman Matt Rose) we engaged the community in understanding that elementary literacy is the key. Until third grade, students are learning to read. After that, they are reading to learn.

Preliminary results show our greatest District increase was in third-grade Reading, with an 8-point gain in students who passed the STAAR test. That also shrinks the gap between Fort Worth ISD and the state average from 11percent in 2017 to 7 percent.

Our students can succeed. With the right resources, all – ALL – Fort Worth ISD students can look to a bright academic future. Ultimately, this is about the future of Fort Worth. This is about educating and developing a workforce prepared for the challenges of a global economy and ever-evolving technology so that our community does not fall behind.

Yes, our trajectory is on the ascent. At the same time, we have more work to do. While the multiple-year IR schools dropped from seven to one, several other campuses – mostly middle schools – slipped onto the list for their first year.

But, we have a strategy producing results, and we have momentum. We must continue the work. You’ve heard me say it: Our children are not problems to be solved, they are assets to be invested in.

Fort Worth ISD Offers Financial Incentives to New, Veteran School Bus Drivers

Employees Have Two Ways to Earn ‘Bonus Pay’

The Fort Worth ISD is willing to do what it takes to hire – and keep – good school bus drivers.

Starting immediately, the District will pay a $500 bonus to new bus driver hires who commit to one-year of employment.

Also, both new and veteran drivers are eligible for additional pay when they have perfect or “almost-perfect” attendance. Starting this fall, drivers who complete 100 percent of their routes during the school year will receive an extra $12 per day. Drivers who complete 95 percent of their routes (that means they are only absent five days) will receive an additional $9 a day.

The $500 “new bus driver” bonus will be paid at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The “attendance payouts” will happen twice a year, in January and June.

To reiterate the details:

New Hire Incentive

  • Beginning in July any newly hired drivers will be awarded a $500 sign on bonus at the completion of the 2018-2019 school year.
  • The $500 “new bus driver” bonus will be paid at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

Attendance Incentive

  • ALL fully-credentialed bus drivers will be eligible for this incentive. The pay will be based on the number of instructional days (students are in class) that bus drivers complete all their scheduled routes.
  • “Attendance payouts” will happen twice a year, in January and June.
  • Instructional Days for the 2018-2019 total 177 days.
  • 100 percent is defined as a driver completes all of his or her scheduled routes. 100 percent attendance = an additional $12 per day
  • 95 percent is defined as a driver has no more than five allowable absences per semester. 95percent attendance = an additional $9 per day
  • Taxable incentive pay will be paid in the January and June paychecks.

For questions, please contact the Fort Worth ISD Transportation Recruiting Office at 817-815-7918.

New Online Volunteer Sign-up System Debuts July 9

Volunteers can soon start expressing areas in which they want to get involved and get their background check out of the way for the upcoming school year. Voly, Fort Worth Independent School District’s new online volunteer management system debuts, Monday, July 9.

The new system offers volunteers a variety of options for assisting FWISD students, from supporting an individual campus, to helping with a community initiative such as 100X25FWTX, to joining a parent organization. It also allows campus staff as well as District partners greater capabilities for managing and promoting their volunteer opportunities. Additionally, Voly tracks volunteer hours.

“The cool thing about the new system, or one of the biggest functions of Voly, is it allows multiple users to post volunteer opportunities,” said Jennifer Perez, director of the Family Communications Department. “We want to open it up to as many organizations as possible.”

Voly training sessions for campus liaisons are scheduled for the end of July and will focus on office processes for checking in volunteers. The sessions are ongoing for both campus staff and District partners throughout the fall. The Family Communications staff will also be presenting at the YES! Conference, Friday Aug. 3.

Volunteers can expect an announcement soon with details for submitting their background check application. Early submission helps Family Communications prepare for the school year.

The Fort Worth ISD volunteer program is committed to providing rewarding opportunities for family and community volunteers.

Registration Open for Applied Digital Skills PD

Fort Worth ISD is hosting Applied Digital Skills, a free professional development program that instructs teachers on Google’s integrated technology curriculum.

Training is slated from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 19 at the Professional Development Center Room 256, 3150 McCart Ave. Seating is limited to the first 100 participants.

Applied Digital Skills allows students to learn at their own pace, practice life skills -- such as building a resume, planning and budgeting, or researching --- and create projects using a suite of Google applications. Training is provided to FWISD teachers by education technology company, friEdTechnology.

“The goal is to provide educators with the tools needed to integrate technology into the classroom so that students gain the necessary skills for school and for life,” said Becky Navarre, assistant superintendent of technology.

Register today and learn more about Applied Digital Skills here.

FWISD Student-Athletes to Compete in Italian Youth Sports Games

More than 20 Fort Worth Independent School District student-athletes and coaches are part of a nearly 100-member delegation representing Fort Worth at the sixth edition of the Tricolore Youth Sports Games in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

The delegation departed for Italy this week.

The student-athletes will compete in girls’ volleyball, swimming and baseball. They are the only student-athletes representing the United States in the games, according to Fort Worth Sister Cities International, a local nonprofit.

The FWISD student-athletes and coach expected to make the trip to Italy are:

David Akard, coach, McLean Middle School;

From Tanglewood Elementary School: Jackson Dyer, Canaan Factor, George Factor, Haden Greer, Maddon Schulz, Bauer Stephens and Knox Stephens;

From Daggett Montessori School: Jovany Lopez;

From Monnig Middle School: Bennett Brewer, Brian Castillo, Bennett Chairez and Holman Harvey;

From McLean Middle School: Raul Hurtado, Ruben Perea and Lukas Trimble;

From Wedgwood Middle School: Jorge Zapata

From Paschal High School: Nathan Fackel, William Hahnfeld, Mateo Martinez, Cole Peck and Kristofer Sisson;

From Trimble Tech High School: David Lopez Jr.

The games bring together more than 3,000 young athletes from around the globe for approximately 400 traditional and Paralympic sporting events, Saturday, July 7- Friday, July 13. Athletes will compete and live in an Olympic-style village during the games, according to Sister Cities International. The games are hosted in Reggio Emilia, Italy -- Fort Worth’s sister city -- every four years.

“Living with and competing against these young athletes, our students will undoubtedly learn that they have much more in common with them than what separates them,” said Michael Jacobsson, Chairman of the Tricolore in Fort Worth, in a recent media release. “These are the types of experiences that help kids shape their understanding and acceptance of people from other cultures and it’s a lot of fun, too!”

“The Games offer an international experience these kids will remember the rest of their lives. Bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals will be a highlight of their athletic careers,” Matt Graves, Tricolore Vice Chair added.

For more details, visit www.fwsistercities.org.

EIGHT FWISD Teens Participate In Latina STEM Fellowship Program

Eight Fort Worth Independent School District students recently completed an eight-day summer camp as participants in the Latina STEM Fellowship program.

Hosted at the Tarrant County College- Trinity River Campus, the Latina STEM Fellowship introduces girls ages 9-12 to careers in STEM (science, engineering, technology and mathematics). The girls participate in interactive STEM skills lab activities; tour Texas A&M University, Texas Christian University and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and hear from STEM professionals. Activities also include the girls preparing for their undergraduate and graduate education, networking, professional and peer mentoring opportunities.

Camp participants delivered presentations about their experience during a closing luncheon, June 28.

FWISD students participating in the Latina STEM Fellowship program include:

Paschal High School: Genesis Camargo, Kendall Fernandez, Laura Floran, Michelle Flores and Jocelynn Rodolfo;

Marine Creek Collegiate High School: Lexie Perez, Gabriella Urbina and Daniela Zamarron.

The Latina STEM Fellow program is year-round and includes additional Saturday and evening events throughout the upcoming school year.

FWISD Annual Report Receives Top National Award

The Fort Worth ISD 2016-17 Annual Report won the Award of Excellence from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). This is the highest award given in each of the various categories. NSPRA entries come from not only public and private schools and educational organizations across the country, but also from private businesses that partner with schools.

In all, the District received eight NSPRA awards:

Award of Excellence

Fort Worth ISD 2016-17 Annual Report: Success by Design

Golden Achievement Award

Fort Worth ISD 2017 Bond Information Campaign

Award of Merit

E-Newsletter – Inside FWISD

Special Purpose Publication – Fort Worth ISD Brand Book

Infographic – Fort Worth ISD Bond Election Penny Swap video

Honorable Mention

Video – Fort Worth ISD 2017-18 Convocation commercial

Video – Superintendent’s December 2017 Message

Video – Superintendent’s February 2018 Message

‘We the People’ Book ChronicleS Students’ Unforgettable Trip

A compilation of student essays and photographs make up Fort Worth ISD’s 2018 Staff Ride booklet, “We the People: Freedom, Liberty, Justice and Equality,” now available online.

The 64-page booklet chronicles the feelings and experiences of 20 mostly Fort Worth ISD JROTC students on a five-day field trip to historic U.S. landmarks in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The students recently traveled to battlegrounds, museums and monuments with the assignment of linking together the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Civil War (specifically Gettysburg), the atrocities of World War II, and the American civil rights movement, all under the over-arching theme of “We the People…”

“These students were thrust into a virtual time machine and were given a unique opportunity to visit pivotal points in our nation’s history from the very beginning to modern day,” said Col. Steve Scioneaux, senior Army instructor for the JROTC program at Southwest High School, in the booklet. “The true benefit of this experience is found in the words of the students themselves. I invite you to read their thoughts and share in this unique experience.”

LTC Richard Crossley, director of FWISD JROTC programs, calls the trip “a remarkable journey of seeking, acquiring, reflecting, learning and growing for both cadets and instructors.”

“The annual Honors U.S. Military History Staff Ride is more than a ride; it’s a story,” he says in the booklet’s forward. “Our cadets gained unique insight and a greater knowledge and understanding of their rights, responsibilities, sacrifices and roles as citizens to strengthen and protect our democracy.”

The Experiential Staff Ride , which took place in April, is part of the District’s Honors U.S. Military History program. It’s hosted by the District’s JROTC and Social Studies departments.

Joseph Niedziela, director of the FWISD Social Studies Department, calls the trip “a powerful experiential learning activity built into the curriculum.”

“By the staff ride’s end, students better understood their responsibility as future citizen leaders to protect and advance our nation’s core values,” he says in the booklet.

View the complete Staff Ride booklet and view videos from the recent trip at www.fwisd.org/staffride.

100+ Applications Submitted for Teaching Chair Honors

More than 100 Fort Worth ISD teachers have applied for consideration in this year’s Fort Worth ISD Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence In all, 14 winners will be chosen this fall.

The applications will be passed on to committees of judges later this month. Finalists will be notified in August, and the 2018 Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence will be announced this October.

Two Chairs of Teaching Excellence have already been named. Prior to the close of the 2017-2018 school year, Julia Worthington, a theater arts director at Western Hills High School, and Brandi Waller-Pace, a music teacher at Bruce Shulkey Elementary School, were named the 2018 Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Theater and Dance and the Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts, respectively.

All Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Nov. 15.

Modeled after the university-level chair program, the title of Teaching Chair -- established in 1994 -- recognizes outstanding classroom teachers and awards them with a $5,000 honorarium.

summertime fun

We asked FWISD employees how they're spending their summer.

Here's one response submitted to the Inside FWISD inbox recently:

Kiana King, FWISD's social media coordinator, spent a recent Friday afternoon visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and trying out the fare at a nearby restaurant.

Let us know how you're spending your summer.

Email inside@fwisd.org with photos and details of what you're doing this summer.

Teachers, please share this information with your students about the Summer Reading Incentive (www.fwisd.org/summerreading)

Education Technology Summer Professional Development classes

FWISD Summer Semester 2018, Continues through July 26

Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4 (FWISD will be closed Wednesday, July 4, and Thursday, July 5, to observe the holiday. The district reopens Friday, July 6.)

ELITE (Excellent Literacy Instruction to Empower) Summer Institute, Session 2 is July 9-25

Ram Readers Summer Reading Clinic for K-5 Students, Session 2 is July 9-25

Dare to Discover summer enrichment camp, July 9-12

University Grill in the Administration Building closed, Monday, July 9- Friday, July 27

FWISD Board of Education meeting, July 17

Secondary Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities, Register in Eduphoria

Applied Digital Skills professional development for sixth- 12th-grade teachers, 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, July 19, Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave. Room 256

Early Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities

AAIL Summer Academy, Monday, July 23-Thursday, July 26

The Advanced, Accelerated and Innovative Learning Department will be hosting its annual summer academy and renewal opportunities for gifted and talented certification July 23-26, 2018. The event will be held at the Applied learning Academy on Camp Bowie, and participants may register on Eduphoria.

Elementary Math Summer Learning Opportunities

Professional Learning Opportunities for Sixth-Grade Literacy, Social Studies and Music Teachers and Campus Librarians, Register in Eduphoria

PowerSchool training, Tuesday, July 31- Friday, August 3, Register in Eduphoria

Texas Home and Garden Show, August 17-19, Will Rogers Memorial Center (FWISD Teachers and Support Staff tickets are half-price)

Convocation 2018, Friday, August 17, Originating at Board Conference Room, 2903 Shotts St. and streamed to all schools and campuses

First Day of School, Monday, August 20

Visit the Inside FWISD blog on Mondays for a look at The Week Ahead.

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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