Inside FWISD December 14, 2017

Superintendent’s Holiday Message is a Dream Coming True

A young talented pianist, the I.M. Terrell construction site, a magical trip to New York, and the power of belief all come together in Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner’s December video message to teachers and staff.

Watch this enjoyable riff on the poem commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” for a peek at what went into the recent selection of a grand piano for the new I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA.

The selection team included Maite Hererra, South Hills High School senior; Chris Walk, Executive Director of Fort Worth ISD’s Visual and Performing Arts Department: Don Devous, Secondary Choral Music Director for Fort Worth ISD; Baldwin Brown, Principal of the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA, and Buddy Bray, pianist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

The video also provides an inside-the-work-zone look at the piano’s future home, which will also be grand – the I.M. Terrell auditorium.

Behind-the-scenes photos from Dr. Scribner's December message.


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, email Mr. Brown at Baldwin.brown@fwisd.org.

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

YWLA Principal Tamara Albury Named a Tarrant Influencer

Tamara Albury, principal at Fort Worth ISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy, is the featured BetterTarrant.com Tarrant Influencer – Woman of Distinction for the week of December 11, 2017.

Weekly, BetterTarrant.com recognizes men and women making noteworthy contributions to improve Tarrant County and who exhibit characteristics of excellence, innovation, style, impact or inspiration. BetterTarrant.com, according to its website, appeals to “young, outgoing, politically-savvy and mobile-minded professionals.”

Ms. Albury joined Fort Worth ISD in 2002 and has led YWLA for two years.

Read more about Ms. Albury as a Tarrant Influencer here.

A few years ago, the District launched a very popular feature called Ask Hank, in which you asked CFO Hank Johnson about matters concerning school finance. That notion quickly spread beyond finance, though, and soon Hank was fielding questions concerning just about everything under the sun. The feature was so well-received that we continued to get Ask Hank questions a year-and-a-half after Mr. Johnson retired.

Well, in the spirit of engagement, we are now introducing an Inside FWISD column called Ask Elsie. Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro will tackle your queries or, in areas outside her purview, ask other District leaders to answer them.

Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put 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.

Thanks, and don’t hesitate to Ask Elsie!

FWISD Closed for Winter Break Dec.22-Jan. 5

Winter break is quickly approaching.

Beginning Friday, December 22, Fort Worth ISD will close for winter break to observe the holidays.

Students at most FWISD high schools will have an early dismissal, Thursday, December 21. Check with your campus leadership for more details. All other schools are expected to dismiss students at the regular-scheduled time.

District staff will return to work January 8 for a teacher preparation and in-service day. Classes resume for students on January 9.

FWISD Thanks Area Partners, Generous Community Donors

Fort Worth ISD has a lot to be grateful for this holiday season, thanks to all of our generous business and community partners.

Since August, the District has received more than $215,000 in-kind donations, as well as cash donations, according to officials with the Community and Strategic Partnerships Department.

“Fort Worth ISD is grateful to our many supportive partners who continue to be involved with carrying out the mission of Preparing ALL students for success in college, career, and community leadership,” said Peg Murphy, director of the Community and Strategic Partnerships Department. “Community partnerships are key to making positive impacts on the lives of students as they pursue academic and personal success in order to be prepared for the workforce and for their roles as citizens and future leaders.”

This semester, businesses and community donors contributed cash, school supplies, household appliances, groceries, clothing, sports bottles, trophies, Christmas gifts and decorations to multiple FWISD schools. Contributors have also sponsored student parties, promoted school events, acted as advisers on curriculum and best practices, served as mentors, and participated in activities that get students active and teach them how to grow their own food.

A special thank you to the following donors:

• All Saints Church

• Amazon Fulfillment

• BBVA Compass

• Benbrook Police Officer’s Association

• Burns and McDonnell

• CBS Radio

• Costco

• Elevate

• El Fenix

• Graco Supply

• H&R Block

• Impossible Possibilities/Maven’s Incentive Program

• Joe Hidrogo and Juan Rangel with Round 1 Boxing

• Just Say Yes

• Kroger

• Lockheed Martin

• Metro Ministries Fort Worth

• Mrs. Allison Rix from Holy Family Church

• Pier 1 Imports

• Prime Lending

• Southside Optimist Club

• TCU Andrew’s Institute, Bryant Bridge of Hope Foundation

• Title 1 Boxing

• The Miles Foundation

• The Western Hills High School Cougar Pride Foundation

• UPS Capital

• Vicki Hernandez

Visit the FWISD Facebook page for videos and photos of recent donor events hosted across the District.


An energetic pep rally was held at Westcliff Elementary School recently to honor the school Nutrition Services Team.

The school, was recently recognized as the Texas Christian University Breakfast Challenge winner for increasing its breakfast participation during the months of September and October. The school started the challenge with a kickoff celebration attended by TCU athletes who ate breakfast with students and talked to them about education and the importance of starting the day with a nutritious meal. The Nutrition Services team created a TCU-themed breakfast for the event. The FWISD school with the highest breakfast participation increase from September to the end of October was selected the challenge winner and received a visit from TCU mascot, the Super Frog, and other Horned Frog guests.

Ashley Phillips, assistant director of compliance for child nutrition services, said that Westcliff Elementary doubled its breakfast participation the day of its kickoff celebration and has since “consistently maintained a higher breakfast participation” rate.

TCU cheerleaders presented members of the Westcliff Elementary Nutrition Services Team, and the Super Frog danced with students and staff.

“We appreciate our nutrition services ladies for providing delicious, healthy choices for breakfast and lunch every day with a smile! They even take time to decorate the kitchen area for the holidays,” said Principal Sara Gillaspie. “Thanks to our students for making an effort to eat breakfast at school during October and November! This focus on nutrition is part of what we do at Westcliff as a Blue Zones Certified campus!”

The challenge, Gillaspie said, was an appropriate activity that falls in line with the campus being a Blue Zones Project Approved School. It promotes healthy eating and the importance of being active, Ms. Gillaspie said. Westcliff Elementary was designated a Blue Zones Project Approved School in August.

Stay in the Know with FWISD

Download FWISD Mobile App, Be Prepared for Inclement Weather

Be prepared when inclement weather arrives. Download the Fort Worth ISD Mobile App, and stay up-to-date on any weather-related school closures, delays and extracurricular activity cancellations.

The free app is available to everyone – teachers, students, staff, parents and the general community -- in Apple and Google Play stores. The digital program is compatible with iOS and Android operating systems.

Use the FWISD Mobile App, and be the first to receive immediate District messages on your electronic device. Also available on the app are calendars, news releases, messages from school principals and lunch menus.

During a recent weather event, the app was downloaded by 9,000 users in a day.

Be proactive. Download the Fort Worth ISD Mobile App, visit the District’s Know the Plan website and prepare for the next inclement weather event.

Share your story ideas, successes, calendar items, photos, questions and feedback with us at Inside@FWISD.orgCheck the Inside FWISD blog, www.fwisd.org/insidefwisd, regularly updated throughout the week with additional content and features.

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