Inside FWISD February 1, 2018

And the Winning FWISD Calendar Option Is…

Fort Worth ISD employees, students and parents weighed in on the waiver day schedule for the 2018-2019 school year, and we now have the winning calendar. It is Option 1, with waiver days on October 8, January 8 and February 1.

There were two calendar options on the survey. Option 2 would have scheduled waiver days on October 8, November 2 and February 1.

The Option 1 calendar received 61 percent of 3,473 total votes, compared to 39 percent for Option 2. Option 1 now goes before the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education for consideration at the February 13 board meeting.

The only difference between the two options was the waiver days, on which there are no classes for students. On both calendars:

  • School starts August 20
  • The school year ends May 31, 2019
  • Teachers’ last prep day is June 3, 2019
  • Teachers and students have the day off on Good Friday, April 19, 2019


There’s no time to think when a student stops breathing. At a moment’s notice, you just have to jump to action and do what’s needed to save a life.

On the morning of January 27, Bill Aman, athletic trainer at Western Hills High School, experienced the moment firsthand. A student-athlete, taken out of a morning basketball game, fell ill and later experienced a seizure and stopped breathing. Mr. Aman administered chest compressions and applied two automated external defibrillator (AED) shocks that ultimately saved the student’s life.

“You don’t really think about it,” Mr. Aman said. “Your brain just goes into a mode where you just do it.

“The more preparation you have ahead of time, the less panic you have when something happens.”

The student is now stable and recovering in a local hospital.

In his 25 years as an athletic trainer, this is the first time Mr. Aman has ever used an AED.

Mr. Aman said the incident was unlike anything he’s practiced and has left him with a sense of looking at what he could have done better and how he can be more prepared if he ever has to use an AED again.

Dr. Lisa Langston, interim athletic director, said it’s a miracle that the incident occurred at a time when the student could receive immediate medical attention. Without it, she said doctors say the student would not be alive.

“As Bill told me, he just did his job, but as I told him, he did it phenomenally well on that day,” Dr. Langston said.

Bill Aman

Dr. Langston added that the District is sending positive thoughts to the student and family and are hopeful for a speedy recovery.

“I’m just very blessed that things turned out the way they did” she said. “I’m very thankful for our coaches and athletic trainers.”

Coaches and athletic trainers are required to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED training. Texas statute requires that school districts make AEDs available on all school campuses and that the devices are “readily available” for use at University Interscholastic League (UIL) - sanctioned athletic activities.

The Fort Worth ISD has 252 AED devices available at campuses and facilities throughout the District, said Alice Turner-Jackson, FWISD health services director.

The Western Hills High School incident is just the latest in which school personnel have saved a student’s life after collapsing. On January 19, coaches and a nurse in Mansfield saved the life of a 13-year-old middle school student who collapsed.

The District last used an AED on a student in 2009 when coaches and a trainer at Trimble Tech High School responded to a baseball player who collapsed while running around the school track.

Fort Worth ISD Celebrates Black History Month

The Fort Worth ISD will observe African American History Month by celebrating, remembering and reflecting on the contributions of District heroes.

Throughout the month, we hope to share photographs and stories of prominent figures and notable alumni in FWISD history in the weekly Inside FWISD newsletter and daily on Fort Worth ISD social media platforms. Thank you to the Billy W. Sills Center for Archives for gathering this research.

Each February, the United States reflects on and celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans to this nation.

The annual observance, officially known as African American History Month or Black History Month, was originally established in 1926 by author and historian, Carter G. Woodson.

For 50 years, the acknowledgement of black history was a weeklong observance. In 1976, the United States bicentennial, the week was expanded to a month-long celebration.

This week in FWISD history, we remember some of the District's first black educators.


Pictured is the faculty of East Ninth Street Colored School, one of the first schools for black children in the Fort Worth public school system. The facility, located in the city's Third Ward at the corner of East Ninth and Pecan streets, opened in 1889 to all black children in the city except for children in the first through fourth grades who lived south of the Texas and Pacific (T&P) Station. I.M. Terrell (second from the left), one of the first black educators hired by the District in 1882, served as the school principal.


Attendance at the 13th annual Fort Worth Technology Conference hit a record high, according to event officials.

Nearly 1,110 people attended demonstrations, panels and workshops with a focus on technology integration and student engagement on January 27, 2018, at Dunbar High School. Corporate sponsors also demonstrated the latest in education technology programs in a conference Exhibit Hall.

The Fort Worth Technology Conference was an invigorating event that sought to equip educators with tools for actively preparing students for success in college, career and community leadership in an interconnected digital world, according to Dr. Becky Navarre, assistant superintendent for the Department of Technology.

“I think we impacted a lot of teachers’ lives, which will impact future generations to come,” she said.

Wayland Scott, a math and science special education teacher at FWISD’s Boulevard Heights School, was crowned the very first Fort Worth ISD Tech Idol and was awarded a trip to the International Society for technology in Education (ISTE) Conference this June in Chicago. The Fort Worth ISD Tech Idol award recognizes a District educator who has exercised impactful technology integration in the classroom. The winner is selected with the assistance of an audience poll.

Wayland Scott, a math and science special education teacher at FWISD’s Boulevard Heights School, is crowned the very first Fort Worth ISD Tech Idol

Amy Mayer, founder of education technology company friEdTechnology and a nationally-known professional development trainer, was the featured keynote speaker at the conference. Conference instructors included FWISD teachers, staff, students, national and regional guests.

View photos from the Fort Worth Technology Conference here.

The next Fort Worth Technology Conference is set for November 10, 2018 at Polytechnic High School.


The Eastside Alliance Community Partnership assisted Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth members and residents in the Eastern Hills High School pyramid in signing up to volunteer at schools on Fort Worth ISD’s east side.

Prospective volunteers signed up to volunteer reading to students, participating with leadership development, mentoring and other campus events including 100 x 25 FWTX.

The Partnership set up laptops at the Optimist weekly breakfast at Dixie House Café and assisted local residents in completing online background check applications. The same day, the organization assisted local residents in applying to volunteer at its office on the Eastern Hills High School campus.

Prospective FWISD volunteers complete online background check applications

People who signed up also volunteered for schools in areas near their homes and workplaces, and they signed up to participate as readers with the Read Fort Worth Program.

“The goal of this sign-up event was to stimulate more interest in volunteering at eastside schools,” Eastside Alliance Community Partnership said in a statement. “The Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth intends to register all of its members in the volunteer database to support its objective of helping to bring out the best in eastside students through community service and leadership opportunities.”

The Eastern Hills High School pyramid includes the following schools:

  • Atwood McDonald Elementary School
  • Bill J. Elliott Elementary
  • East Handley Elementary
  • Eastern Hills Elementary
  • Handley Middle School
  • Jean McClung Middle School
  • The Leadership Academy at John T. White
  • Lowery Road Elementary
  • Meadowbrook Elementary
  • Meadowbrook Middle School
  • Sagamore Hill Elementary
  • West Handley Elementary

Fort Worth ISD’s 100 X 25 FWTX goal is that 100 percent of third-graders are reading at or above grade level by 2025. Superintendent Kent P. Scribner has partnered with Mayor Betsy Price and BNSF Executive Chairman Matt Rose to lead the community-wide Read Fort Worth campaign. The initiative brings together parents, grandparents, and caregivers as well as volunteers from the city’s business sector, higher education, non-profit organizations, and the faith-based community.

For additional details on how to volunteer, click here.

Mayfield Student-Centered Videos Generate Buzz

Thomas Mayfield's music videos are exciting Fort Worth ISD students and generating media buzz.

"I've done videos to encourage the kids in the Dunbar pyramid for three years," said Mr. Mayfield, a fourth-grade teacher at the Leadership Academy at Maude I. Logan. "Doing something like this gets them motivated."

The music and videos produced by Mayfield feature FWISD students rapping about their aspirations to attend college and accomplishing goals. In addition to teaching, Mr. Mayfield writes and produces music.

"I try to find out what's going on in the District as far as the big staple events," Mr. Mayfield said of the music he produces for students. "I love to make sure that the District initiative is pushed forward, but I want to do it in a fun way."

His most recent video, "Little Girl Magic," released over winter break, featuring students from the Young Women's Leadership Academy and the Leadership Academy at Maude Logan was recognized by the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education at a Jan. 23 meeting.

"I have to say my heart is beaming with pride from the excellence we have coming out of Fort Worth ISD," said District 9 Trustee Ashley Paz at the recent Board meeting. "Little Girl Magic is an effort to help these young ladies understand that they have the opportunity to be empowered in matters involving their own lives."

View a clip from "Little Girl Magic" below.

Mr. Mayfield's videos are viral sensations online garnering views anywhere between 300,000 to more than 1 million views on Facebook. They've been featured in stories by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, USA Today, on local TV news and radio programs and shared on Facebook by legendary soul singer Gladys Knight.

Later this month, Mr. Mayfield said he intends to release "Let her Speak," a follow-up video to "Little Girl Magic," and later this spring, he plans to release a STAAR test motivational video.

FWISD Gives Teachers Tools to Thrive

Charlie Garcia is a retail manager-turned teacher, and the Fort Worth ISD is providing him with the necessary tools to develop and thrive in his new career.

The first-year, fifth-grade teacher at Benbrook Elementary School said teaching is his second career after working 13 years as a retail manager.

In efforts to address teacher turnover, FWISD has adopted a program with intensive and targeted support for new educators that includes coaching, mentoring and individualized learning. Those efforts are resulting in an 87 percent retention rate among new teachers, according to District officials.

"As a new teacher, there's a lot that you don't know. There's a lot that you don't understand yet," Mr. Garcia says. "Fort Worth ISD provides just an ample amount of training opportunities and development opportunities."

Mr. Garcia, originally from San Juan, Texas near the Rio Grande Valley, said that he sought a career in education because he wanted to do something positive, impactful and important. He is currently participating in the Texas Teachers Alternative Certification program.

Kudos to the Jo Kelly School Health Assistants

The medical staff at the Jo Kelly School is prepared for any emergent issue that arises with the school's more than 40 students.

On campus, are some of the District's most medically-fragile, severe and profoundly disabled students. The students are unable to communicate verbally or walk and many require feedings through a tube. The medical staff assists the students with feedings, medication and other medical needs.

Rita White, the registered nurse at the Jo Kelly School, recently contacted Inside FWISD to offer kudos to her trio of health assistants -- Mona Alonso, Ashley Street and Angelica Marshall. She said that without the staff she has in place, "it wouldn't work."

"The health assistants at Jo Kelly will and do provide medical care to our students with heart and love that I have not seen in my 33 ½ years of nursing in the Army, trauma ICU, ER, home health, and previous school nursing," said Ms. White. "The health assistants' commitment here at Jo Kelly is at the top of the dedication bar.

"My health assistants should and need to be recognized for their hard work and dedicated commitment."

Health assistants must be versatile in their work, Ms. Alonso said. While one moment they're helping a student, the next they're verifying doctor's orders or responding to a crisis. She added that what she enjoys most about her job is seeing her students smile and watching them interact.

Jo Kelly health assistant Angelica Mitchell feeds a student

Ms. Marshall said the job is ever changing from week to week and requires close attention to detail. Being that the students are unable to communicate verbally, the health assistants must know when their students are sad, what makes them laugh or happy and also what makes them cry. She said it makes her feel good to know that she can be of help to her students and that they know she's there for them.

Harriette Weissenborn, a special education teacher at Jo Kelly, said the work for the school's medical staff is intensive and that they handle it "incredibly well." They know so much about the students, including their breathing patterns and when it's time to intervene.

"They're very sharp in their skills. It can be pretty intense," Ms. Weissenborn said. "A lot of what they do is routine, but there's a lot of things that are not so routine."

The job is more than administering medication and food, said Ms. Street, a health assistant at Jo Kelly. Health assistants also serve as advocates for Jo Kelly students and families.

Jo Kelly health assistant Ashley Street prepares food for a student.

"You fall in love with the kids. At the end of the day, that's who we're here for. That's who we advocate for," she said. "It's like a second family to them. That's who we are. We have to be the eyes and ears to them at all times."

Know someone who deserves being recognized with Kudos? Email us their story at Inside@fwisd.org.


Fort Worth Independent School District non-exempt employees are not required to make up hours related to late arrivals on January 16, 2018.

The District delayed school start times two hours, January 16 because of expected inclement weather.

Employees may receive up to two hours credit for late arrivals based on their schedule.

"This credit will prevent any dock in pay due to the two-hour delay," said Elsie Schiro, chief financial officer in a District memorandum. "If an employee is granted credit for any amount of time, it should be for the time missed up to two hours prior to his/her scheduled work day on January 16, 2018. These hours should in no way place the employee into overtime status in KRONOS for the week of January 13-19, 2018."

  • Compensatory time is being allowed for up to two hours to the following non-exempt employees:
  • Arrived at normal scheduled time;
  • Arrived between normal scheduled time and before delayed start time;
  • Already made up the missed time

Supervisors are required to monitor all compensatory time earned and used because of the January 16 delay.

FWISD Operations Is Hiring

Know someone looking for a job?

The Fort Worth ISD Operations Department is hiring hardworking, dedicated individuals to join the team as monitors, custodians and bus drivers.

In this video, 17-year veteran bus driver Shauntrell McIntyre talks about the impact she hopes to leave with students and the impact her job has made on her.

A bus driver is likely the first person that students interact with in the morning, she says.

"You can be a positive or you can be a negative, but to me, I rather be a positive, make them smile," Ms. McIntyre says. "I have a compassion for the kids that I pick up.

"I feel that this is the most precious cargo that you can transport."

Learn more about FWISD job opportunities today at www.fwisd.org/careers.


Thank you, Goya Foods and the Amador Molina family for your support of Fort Worth ISD's Parent University.

Goya Foods provided gift bags and backpacks for the Parent University graduates and assisted with the graduation reception on Thursday, January 25, 2018.
The family of former Manuel Jara Elementary custodian, Amador Molina, presented Parent University graduate Mayra Acosta with a $500 scholarship. The family has sponsored scholarships for Parent University graduates the last three years.

Learn more about the Parent University ceremony here.


Valentine’s Day is days away, and we want to know how do you celebrate this special day?

Do you have a sweet Valentine’s Day memory that you just can’t forget? Share your story with us, and photos if you have them, via email at Inside@fwisd.org. We will select a few submissions and feature them in our February 8 newsletter.

Professional Learning opportunities for the month of February

Waiver Day, Friday, February 2

College, Career and Military Readiness Essentials Professional Learning Conference, Friday, February 2, Education Service Center Region 11, 1451 S. Cherry Lane in White Settlement. Contact Academic Advisement Department at 817-814-2575 for more details

Learning Model sessions, Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave.

4 to 5 p.m.: Friday, February 2; Monday, February 5; Friday, February 16; Monday, March 5 and Friday, March 9

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Tuesday, February 6; Monday, February 12; Monday, February 26; Monday, March 19; Tuesday, March 27.

New Teacher Academy for Late Hires, Saturday, February 3

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo continues through Saturday, February 3

2018 FWISD Council of PTAs Founders Day Lunch, Thursday, February 15

FWISD Second Annual Literacy Conference, Saturday, February 24, Southwest High School

The Cowtown, Saturday, February 24- Sunday, February 25, 2018

Vital Link Summer Program teaching supervisor application deadline, Friday, March 23

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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