Cybersecurity Incident Update
To All FWISD Employees:
An investigation is underway to determine the origin of a malware attack to Fort Worth ISD systems earlier this week.
On Monday, Fort Worth ISD systems, including MUNIS and the “My FWISD” portal used by students and teachers to access applications, were impacted by malware. E-mail, FOCUS, and other functions hosted by our third-party vendors were not affected.
In recent days, the District has made great progress in restoring services. MUNIS and My FWISD are back up and running.
While there is no evidence of data loss, the Division of Technology and the Cisco Incident Response Team response team are continuing to investigate the situation. We anticipate on having all systems restored by the end of the week.
Malicious email remains one of the most significant and ongoing computer security threats that the Fort Worth ISD faces. Cybercriminals use a variety of email-based attacks to deliver malware, lure victims to malicious websites, and steal logon credentials, and all of us need to understand these threats and what we can do about it.
Using tools built-in to your email program, you can help determine if email arriving in your inbox is legitimate, junk (such as marketing items), or phishing. Whether you are using Microsoft Outlook or Office365 for your email, there is a simple solution to help keep you and FWISD safe.
On Office365, whether you are accessing email at your desk or off campus, click on the small icon located near the top of the page (see pictures below). This will open a dialogue box that allows you to mark the email as junk, phishing, not junk or other. Make a selection and follow the instructions.
When using Microsoft Office Outlook to access your email, the steps are almost exactly the same. Click the button at the top right-hand corner of the page labeled “Report Message” and make a selection from the drop down box (see pictures below).
FWISD Students Show Gratitude for Military Veterans, First Responders
Messages of gratitude written by Fort Worth ISD elementary school students are being delivered to local first responders and military personnel deployed overseas.
Last week, as part of Patriot Day activities, students at Luella Merrett and S.S. Dillow elementary schools participated in a volunteer service project in which they wrote letters and poems and drew pictures for first responders and deployed military members to thank them for their service. The project, done in partnership with Texas nonprofit Give More HUGS (Helping Unite Giving Souls), encourages youth to lead volunteer projects serving their communities on the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, MLK Day of Service (January 20, 2020) and Global Youth Service Day (April 17-19, 2020).
Chantel Fontenot, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Luella Merrett Elementary, and DeAnte Starks, a fourth-grade math and science teacher at S.S. Dillow are Give More HUGS teacher ambassadors and brought the projects to their campuses.
In addition to students writing letters, military and first responder veterans were invited to read with students locally and virtually.
Mr. Starks explained the significance of this service project in a recent Give More HUGS media release.
“Service to me is … providing for a person or group of people without the expectation of a thanks. It is simply knowing that you made someone’s day by doing something special,” he said. “Service shows others that no matter who you are, where you live, your ethnicity or religion there is someone who cares.”
An estimated 250 third, fourth and fifth graders were expected to participate in the youth service project at Luella Merrett Elementary, said Mrs. Fontenot. She partnered with school librarian Amy Smiley and the project was twofold.
Library goes to the dogs for Tail Waggin’ Tutors program
Courtesy of the Fort Worth Public Library
Furry, four-legged friends Phizz, Honey, Ranger and Gabby are excited to meet pals – new and old – and hear fun stories at the monthly Tail Waggin’ Tutors events 1-3 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month at the Fort Worth Public Library-Central.
The next event is set for Oct. 5.
Across the program’s 10 years, an estimated 3,600 children have read at least 144,000 minutes to the dogs – 10 minutes at a time. Children ages 6-16 who read independently grab a book to practice reading aloud for 10 minutes at a time to each of the patient pooches. Most will read to all four dogs during an event, which typically draw 20 to 30 children.
Tail Waggin’ Tutors fulfills two of the library’s strategic focus areas: cultivating a community of readers; and also enriching out-of-school time to make learning fun and enjoyable.
“My favorite thing about Tail Waggin’ Tutors is watching children transform,” said Michelle Lara, who coordinates the program at the Fort Worth Public Library.
One girl in particular would keep her head down and not engage with her, she said, taking her time each visit to get closer to the dog, whispering at first. “I was astounded when she appeared one Saturday and spoke to me without hesitation,” Lara said. “She had her book, went right to the first dog, and began reading while stroking him. We all melted.”
Phizz and Honey are veterans of the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program’s 10-year run, and all four are certified by Therapy Dogs International. Readers gain confidence and vocabulary skills, as well as an appreciation for the animals, through the program.
Jay and Meaghan Semple began taking their adopted daughter Chloe, who was 6 at the time, in Summer 2013.
“I loved the library and wanted that for my kids, too,” Jay Semple said. “I wanted the library to be a special place for our family, and we started going there just about every Saturday.” On a first Saturday of the month, the Semples saw a familiar face – Vicki Carter – who worked at the Gladney agency that had placed Chloe in their family. Carter was there with her dog Phizz, a Tail Waggin’ Tutor.
Phizz even visited Gladney on Sept. 12, 2013, the day the Semples officially adopted Chloe, who is now 12. She loves to read to her younger siblings – Mae, 7; Grace, 5; and Justus, 2.
“Chloe loved reading from an early age, and reading to the dogs was such a special opportunity,” Jay Semple said. “We love the program, and our whole family has participated as much as we can.”
Melissa Muyskens has been taking her daughter Isabelle to Tail Waggin’ Tutors for more than two years. Isabelle is now in the second grade.
“I always have instilled reading in our home,” Muyskens said. “We have books in every room of our house, including the bathroom. I saw the sign at the library and wanted to help Isabelle learn to read.”
As a first-grader, Isabelle volunteered to read a difficult and lengthy scripture reading to all the 700 students in her school.
“I have no doubt that Tail Waggin’ Tutors helped give her the confidence to do this,” Muyskens said. “The program has been so beneficial to her and her ability to read. She looks forward to reading and petting the dogs, the owners help and encourage her along the way. As parents, we sit back and get to experience her pride; we see her face light up.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are recent photos from across the Fort Worth ISD.
North Texas Giving Day: Today on North Texas Giving Day Superintendent Kent P. Scribner became a member of each of the District's PTA groups.
Hispanic Heritage Month: Multiple Fort Worth ISD schools are hosting events and activities, decorating classroom doors, doing research projects and putting up educational displays in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Observed annually September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic Americans, who are descendants of individuals from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The observance originated in 1968 as a weeklong celebration and expanded into a 30-day commemoration in 1988, according to hispanicheritagemonth.gov.
Community Boundary forum at Arlington Heights High School: Local residents attended the first of multiple FWISD community forums slated throughout the fall. Between now and November 19, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner will host community forums at every comprehensive high school in the Fort Worth ISD. The topics: school feeder patterns and overcrowding, demographic shifts, and equity for all students.
Attendees are encouraged to use our new Let’s Talk! feature for questions and feedback during the Boundary Forums. You’ll be able to submit a question or comment from any device, and we’re committed to returning a timely response.
College Night: High school students, along with their parents, attended Fort Worth ISD’s 2019 annual “College Night” on Monday at the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibit Hall. College Night is a mall of educational opportunities, with multiple colleges, universities and institutions from around Texas and across the nation ready to recruit new students. It offers “one-stop shopping” for higher education including financial aid seminars, a discussion on scholarships available in Tarrant County and college admissions details.
O.D. Wyatt Celebrates Homecoming with CBS 11 Pep Rally, Other Festivities: Wyatt Nation celebrated homecoming as the featured CBS 11 Pep Rally, September 13. CBS 11 Meteorologist Anne Elise Parks interviewed O.D. Wyatt High School athletes, club members, alumni and administrators live on the CBS 11 News This Morning show in the high school gymnasium. Other homecoming festivities throughout the weekend included a student vs. alumni basketball game, parade and the homecoming game against Trimble Tech.
Battle of the Boot: The coveted Battle of the Boot trophy will remain at North Side High School. The team defeated Diamond Hill-Jarvis 42-20 in the the fifth annual in-district rivalry Battle of the Boot match, September 14 at Farrington Field. Prior to the game were lively tailgate events.
Elementary School Celebrations: FWISD's Elementary School Leadership Department recognized campus principals this week for effective instruction and effective, well supported teachers on their campuses. The principals at Milton Kirkpatrick Elementary was also presented with a $5,000 incentive for her campus because the school achieved the highest average daily attendance for the sixth six weeks during the 2018-2019 school year. The Elementary School Leadership Department also recognized administrative associates for customer service this week. Look for more about the celebrations soon on the Inside FWISD blog.
Springdale Elementary: Effective, well supported teachers
Bruce Shulkey Elementary: Effective instruction
Sam Rosen Elementary: Effective instruction
Eastern Hills Elementary: Effective instruction
Washington Heights Elementary: Effective, well supported teachers
Luella Merrett Elementary: Effective instruction
Milton Kirkpatrick Elementary: Student Attendance Incentive Winner
Administrative Associate Customer Service Honorees
State of Public Education: Superintendents from the Fort Worth and Arlington school districts discussed how the two districts are shaping the futures of more than 140,000 students through college and career readiness initiatives at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s 16th annual State of Public Education luncheon, Thursday, September 12. Almost 300 business, education and community leaders attended the event hosted in downtown Fort Worth.
Paschal Students Use Scanning Electron Microscope for Research: The Botanical Research Institute of Texas Education Department recently loaned the microscope to Paschal High School for a week. Students learned about electron microscopy and collected data that will be used to present a poster at a biology conference this November. The last two years, students at Paschal have researched the turtle community in the Trinity River, and one of the projects examines diatoms (a type of algae) on the shells of the turtles. Recently, students took photos of diatoms using the scanning electron microscope. The sample was taken from a red-eared slider turtle caught by students in the river. The Trinity River Turtle Survey was made possible through a generous grant from Texas Christian University Andrews Institute.
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