FWISD Issues National Events Resource Guide For Teachers
Over the past year, we have faced many challenges as a nation.
The past week presented us with new challenges and our children, once again, are watching. Therefore, one of the roles of the Teaching and Learning Department is to provide our educators with resources to support them as they work with our students to discuss current events that impact and disrupt our daily lives. Often, these events can be challenging and can prove to be difficult to discuss with students if we are unprepared or uncomfortable with the topics and issues before us - as a community and as a nation. Therefore, we have put together a list of resources to assist our educators in the navigation of these discussions and most valuable lessons. As educators, it is important that we do not shy away from difficult discussions, but rather learn from them and from the events and experiences of all that has happened and from all that are impacted.
Attached, you will find a list of resources for teachers that will support discussions around national level events. These resources will also be shared with our Social Studies lead teachers, but please take a few minutes to review this information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Teaching and Learning team.
- Teaching Tolerance-- To Sustain the Tough Conversations, Active Listening Must Be the Norm | Teaching Tolerance
We have to prepare students—and ourselves—to communicate, question and work our way through a disconnect when the outside world spills into the classroom.
- PBS NewsHour Extra -- How to engage students in civil discourse following events at the U.S. Capitol
- @SSChatNetwork -- Growing resource list from the @SSChatNetwork .
- Beyond the Spotlight -- Resources for teachers on the days after the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
- ASCD -- Resources for talking to students about politics, civic engagement, and uncertainty
- EDSITEment -- Help your students reflect on what the Presidential inauguration has become and what it has been, while they meet a host of memorable historical figures and uncover a sense of America's past through archival materials. In these challenging times, we are committed to leaning into our mission to serve as a resource to all educators.
- Education World -- Dear Mr. President - Students write letters to the president. Ask them to include goals they would like to see the administration achieve and good wishes to the president and his family.
- Law Related Education -- Duties of the President - Students will learn about the duties and responsibilities of the President as outlined in the Constitution.
- Law Related Education -- Celebrate the U.S. Constitution - Students will learn about purposes of the U.S. Constitution as identified in the Preamble.
January 6th, 2021 Resources for Middle and High School
- Mikva Challenge -- Attack on the US Capitol lessons that provide students an opportunity to share their reactions, thoughts, and feelings about the events of January 6th in Washington, DC and make connections to recent current and historical events in the United States.
- Facing History -- Resources intended to guide student reflection on the election of 2020.
Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues That Matter? This resource was part of our Election 2020 collection, designed to help you teach about voting rights, media literacy, and civic participation, in remote and in-person settings.
Explainer: Political Polarization in the United States - This guide explores: How is polarization influencing decision-making and civic life in the United States? Can Americans still find common ground?
Explainer: Free and Fair Elections - This guide describes the standards that governments need to meet before, during, and after an election to ensure that the election is "free and fair."
- Constitution Center -- A list of statutes about the January 6th joint meeting of Congress, sections of the Constitution related to the Electoral College, and extensive resources from the National Constitution Center about the Electoral College.
- Teaching Tolerance -- Leading Conversations After Crisis - Our Advisory Board shared ideas for starting discussions the day after the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
- National Constitution Center -- An interactive resource for looking at the text, history, and meaning of the U.S. Constitution from leading scholars of diverse legal and philosophical perspectives.
Teachers can provide this as a resource if the class needs to access sections of the U.S. Constitution to discuss events in Washington as they apply to Constitutional rules and framing.
Inauguration 2021 Resources for Middle and High School
Students will investigate how the Constitution outlines the presidential inauguration and how the inauguration symbolizes the transition of power in a democracy. Relate the elements of the inauguration to the powers of the president listed in the Constitution.
- Teaching Tolerance -- Teaching the Inauguration
Instead of focusing on who won the election and who didn’t, consider teaching about the inauguration itself with a critical literacy lens. This non-partisan approach acknowledges history in the making while also acknowledging the history that led up to this point.
- Sharp School Pennsylvania -- The Inauguration of a President - a collection of mini inquiry lessons with primary and secondary sources, for students to analyze various aspects of the inauguration, such as the 12th Amendment, inaugural address, security, and celebrations.
- Adapted from EDSITEment -- Presidential Inaugurations: I Do Solemnly Swear Students will reflect on what the Presidential inauguration has become and what it has been, while they meet a host of memorable historical figures and uncover a sense of America's past through archival materials.
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum -- Comparing and Contrasting Inaugural Addresses Students will read some inaugural addresses. As they are reading, they will pick 2 to compare and contrast by using a VennDiagram and identify overarching categories of similarities and differences in their analysis.
- iCivics -- Even presidents have to worry about making the grade! Discover the history behind the “First 100 Days” and its impact on the American presidency with this new lesson plan that includes extension ideas and media literacy moments. Students will evaluate the fairness of judging presidents based on this somewhat arbitrary time period.
- Civics Renewal Network/C-Span Classroom (teachers can override initial FWISD block as entertainment) -- This Presidential Transitions lesson for grades 9-12 has students explore the challenges that incoming administrations face during presidential transitions.
Students will hear from historians and from White House staff to learn about previous presidential transitions and how the administrations worked together. With this information, students will develop a list of best practices that can be used during these transitions.
This message is sent on behalf of:
Jerry Moore, Chief Academic Officer
Raúl Peña, Chief of Student and School Support
Cherie Washington, Chief of Student and School Support
David Saenz, Chief Innovation Officer
Self-Care Café Debuts January 20
Fort Worth ISD’s Restorative Practices program is launching Self-Care Café, Wednesday January 20. The programming offers District stakeholders live Facebook and Zoom events monthly and online self-care resources.
Self-Care Café online programming focuses on four pillars:
- Mental wellbeing
- Physical activity
- Healthy eating
- Knowledge and health literacy
Live 30-minute Self-Care Café sessions hosted via Zoom and simulcast on Facebook Live will challenge participants to practice activities with a focus on the self-care pillars, including meditation, exercise, crafts, healthy eating and journaling discussions. Sessions are monthly at 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to form accountability partners or tribes to join them in the monthly self-care challenge activities.
Additional self-care resources and other programming offered by the District will be available through a website being built to complement the monthly sessions.
Following months of students attending classes virtually last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident the stressful toll taken on by the District’s teachers and other employees. Self-Care Café offers additional support for the District’s adults, organizers say.
In a recent teaser for Self-Care Café Dr. Nikki Chamblee, Restorative Practices coordinator, likened the importance of self-care to flight attendants who urge passengers put on their own mask before helping other. Taking care of one’s mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing first is equally as important before helping others, she added.
“Before we even came back, we were concerned about the students and how safely to bring back the students, and their teachers were really suffering,” Dr. Chamblee said. “That’s the common theme that we find as we go out to service schools is that teachers really need to feel taken care of. And so, this has kind of been something we’ve been thinking about how best to put it in place.”
On December 16 Restorative Practices hosted a 15-minute Facebook teaser of what to expect from the Self-Care Café, and just this week, a Facebook Live program focused on self-care’s importance to one’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
“I think the overall hope is that they’ll walk away with new ways and strategies to help take care of themselves but also have some intentionality behind it because we can talk about it all day long,” said Dr. Dorene Benavidez, Equity and Professional Learning executive director. “That’s why we thought it would be great to have the tribe accountability piece where they could [connect with someone.]”
Restorative Practices is an extension of FWISD’s Division of Equity and Excellence. View additional Self-Care Café details on the Restorative Practices and Division of Equity and Excellence Facebook pages.
District Adopts Standard Response Protocol Revisions
Editor's Note: The following memorandum from Safety and Security is regarding a change in terminology regarding Standard Response Protocol
Election Filing for School Board Seats Underway
Filing for the Fort Worth ISD School Board May 1 elections officially opened Wednesday.
Five Board terms are on the May 1 ballot – 1,4,7,8 and 9.
Currently serving in those five seats are:
- Jacinto Ramos Jr. – District 1
- Daphne Brookins—District 4
- Norman Robbins – District 7
- Anael Luebanos – District 8
- Ashley Paz – District 9
Last month, Mrs. Paz announced via a Facebook Live and Zoom event that she will not seek another term.
Incumbents and prospective candidates have until 5 p.m. February 12, 2021, to file for office.
Early voting for the May 1 election is April 19-27. People interested in registering in the May 1 election have until Thursday, April 1, 2021.
For additional details about the upcoming election, visit www.fwisd.org/Page/448.
Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Development to Honor Legendary Basketball Coach
210-unit ‘Hughes House’ to be Named for Famed Dunbar High School Mentor
Editor's Note: The following content is from Fort Worth Housing Solutions
Fort Worth Housing Solutions will name the second mixed-income, multifamily development in the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative “Hughes House” in honor of Robert Hughes Sr., the winningest coach in the history of boys’ high school basketball.
Hughes, a former Stop Six resident, led the boys’ basketball program at Dunbar High School on Ramey Avenue from 1973 to 2005 and at the historic I. M. Terrell High School from 1958 to 1973, before the previously segregated campus closed.
Over his 47-year career, Hughes accumulated a 1,333-265 record, five state championships and 35 district championships. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. The 2019 documentary “5700 Ramey Ave.: The Story of Robert Hughes” memorialized his story.
Hughes House will be a 210-unit, mixed-use, mixed-income community at 4830 and 4908 E. Rosedale Street, east and west of Amanda Avenue, and on a portion of the former Cavile Place public housing site. Fort Worth Housing Solutions is seeking 9% low-income housing tax credits to help finance the development. The complex will include 166 units offered at reduced rents to qualified residents; 44 units would be available at market rates.
“Fort Worth Housing Solutions is thrilled to be able to honor Coach Hughes and his positive impact on generations of student-athletes who grew up in Stop Six and their families,” President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “The Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative builds on the cohesiveness and rich history of this southeast Fort Worth community. Hughes House will be a lasting reminder of Coach Hughes’ commitment to hard work and perseverance.”
Robert “Bob” Hughes Jr., Dunbar’s head basketball coach since 2005, said his family is ecstatic to learn that the next phase of Stop Six housing will honor his father’s legacy. In addition to Robert Jr., the senior Coach Hughes has two daughters: Carlye J. Hughes, the Episcopal Bishop of Newark; and Robin L. Hughes, dean of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Education, Health and Human Behavior.
“My dad believed in a strong work ethic, pushing yourself to the limit and self-discipline – that’s all he knew. And that’s what I stress with my players,” Hughes Jr. said. “When you think of Stop Six, you think of my dad. He really put Stop Six, and Fort Worth, on the map, and it’s important to preserve that history.”
Hughes House is Phase II of the landmark Stop Six Choice Neighborhood effort that launched in 2020 when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded FWHS and the City of Fort Worth a $35 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant. Former Cavile Place residents who relocated as part of the redevelopment process have the right to return to the community as new FWHS properties come online.
The HUD grant will be spread across six phases of development and is expected to leverage $345 million in investment for the neighborhood. In all, Fort Worth Housing Solutions will develop more than 1,000 new units of mixed-income rental housing across the community. The City of Fort Worth plans additional infrastructure improvements, including a new community hub and aquatics center.
Construction of Cowan Place, a 174-unit senior living community called for in Phase I, is scheduled to begin in late spring or early summer at East Rosedale and Stalcup Road.
Fort Worth City Councilwoman Gyna Bivens, whose district includes Stop Six, added: “Coach Hughes is arguably the most nationally-recognized figure to come from Stop Six. His leadership, dedication to his students and investment in their future is worthy of this recognition. We’re indebted to his family and so pleased that his contributions will be etched into the bright future of our community.”
About Fort Worth Housing Solutions
Fort Worth Housing Solutions is changing the face of affordable housing by providing mixed-income rental and home ownership opportunities that provide the foundation to improve lives. The agency was established by the City of Fort Worth in 1938 to provide decent, safe housing for low- to moderate-income residents. Today, the FWHS portfolio includes 40 properties with almost 6,700 affordable units. The agency manages Housing Choice Vouchers that help families and individuals cover rental costs. FWHS works closely with numerous partners to promote economic independence and positive change in the lives of the more than 28,000 individuals we touch on a daily basis. Learn more at www.fwhs.org.
INA Teacher Introduces Children To Herbaria In New Book
Editor’s Note: The following Question-and-Answer was edited for clarity and spacing.
Kelly McDaniel LaFarge, a high school art teacher at Fort Worth ISD’s International Newcomer Academy, will soon make her children’s book debut.
Pre-order sales are currently underway for “Herbaria: A Guide For Young People,” a more than 30-page nonfiction picture book for students in grades 1-8, written and illustrated by Ms. LaFarge. It introduces students to herbariums, a place that houses a collection of dried plant specimens.
Growing up in rural Indiana, Ms. LaFarge said that she enjoyed reading STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) books as a girl. She said that she’s hopeful children who read her book are fascinated about what it takes to gather and preserve the world’s plant specimens.
While this is the first published book for Ms. LaFarge, it’s not her first published work. With a background in advertising, copy writing and illustration, her work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, SchoolArts, Glow, and Red River Children’s magazines, national newspapers, trade publications and on book covers, she said. She’s currently working on future stories about unsung female botanist heroes.
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