Inside FWISD December 7, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome to the relaunch of Inside Fort Worth ISD – as a weekly newsletter which will also be regularly updated online through the week.

This will be a great place to stay in the know and represents a renewed commitment to keep you better informed.

In a large organization like ours we can never over communicate, and we often don’t tell our own stories well enough or celebrate our own successes. Our goal through this print and digital platform is to provide interesting reports about what’s going on at campuses and in departments, what’s happening with your colleagues, and also a place to get your questions answered. This will also be an opportunity for us to create a stronger sense of community in the Fort Worth ISD.

We invite you to check back often to www.fwisd.org/insideFWISD to read the dynamic content.

Share your story ideas, successes, calendar items, photos, questions, and feedback with us at Inside@FWISD.org. We look forward to reading, learning about, and sharing all the interesting things taking place on your campus and in your departments.



Fort Worth ISD’s five Leadership Academies have been open for almost four months and already those schools are exhibiting evidence of student achievement and growth.

Five struggling Fort Worth ISD schools were reconstituted as “leadership academies” under a new plan unveiled by Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and supported by a $1-million-dollar gift from the Richard Rainwater Charitable Foundation, a longtime champion of public education, in February of 2017.

The schools – Mitchell Blvd. Elementary School, John T. White Elementary School, Como Elementary School, Logan Elementary School, and Forest Oak Middle School --- hired new teachers and administrators from a pool of educators who were identified as the most highly-qualified in the District. The new employees will receive a significant financial incentive for their three-year commitment to improve the academic outcomes at these campuses.

Based on early metrics collected from September through November -

All five leadership academies show increases in the average reading activity score and the average Lexile, or reading level, of their students compared to the same period last year.

Where suspensions were low last year at Como and Mitchell Blvd., they remained low this year; where suspensions were high last year, they have been greatly reduced - at Logan and Forest Oak - and completely eliminated at John T. White where suspensions went from 26 last year to 0 this year

All five leadership academies have maintained student attendance at 93% or above for the first 12 weeks of school this year with only slight changes when compared to the same period last year

Teacher attendance has improved at four of the five leadership academies; the only decrease (-2% points) was at Mitchell Blvd. where two teachers were out on extended leave

While it is early in the year, some of the leadership academies have met or outperformed the District average on the following district local assessments:

John T. White outperformed District on grade 5 math,

Logan outperformed District on grade 5 science,

Mitchell Blvd. outperformed the District on grade 3 & 4 math and grade 5 science, and

perhaps most impressive, Forest Oak Middle School met or outperformed the District average on all local assessments reported to date: grade 6 & 7 math, grade 7 writing quick check, grade 8 science, and grade 8 social studies

Under Dr. Scribner's leadership, the District has established performance monitoring systems such as Achieve 3000 for reading and NWEA MAP for mathematics that are aligned across grade levels. These systems allow the District, possibly for the first time, to monitor student progress and growth within the year and from year to year. Additionally, Dr. Scribner set expectations for high-quality, recurring professional learning to support teachers and administrators in implementing the systems and using these data to maximize student learning.


The Fort Worth ISD Social Studies Department will host its final installment for the African and African American History and Culture Learning Series Thursday, December 7. Additionally, the department will host its first Multicultural Education Institute on Saturday, December 9.

From 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. Thursday, December 7, the Social Studies Department will partner with community group, Friends of Cobb Park, in offering tools and content about the rich heritage, culture and contributions of Africans and African Americans that will empower social studies teachers when presenting lessons before students. The session is being hosted at “The Living Room” in the second-floor Student Center at Tarrant County College—South Campus, located at 5301 Campus Drive in Fort Worth.

Facilitated by members of the social studies leadership team, in partnership with content area experts, teachers will learn how to infuse the history, culture, and contributions of Africans and African Americans into the TEKS at all grade levels, according to social studies department officials. Teachers will engage in thoughtful dialogue about the content and participate in collaborative lesson design throughout the experience.

On Saturday, December 9, the Social Studies Department is hosting its Multicultural Education Institute from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave. in Fort Worth.

Featured speakers for the event are Dr. Marvin Dulaney and Dr. Richard Benson II. Dr. Dulaney is Associate Professor of History Emeritus, former Interim Director of the Center for African American Studies, and the former Chair of the Department of History at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Benson is a historian specializing in education, the Black Freedom Movement and transnational social movements. Other event activities include sessions on social emotional learning, literacy, language and sociolinguistics, culturally-relevant instruction, student panels, community connections and an expo. Mr. Jacinto Ramos Jr., a FWISD Board of Education member, will give opening remarks.

Use the hashtag #NoSingleStory for all institute posts and pictures.


The I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA is welcoming secondary educators to an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, December 14 at the Van Cliburn Recital Hall (part of the Maddox-Muse Complex), 330 E. 4th Street in Fort Worth.

The open house comes ahead of the Fort Worth Independent School District posting approximately 20 job openings for the new campus.

Superintendent Kent P. Scribner will give opening remarks at the event and reiterate the District’s excitement about the opening of the new school.

The event agenda includes a campus overview, including history about the facility, campus expectations and the school’s next steps. Educators with STEM and VPA-related content departments will answer questions for prospective teaching candidates.

Individuals with an extensive background and real-world experience in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, visual and performing arts are encouraged to attend.

Principal Baldwin Brown said he needs prospective educators who think and color outside the box and who will be 110 percent committed to the work.

“We’re looking for people who can step in and step up and really help develop the vision and the mission for the campus,” Mr. Brown said. “The outcome is to have teachers walking away first and foremost feeling excited about working at I.M. Terrell but also having clarity about what is expected if they’re wanting to work for I.M. Terrell.”

I.M. Terrell Academy opens for its inaugural year to high school freshmen in fall 2018 and will add grade levels every year. At capacity, the campus will serve approximately 800 students. For more I.M. Terrell Academy details, visit email Mr. Brown at Baldwin.brown@fwisd.org.

RSVP to attend the open house at www.fwisd.org/rsvp.


“Anyone in attendance at the recent Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence luncheon, had to be impressed with the 16 teachers who were honored,” says Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner in his November video message to teachers and staff.

The teachers shared with attendees the reasons they teach. Their stories spoke to their commitment to connect with every child.

Dr. Scribner has included in this video one such story. It’s about a very young student who, for months, seemed to resist all efforts to reach him.

Watch and enjoy this touching anecdote as told by John T. White Leadership Academy teacher Julissa Gómez.

As Dr. Scribner says in the video, “In teaching, you never know when a great lesson will present itself.”

View each teaching chair acceptance speech here.


The spirit of the holidays will echo through the hallways of the Fort Worth ISD Administration Building when elementary, middle and high school choirs, orchestras and bands are showcased in a series of mini-concerts.

Presentations will get under way Monday, December 11, 2017 and conclude just before the Winter Break. Each presentation is held in the main lobby of the building at 100 N. University Drive. A schedule of the concerts is included below.


Preliminary estimates show that Fort Worth ISD employees contributed more than $166,000 to the United Way of Tarrant County through online giving and various school fundraisers.

Through employees’ giving, the organization is poised to assist multiple FWISD programs supporting students.

This year’s campaign message is: “United We Fight. United We Win. Live United.”

“United Way of Tarrant County’s partnership with the FWISD is important to me in two significant ways,” said TD Smyers, United Way Tarrant County president and chief executive officer, at this year’s Kickoff Campaign Breakfast. “First, it’s personal. Barbara and I have had our kids in Fort Worth schools. It’s also powerful in terms of community resilience. In addition to bringing the resourcing of public philanthropy to several key District initiatives, we also lead important foundational work that increases student literacy, reduces ‘summer slide,’ and puts kids in FWISD classrooms ready to learn.”

United Way in 2016 funded more than $1.25 million in grants that supported the District’s elementary school literacy programs, activities that helped middle school students identify career aspirations and programs and prepare high school students for college and careers.

While payroll deduction donations are no longer being accepted, you can still donate by contacting Cindy Ybarra at cindy.ybarra@fwisd.org.

Share your story ideas, successes, calendar items, photos, questions and feedback with us at Inside@FWISD.org.

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