Inside FWISD October 18, 2018

Read Fort Worth, FWISD Needs Your Vote to Receive $100,000 from Reliant

“Reliant Gives” returns to support three local nonprofits

WHERE: Visit Reliant.com/vote to vote once per day, per mobile phone number.

WHEN: Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. (all times Central) Sunday, October 21.

Read Fort Worth and Fort Worth ISD are currently in last place and need your help to put it over the top to receive a $100,000 donation from “Reliant Gives,” a charitable-giving program from Reliant.

The organization is one of three Texas nonprofits vying for the top prize.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Visit Reliant.com/vote once a day through 11:59 p.m. Central Time Sunday, October 21 to cast your vote using your mobile number.
  • Encourage your friends and family to also cast a votes each day

The nonprofit with the most votes receives $100,000. The other two nonprofits receive $20,000 and $10,000, respectively, based on the number of votes received. Reliant employees nominated a wide selection of Texas nonprofits, which are narrowed to three finalists for each round. Reliant Gives will celebrate continued community support when the winners are announced on Tuesday, October 23.

Click here to learn more about how the funds can support Read Fort Worth initiatives.

African, African-American History and Culture Curriculum Available for Teachers, Administrators

A draft version of Fort Worth ISD’s curriculum for the Infusion of African and African-American History and Culture is now available for teachers and administrators to review, offer feedback and use via itsLearning and Edugence.

During the 2017-2018 school year, a team of consultants, teachers and community groups collaborated to develop the curriculum for use in grades K-12.

“We’re one of the first district’s in Texas (if not the first) that developed a curriculum that infuses a comprehensive history and cultural narrative of Africans and African-Americans into our core courses and grade levels,” said Joseph Niedziela, FWISD director of social studies. “What’s novel about what we’re doing is that we’re going beyond offering a high school elective course. We’re bringing the content into our core social studies curriculum at every grade level."

Elementary and middle school social studies grade level curriculum is available via itsLearning, and high school social studies course curriculum is accessible via Edugence. Direct access is also available via the Social Studies Department’s Document Center page in SharePoint.

Modifications to the curriculum will be made as needed.

Learn more details about the curriculum in upcoming editions of Inside FWISD.

Health and Safety Fair Set For Saturday

Fort Worth ISD’s Student Placement Center is hosting its annual Health and Safety Fair, Saturday, October 20.

From 9 a.m. to noon, families will be offered resources and information on health insurance, improving one’s overall health and much more. This free event, which promotes healthy lifestyles among FWISD families, will take place at Billingsley Field House, located at 1400 Foch St. Registration is not required.

There’s chances to win spectacular prizes, and free flu shots are available to the first 100 students. Breakfast is being provided to attendees by culinary students from Trimble Tech High School.

“Promoting a healthy lifestyle is part of the foundation to ensure students succeed in school, hence preparing them for success in college, career, and community leadership,” said Felipe Ramirez, Student Placement Center home liaison specialist and counselor. “Health and safety is central to the physical and mental development of a young child, especially in cognitive areas that contribute to learning and reading abilities.

“Our department motto is ‘Whatever it Takes,’ and we truly take it to heart and ensure we do all that we can to better serve our families and students.”

The Student Placement Center registers and places a large number of students from all over the world who are new to the District.

For more details, call the Student Placement Center at 817-815-7700.

Air Force Band To Perform At I.M. Terrell Academy

WHO: United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants

WHAT: A special concert performance. Tickets are free and are required to attend.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, October 26

WHERE: I.M. Terrell Academy Auditorium, 1411 I.M. Terrell Circle, Ft. Worth, TX 76102

SUMMARY: The United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants from Washington, D.C. will perform a special concert Friday, October 26 in Fort Worth. The concert will be the first public performance at the newly constructed I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA.

Col. Larry H.Lang, Commander and Conductor of the Band and an El Paso native, is conducting the performance.

The concert is part of a 12-day community relations tour to New Mexico and Texas this October. All concerts are free and open to the public. Ticket information for these concerts is available at https://bit.ly/TheUSAFBandTour.

For more details, click here.

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,

When the District calls for a delay in the school start time, due to weather, do the support personnel still need to arrive at regular time? Will that person be docked or have to make up the missed time for that day?


Need to Know

Dear Need to Know,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Max Ates, senior officer of payroll, benefits and risk management, and he had this response to your question: “Each occurrence of inclement weather during a workday is reviewed as necessary to make an educated decision how to determine how work time will be treated. Every employee who is on a work schedule that does not have an inclement weather day built into the work calendar should report to work as soon as they can do so safely.

DEC(REGULATION) states: Absences during inclement weather will be governed by the following provisions:

a. “Any employee who fails to report on time to his or her assignment when school and other District facilities have been declared open will use a PTO personal day or vacation day for each day absence. The District will adjust the salary of each day of absence by an employee who has no available PTO personal days or vacation days.

b. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Superintendent.”

Thanks again for your question, Need to Know, and thank you Mr. Ates for your response.


Dear Elsie,

I have worked for several school districts that have offered tuition reimbursements for teachers seeking a master’s or EdD/PhD. Tarrant County College recently began this program with the full-time employees as well. Has FWISD considered adopting this program to encourage professional development?

Hardworking Teacher

Dear Hardworking Teacher,

Fort Worth ISD does not offer tuition reimbursement to employees who seek higher education degrees. However, depending upon the employee’s job with the District, the employee may be eligible for a salary increase (e.g. teachers will be placed on a Master Level or Ph.D. level salary schedule, and any professional employee, up to and including directors, with a Ph.D. is eligible for a stipend).

Again, thank you for your question.


Dear Elsie,

Why is it so hard to find itslearning on the District website? I open the page with the apps and itslearning is not there. It seems to me that there are problems with the program on the weekends. Why is that?


Diana Córdova-Wagner, Clifford Davis, Dual Kindergarten

Dear Ms. Córdova-Wagner,

I reached out to Dr. Becky Navarre, assistant superintendent of technology, and she had this response to your question: “itslearning is located in several locations on the District website: the employees page, the student home page, along with additional links on the Employee Link Hub. These links serve as a backup as we encourage students and staff to utilize the https://my.fwisd.org app portal. On two separate occurrences, a conflict with the my.fwisd.org user list caused the itslearning and Eduphoria apps to drop away for certain employees not classified as teachers or students. The error was corrected, but unfortunately, reoccurred the following weekend. The root cause was soon discovered and has yet to reoccur since the vendor corrected the issue. The itslearning app should be visible for all students and staff on the my.fwisd.org portal.”

Thanks again for your question, Ms. Córdova-Wagner, and thank you Dr. Navarre for your response.


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.

Please bear with us as we have a backlog of Ask Elsie questions and are responding to questions as soon as we can.

More Than 850 FWISD Students Register to Vote

More than 850 Fort Worth ISD students registered to vote in time for the November 6 mid-term elections.

Of the more than 1,400 FWISD students that were eligible for voter registration, 854 students registered to vote by the October 9 deadline, according to Secondary Schools Leadership officials.

High schools across Fort Worth ISD hosted voter registration drives and events ahead of the October 9 voter registration deadline to sign up students as well as inform them about the importance of voting.

Early voting begins Monday, October 22, and continues through Friday, November 2. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

For more details on early voting and Election Day locations, sample ballots and other voter information, visit the Tarrant County Elections website.

Fire Preparedness Is Essential

The nation observed Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2018.

Be in the know, and make a plan of escape in the event of a fire. You can learn how to develop an emergency plan by visiting the Fort Worth ISD Know The Plan web page. Or, visit the Fort Worth Fire Department website for information on how to protect yourself during an emergency event, and visit the National Fire Protection Association website for more resources.

Luella Merrett Recognizes Donors of $30,000 Gift

Luella Merrett Elementary School recently hosted a recognition ceremony for donors who generously donated 70 Chromebooks and three carts for the devices to students.

Click here to learn more about how the Chromebooks are being utilized in the classroom by teachers and students.

Fort Worth ISD United Way Campaign Underway

The 2018 Fort Worth ISD United Way Campaign continues through October 26. Once again, this year, employees will have an opportunity to make online donations.

Here’s how it works:

  • Employees will receive an email from the United Way of Tarrant County with specific login information to access the secure FWISD pledge website.
  • Each employee will have the opportunity to review information for the 2018 campaign at his/her desktop and consider the size of the pledge they wish to make to the United Way.
  • A confirmation email will be sent after completing the donation.

Last year, FWISD contributed more than $175,000 to its United Way Campaign. This year, the District anticipates contributing $250,000 in donations from its students and employees.

United Way of Tarrant County has long invested in Fort Worth ISD students and continues to make education a funding priority. In recent years, funds donated to the District by the nonprofit has supported programs focused on improving elementary students’ literacy skills, helping middle school students identify and prepare for career dreams, and preparing high school students for college and careers.

Additionally, the nonprofit offers resources to assist FWISD families, including placing low-income families on a path to financial stability and assisting families with ongoing health issues.

If you have any questions regarding the campaign or online pledge system contact Cindy Ybarra at 817-814-3350 or cindy.ybarra@fwisd.org.

Red Ribbon Week Is October 23-31

Red Ribbon Week will be observed nationwide October 23-31.

Learn more about the campaign and the effects of drug and alcohol use by visiting redribbon.org.

Is your campus hosting an event or decorating to raise awareness about Red Ribbon Week? Don’t forget to post your photos on social media, using the hashtag #FWISD– and tagging @FortWorth_ISD on Twitter and @FortWorthISD on Facebook and Instagram. We'll share as many photos as we can on our District platforms!

Tell A Friend: FWISD Is Hiring

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

Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence Surprises:Multiple FWISD teachers have recently received surprise visits in the last week announcing that they are 2018 Academic Chair for Teaching Excellence honorees. Check out next week's Inside FWISD for a complete list of winners. Congratulations!

Photo (click individual photos to enlarge) from top left include: Randi Higgins of Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center, the 2018 XTO Energy Chair for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood Education; Ashlie Duncan of Sam Rosen Elementary School, the 2018 Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Math and Science; Elizabeth Foreman of South Hills Elementary School, the 2018 Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLC Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Reading; Rachel Varney of Western Hills Primary, the 2018 Angela D. Paulos Chair for Teaching Excellence in Visual Arts; Jeff Peters of Rosemont 6th Grade Center, the 2018 Blue Zones Project FortWorth Chair for Teaching Excellence in Health and P.E.; Maria Ortiz-Garcia of Young Women's leadership Academy, the 2018 Central Market Chair for Teaching Excellence in Acquisition of Language and Lori Cerja of Springdale Elementary School, the 2018 Kroger Chair for Teaching Excellence in Special Education. Brandi Waller - Pace (not pictured), of Bruce Shulkey Elementary School, the 2018 Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts, and Julia Worthington (not pictured), of Western Hills High School, the Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts in Theater and Dance, were surprised last spring.

#StartHereGoAnywhere Campaign: Fort Worth ISD launched its #StartHereGoAnywhere FAFSA Campaign, Monday, October 15. District high schools celebrated with kickoff events and rewarded students who completed their FAFSA applications with T-shirts. The students will also be entered into monthly drawings for prizes.

Unity in the Community Family and Youth Summit: The event, hosted at Dunbar High School, included a resource fair and information sessions that focused on three key areas -- public awareness, mental health and wellness and financial literacy.

Day of the Girl: The Diamond Hill-Jarvis GO Center partnered with Girls, Inc. of Tarrant County Friday, October 12, to take 20 students, grades nine-12, to the Day of the Girl Celebration in downtown Fort Worth.

Dunbar Senior Service Day: The Dunbar High School Class of 2019 participated in Senior Service Day at four different locations last week across the city. Students volunteered at The Boys and Girls Club, a community storehouse, the animal shelter and cleanup at a local park.

West Point Representative Meets With FWISD JROTC Cadets: A representative from West Point spoke with JROTC cadets from Fort Worth ISD and surrounding districts about the education and service opportunities offered at the U.S. Military Academy (Army), Thursday, October 11, at North Side High School.

INA Family Night: International Newcomer Academy hosted Family Night, Thursday, October 4


The following communication is from Social Media Coordinator Kiana King:

New Teacher Professional Learning for the Fall Semester

Professional Learning and Innovation Opportunities in October

Voly Training, September 5-November 9

Onsite Vaccination Clinics, September 25- October 19

Elementary Professional Learning Opportunities for October, November

Secondary Professional Learning for October

HAM Radio Technician Licensing Course, 5:30- 7:30 p.m., October 22, 29 and November 5

Financial Aid Help Sessions, October 2-December 3

Reliant Gives Voting Underway. Don't forget to vote for Read Fort Worth, October 15-21

We Remember Rosedale Park, Saturday, October 20

Health and Safety Fair, Saturday, October 20

Second Annual Fort Worth BookFest, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, October 20, Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus

Frontier Fall Fest, Saturday, October 20, Log Cabin Museum

Early voting for the Nov. 6 Election, October 22- November 2

Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, October 23

Boo at the Zoo, October 26-28 Fort Worth Zoo

Final Day to Complete Mandatory Safe Schools Training, Wednesday, October 31

Save the Date: Conference on the Education of Hispanics, Saturday, December 8

Save the Date: Fort Worth Technology Conference, Coming January 2019

Call for presenters is open through October 31 at http://bit.ly/fwtc19proposals

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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