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Inside FWISD March 5, 2020

In this edition:

Pull The Plug: FWISD Superintendent Encourages Employees to Disconnect Ethernet Cords After Recent Malware Attack | Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Sends Letters To Parents, Students, Employees About Coronavirus PrecautionsFWISD Observes Spring Break March 9-13 | Daylight Saving Time Starts Sunday | Racial Equity Summit Registration Closes After Record Sign-Up | Equity And Excellence Accepts Day Of Service Presentation Proposals |Teacher FLEX Credit Deadline Is March 31 | FWISD Recognized As Steinway Select School District |Read Fort Worth, FWISD Launch Attendance Pilot | Inside FWISD Briefs | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

Pull the Plug

FWISD Superintendent Encourages Employees to Disconnect Ethernet Cords After Recent Malware Attack

Dear Colleagues:

First I want to thank you for your support as we continue to work to bring our system back online after this week’s malware attack. You all have been wonderful to perform essential duties – like taking attendance and direct instruction- without our usual online systems.

Here’s another thing you all can do to help: we are asking you to immediately unplug your Ethernet cable – or, “pull the plug!”

The Ethernet cable is usually blue but sometimes it can be yellow, gray, or black.

Why is this important?

When we start to bring the network back online this will enable us to prevent the spread of a virus and isolate any computer that has been compromised.

As you probably know, these attacks are not limited to the Fort Worth ISD. It’s been reported that more than 750 school districts have had to deal with online attacks since 2016. Large corporate entities are also targets for these acts of cyber-aggression.

Because we were prepared on Tuesday, our District was able to isolate the virus quickly and, most importantly, protect student and employee information. As you know, we’ve been working for some time to fortify our cyber defenses and to educate ourselves on best practices (like not clicking on attachments from an unknown source or how to identify spam.)

Our technology team, along with CISCO and Microsoft, will work over spring break to ensure we can bring our systems back online without concern about the spread of the virus associated with this attack.

And your help – as you “pull the plug!” – will aid this effort.

Thank you all for being a part of this effort.

FORT WORTH ISD SUPERINTENDENT SENDS LETTERS TO PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND EMPLOYEES ABOUT CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTIONS

Superintendent Kent P. Scribner updated families and employees today on Fort Worth ISD’s steps in response to the possible occurrence of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the Fort Worth school community.

“Schools can play an important part, and this District will do everything possible to support …[the preventive] effort,” Dr Scribner said in his letter to all stakeholders.

“I want to assure you that the Fort Worth ISD is keeping track of this situation by staying in close touch with Tarrant County Public Health, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” he continued. “Professional health officials believe the risk to our school community is low at this time.”

Below are the letters to parents, students, and District workers, in English and Spanish.

FWISD Observes Spring Break March 9-13

The Fort Worth ISD is observing Spring Break, March 9-13. All District schools and the Central Administration Building are closed for the break.

March 9-13 is a general workweek for all 245-day FWISD employees. Additional employees may be asked to work the break assisting with deep cleaning of schools and the restoration of the District computer systems.

Regular operating hours resume, Monday, March 16, 2020.

FWISD athletic events will continue as scheduled throughout the break. Check the District’s Rank One web page for complete details and game schedules.

There will be no Inside FWISD next week, and the publication will resume Thursday, March 19.

Daylight Saving Time Starts Sunday

Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8.

Remember to set your clocks forward one hour before turning in for bed Saturday.

Beginning March 9, FWISD will observe Spring Break. The break continues through March 13, and regular operating hours resume, Monday, March 16.

RACIAL EQUITY SUMMIT Registration closes after record sign-up

Registration is full for Fort Worth ISD’s 2020 Racial Equity Summit. More than 400 people pre-registered for the event, which will be the largest conference attendance to date, according to summit organizers.

The third annual event, hosted by Fort Worth ISD’s Division of Equity and Excellence, brings together District students, staff, community members and higher education leaders for discussions about student equity, race and its impact on schools and the community. The free summit is being hosted Saturday, March 21 at Texas Wesleyan University, 3165 E. Rosedale St.

The 2020 theme, “Changing the Narrative,” offers attendees 30 breakout sessions focusing on four learning strands:

  • Advocacy
  • Race
  • Student Voice
  • Teaching Practices

Sydney Johnson, a University of California Los Angeles political science and African American studies student, will present the 8:30 a.m. keynote, “Who You Are and What You Aren’t” in the Ann Waggoner Fine Arts Building. Miss Johnson is the student racial equity leader for Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR), and her work advocates for underserved and underrepresented communities.

Summit organizers say they’re looking forward to engaging and meaningful conversations that challenge attendees to examine their own biases, consider multiple perspectives and see how differences are not a source of discord or division but a source of strength and recognition.

Teachers attending the summit can earn three or six FLEX hour credits.

Booth space at the summit expo is still available for community organizations. For more details, contact Mia Hall at 817-814-2339 or email mia.hall@fwisd.org.

Equity and Excellence Accepts Day of Service Presentation Proposals

The Fort Worth ISD Equity and Excellence Division is accepting presentation proposals for its second annual Dolores Huerta and César Chávez Day of Service and Advocacy program.

Equity and Excellence officials are accepting advocacy proposals that appeal to high school and college-aged students, which will be presented in 50-minute breakout sessions during the District’s Dolores Huerta and César Chávez Day of Service and Advocacy program, Monday, March 23. Presentations must educate students about grassroots tenets, identifying advocacy opportunities, developing advocacy campaigns and the use of written and oral advocacy in efforts to impact change and or draft legislation.

Possible topics include:

  • What is advocacy?
  • Why engage in advocacy?
  • What factors contribute to the success of advocacy initiatives?

All presentation proposals are due no later than Thursday, March 5. Presentation proposal forms are available here. Selected presenters will be notified no later than Monday, March 9.

FWISD will host its second annual Dolores Huerta and César Chávez Day of Service and Advocacy program at 9 a.m. Monday, March 23 at Tarrant County College- Trinity River Campus. The event, open to FWISD high school students, educators, community partners and stakeholders, will include a rally, student performances and a keynote presentation from Jose Angel Gutierrez, the 2019 Unites States Hispanic Hero Award recipient. Following the keynote and lunch, FWISD high school students will board buses for pre-arranged service projects at Cook Children’s Medical Center, City of Fort Worth Animal Control, East Side Blossoms and Community Food Bank or attend advocacy-themed breakout sessions.

In 2019, FWISD became the first school district in Texas with a student holiday honoring the lives and legacy of Dolores Huerta and César Chávez, Latinx leaders who worked 30 years advocating for the civil rights of labor workers.

The Board approved a resolution in April 2018 establishing the annual observance honoring Mr. Chávez and Ms. Huerta the Monday before Chávez's birth date on March 31.

TEACHER FLEX CREDIT DEADLINE IS MARCH 31

Fort Worth ISD teachers have until March 31 to earn FLEX credit hours for the 2019-2020 school year.

Teachers hired prior to August 5, 2019, must complete a required 30 hours. Teachers hired after August 5 are not required to earn FLEX hours but they can earn compensation for the hours acquired. Teachers may check their FLEX hours in Eduphoria!.

Approximately 125 FLEX opportunities are available through Eduphoria! until March 31. Sessions not listed in Eduphoria! that educators want to attend must follow Professional Learning and Innovation guidelines to ensure FLEX credit is earned. Credit is not guaranteed in all sessions.

FLEX credits are available at the third annual Racial Equity Summit on March 21. The summit offers educators an opportunity to learn, collaborate and discuss topics centered on racial equity in the District.

Beginning this summer, teachers may earn all 30 FLEX hours at the Fort Worth ISD ConnectED teacher conferences, June 8-12 or August 3-7.

For FLEX guidance, visit www.fwisd.org/pli.

FWISD Recognized As Steinway Select School District

Piano manufacturer Steinway and Sons recognized the Fort Worth ISD publicly as its first Steinway Select School District in the nation, recently.

Christina Walk, FWISD’s Visual and Performing Arts executive director, accepted the award, recognizing the District’s “pursuit of musical excellence,” last month at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Clinic/Convention in San Antonio.

Last fall, FWISD had a new Boston piano delivered to W.J. Turner Elementary. It was the 267th new piano delivered to a District campus over the last several years, and the purchase is the “single largest institutional purchase since Steinway and Sons launched the Boston line in 1992,” according to The Steinway Chronicle, a Steinway and Sons institutional news publication. Over a five-year period, 267 new Boston pianos – 236 uprights and 31 grand pianos – were purchased and delivered to 144 FWISD schools, providing pianos to campuses that had gone without and replacing aging instruments in poor condition at other schools.

“The impact on our students over the next 25 years will be priceless,” Ms. Walk told The Steinway Chronicle last fall. “I am so proud to be part of a District that values music education and acknowledges the need for excellent resources to achieve success. Every school not only has a piano, but a high-quality piano and they love them.”

Read Fort Worth, FWISD Launch Attendance Pilot

Read Fort Worth is partnering with the Fort Worth ISD and community organizations to improve student attendance rates.

Recently, the nonprofit launched a pilot at eight FWISD elementary schools that stresses the critical impact attending school has on student learning. The eight elementary schools participating in the Attendance Pilot are Bill J. Elliott, Manual Jara, Greenbriar, South Hi Mount, DeZavala, Edward J. Briscoe, Christene C. Moss and George C. Clarke.

Monthly, Read Fort Worth is leading meetings with community organizations to discuss absenteeism data and intervention resources that engage families in improving student attendance in school.

Additionally, throughout the remainder of the school year, the Fort Worth ISD is emailing parents and posting attendance messages and tips on social media focused on how attendance impacts student success. Families are encouraged to submit attendance questions, concerns and comments via the District Let’s Talk portal.

“A primary caregiver plays a critical role in getting elementary school students to school. Read Fort Worth is measuring the impact of family engagement through attendance metrics, specifically for first and second grade students who are chronically absent,” a recent Read Fort Worth statement reads. “Chronic absenteeism is officially defined in Texas as a student missing at least 10% of school days in a school year for any reason, excused or unexcused.”

The pilot continues through the 2019-2020 academic year. More campuses could be added to the program in the future depending on findings and best practices for attendance protocols refinement, according to Read Fort Worth.

Among the community groups partnering with Read Fort Worth in this effort are Fort Worth Children’s Partnership (FWCP) and Parent Engagement Collaborative (PEC). Read more about the expertise these groups bring to the Attendance Pilot here.

For more information about Read Fort Worth, visit readfortworth.org.

INSIDE FWISD BRIEFS

Editor's NOTE: Inside FWISD Briefs are quick-hit stories of activities and events happening around the District.

Fort Worth ISD Hiring School Leadership Executive Directors

Are you a visionary, strategic educator with a proven track record of success? The Fort Worth ISD is seeking high quality Executive Directors.

Read more here.

Fort Worth ISD Awarded Top Communications Honors At State Conference

Fort Worth ISD’s Communications Department earned high honors from the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) Conference held February 24-27 in Austin. See what awards the team earned here.

Secondary School Transfer Requests Accepted March 2-31, 2020

Fort Worth ISD families may start submitting secondary school transfer requests for the 2020-2021 school year beginning Monday, March 2, 2020. A transfer, once made, shall remain in effect as long as the student is in the same school. Parents will be responsible for transporting their child if granted a general transfer.

Parents may request a transfer from their child’s home school to another campus, where space is available, through March 31, 2020. Read more here.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are recent photos from across the Fort Worth ISD.

February Rewind: Take a look back at February 2020 in the Fort Worth ISD

Campus Visit: FWISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner visited the Leadership Academy at Como Elementary School this week where he sat in on Leadership Fort Worth's weekly meeting with 12 members of the Leadership Academy at Como Elementary Student Council. The meetings, held weekly on Wednesdays for generally 45 minutes, focus on leadership. Students learn about local government, elections and emotional traits necessary for effective leadership.

Environmental Educator of the Year: Congratulations to Paschal High School's Andrew Brinker, recipient of the Environmental Educator of the Year. The honor is among the 2020 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards recently announced by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Read more here

Sorting Books: FWISD elementary librarians, teachers, a family communications liaison worker and a social worker joined PTA from Seminary Hills and Rosemont elementary schools and community volunteers to sort and pack more than 3,100 books at the Read Fort Worth Book Warehouse, Saturday, February 29. These books will be placed at school libraries and some will be given to FWISD students to start home libraries.

Chevron Corp. Donates to Diamond Hill-Jarvis HS MBK Program: Jennifer Silva, Policy, Government and Public Affairs Manager at Chevron, presented the My Brother's Keeper program at Diamond Hill Jarvis High School with a $2,500 check, February 27, to support their MBK graduating seniors in the District-wide Suit Up! campaign. Through the campaign, graduating male seniors are recognized with a tailored suit, dress shirt, tie, belt and shoes. The My Brother’s Keeper Suit Up! Campaign. is a partnership of the Fort Worth ISD, the Education Foundation for Fort Worth Schools and Jos. A. Bank. If you would like to support an MBK graduate, please visit foundation@ef4fw.org or contact Rickie Clark rickieclarkstep@gmail.com.

Noche de Padre Hispanos Meets for February Meeting: Paschal High School hosted its monthly Noche de Padre Hispanos, Tuesday, February 25. The monthly meeting addresses the interests of the school’s Spanish-speaking parents. Attendees meet with Paschal High Principal Troy Langston and Family Communications liaisons to discuss academic and immigration information. This month’s guest speak was Fort Worth immigration and criminal defense lawyer Francisco Hernandez, who discussed immigration.

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors Second Semester Underway: The second semester of classes began the week of February 10 at Oakhurst and Eastern Hills elementary schools. Abriendo Puertas is currently being piloted at the two schools and in English and Spanish. The 10-week parenting program empowers parents with knowledge, resources, and activities they can do at home with their children ages 0-5 years old to help with their development. Pictured are recent classes at Oakhurst Elementary School.

Professional Development Opportunity

March is Women's History Month

March is Social Work Month

Secondary School Open Transfer Window, March 2-31

Executive Director Application window opens, March 2

Spring Break, March 9-13

Board Workshop Session, March 17

Racial Equity Summit, March 21

Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez Day of Service, March 23

Board of Education Meeting, March 24

Scripp's Regional Spelling Bee, March 24

Young Men's Leadership Academy Groundbreaking, March 26

Save the Date: Pre-K, Kindergarten Registration Begins April 1

Save the date for Summer Professional Learning

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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