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Inside FWISD August 27, 2020

In this edition:

Superintendent Gives Return to School Update: FWISD Announces New Staff Attorney, SPED Executive Director | Fort Worth ISD Forward: District Walk Seeks Unregistered FWISD Students | Fort Worth ISD Forward: Superintendent Urges Students to Reset Their Passwords Starting Now: All Student Passwords Must Be Reset to Begin Online Learning Tuesday, September 8 | Meals To Go Summer Service Ends August 31: Meal Service Resumes at Most FWISD Campuses September 8 for District Students | Former INA Student Receives Clinton Foundation Grant To Address COVID-19 Pandemic | A Message from Dr. Scribner | FWISD Issues Re-Image Requirement To Campus Staff With District Laptops | FWISD Celebrates Retirees With Up To 50 Years Of Service Food Available At Multiple Sites Through October | Inside FWISD Briefs | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Community Resources | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

Superintendent Gives Return to School Update

FWISD Announces New Staff Attorney, SPED Executive Director

Superintendent Kent P. Scribner gave a detailed presentation outlining the District’s plans for returning to school at Tuesday’s virtual Board of Education meeting.

The plan focuses on a forward thinking approach in regards to school feeder alignment, administrative reorganization and teacher training; forward planning communication with stakeholder engagement and decision making and moving forward with funding, parent partnership, and virtual learning support for schools.

The 2020-2021 academic year begins Tuesday, September 8 with online instruction the first four weeks of school. Classes got underway online for the District’s Early College High School Monday, August 24, with 100% enrollment and attendance, respectively, Dr. Scribner said.

He said that the District is encouraged by declining COVID-19 numbers in Tarrant County and has a goal of offering in-person learning beginning October 5. The District continues to monitor COVID-19 numbers and certainly want to open schools “ at a time when we can keep them open,” Dr. Scribner said. Families will be surveyed soon on whether they prefer online or in-person learning, and they will be provided with choice moving forward.

“We as a [school] system are striving to make the best decisions in the interest of all students. Overwhelmingly, we believe that the Fort Worth ISD school community … wants to get students back to school,” Dr. Scribner said. “We want to do that virtually on the first day of school but certainly as soon as possible in person when that is deemed safe for in-person instruction. We want a sense of normalcy for students, for teachers, for principals, for parents, for support staff, administrators, four our board members and other community leaders.”

District Announces New Staff Attorney, SPED Executive Director

The Fort Worth ISD will welcome a new staff attorney and special education executive director next week.

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring of Neil Bonvita as staff attorney and Dr. Janice Carter as the District’s new special education executive director during its virtual meeting, Tuesday, August 25. Both new hires, announced and introduced by Dr. Scribner during the virtual meeting, start work on Tuesday, September 1.

Mr. Bonvita comes to FWISD from Del Valle ISD where he recently served as general counsel for the Central Texas district. For 16 years, he’s worked in public education serving the Del Valle, Austin, Hays, Spring, Round Rock and Pflugerville school districts in various roles. Mr. Bonvita began practicing law in 1991. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Portland State University; a law degree from the Houston’s South Texas College of Law and he’s currently pursuing a doctorate degree in education/school improvement from Texas State University in San Marcos. Mr. Bonvita is an active member of the State Bar of Texas and has certifications as a principal and teacher.

He said he looks forward to the opportunity and being part of the District.

“I am pleased and grateful to be joining the staff at Fort Worth ISD,” Mr. Bonvita said at Tuesday’s virtual meeting.

Dr. Carter recently served as the executive director of special education for the Inglewood Unified School District in California. Her career in education spans 18 years serving as a special education executive director, principal/regional director, assistant principal and teacher in Los Angeles-area public schools. Dr. Carter has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Howard University; master’s degrees in educational administration and special education from the California State University system and a doctorate degree in education from the University of Southern California.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I can’t wait to get to work,” Dr. Carter said of her new role Tuesday. “I’m very excited. I definitely honored.”

In other board news trustees:

  • Approved action that allows Dr. Scribner to authorize the purchase of up to 10,000 student laptops and services at a cost not exceeding $5 million. The purchase accommodates online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Approved the 2020-2021 FWISD Compensation Manual
  • Extended the application deadline by one week to September 1, 2020 for candidates vying to represent the District on the Tarrant County Appraisal District Board of Directors

View the latest Board of Education virtual meeting in its entirety on the FWISD Live YouTube page.

Fort Worth ISD Forward: District Walk Seeks Unregistered FWISD Students

What: Fort Worth ISD staff and volunteers will distribute 5,000 door hangers encouraging families to register their students for the new school year, which begins September 8.

When: Saturday, August 29, 8 to 11 a.m.

Where: Neighborhood communities around the Eastern Hills High School, Dunbar High School, O.D. Wyatt High School, Southwest High School, and Western Hills High School pyramids.

Who: 100 Fort Worth ISD and community volunteers

Summary: On Saturday, August 29, from 8 to 11 a.m., more than 100 Fort Worth ISD and community volunteers will fan out across several school pyramid zones to encourage families to register their students for the new school year, which begins with virtual instruction on September 8.

The goal is to distribute 5,000 door hangers containing information on how families can quickly and easily register their students online or at their local campus. Every returning student must be registered – and it’s very important that parents register their students now for the school year ahead.

Interested in becoming a volunteer. Sign up here today. Upon registering, volunteers will be assigned to a team and sent updates about their neighborhood assignment on Saturday. For additional information contact Mia Hall, executive director of FWISD's Equity and Excellence's Equity and Community Initiatives, at mia.hall@fwisd.org or by calling 817-814-2339.

A link to the registration process may be found on the District website at www.fwisd.org/register along with helpful advice on how to complete the form.

Volunteers will go door-to-door in the neighborhood communities around the Eastern Hills High School, Dunbar High School, O.D. Wyatt High School, Southwest High School, and Western Hills High School pyramids.

With safety being the first priority, in-person contact with residents is not expected. Participants will place the door hanger, knock, and go.

Fort Worth ISD Forward: Superintendent Urges Students to Reset Their Passwords Starting Now

All Student Passwords Must Be Reset to Begin Online Learning Tuesday, September 8

In this short video, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner says that starting today, August 24, students can reset their student password. The password reset is an essential step in preparation for the first day of school, Tuesday, September 8, and all-online learning.

Dr. Scribner explains why the reset is necessary and what to do to get started. He is joined by FWISD students of all ages who have one big question, “Do I have to do it?” (Spoiler alert – the answer is yes!) The reset will enable students to check their schedules, access online textbooks, connect with other important resources, and participate in a virtual back-to-school event.

Watch the video here.

Every student will receive an email (sent to the primary contact at home) with instructions. The email will include a default password to begin the reset process. When the student logs in, he or she will need to change their password.

This can be done on any device, whether it’s a District-issued or a personal laptop, tablet, iPad or cell phone. Parents are asked to help their younger students complete the process. Campuses will also communicate with families to provide support.

In addition, campus staff will have access to a password reset tool, and administrators, librarians and counselors will all be able to help students stay connected.

Check off this important task to prepare for online instruction and set the stage for a successful school year.

Meals To Go Summer Service Ends August 31

Meal Service Resumes at Most FWISD Campuses September 8 for District Students

Fort Worth ISD’s free breakfast and lunch Meals To Go services for children under 18 twice weekly from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 18 District locations concludes August 31.

Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Meals-To-Go service will be available at most Fort Worth ISD campuses for District students.

Twice weekly on Monday and Thursday, beginning the first week of school, FWISD students may pick up a combination of hot and cold breakfast and lunch meals from 8 a.m. to noon. On Monday, meals for the week’s first three days will be distributed. To-go meals for Thursday and Friday will be distributed on Thursdays. On Mondays in which the District is closed for holidays, pickup service will take place on Tuesday.

FWISD’s 2020-2021 academic year begins September 8 with four weeks of at-home online instruction.

Pickup locations for Meals-to-Go will generally take place in front of a campus or an area of the school that minimizes foot traffic through the building. Adjustments to Meals-To-Go services will be evaluated each four weeks based on the number of meals served. Meal service is available only for enrolled students, based on their eligibility. However, meals are available for teachers and administrators to purchase.

When the District decides to offer in-person classes, meals will be available to students on campus. The District will continue providing Meals-To-Go for students participating in online instruction.

For more information, please visit http://www.fwisd.org/mealstogo , contact the FWISD Child Nutrition Department at 817-814-3540 or 817-814-3500 or your child’s home campus.

Former INA Student Receives Clinton Foundation Grant To Address COVID-19 Pandemic

A former International Newcomer Academy student is among students recently awarded a COVID-19 Student Action Fund grant.

Yeremia Byamungu Kibangu, a former INA student who currently studies at Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, will receive grant funding to support his public service awareness and prevention campaign that helps people in “communities of color combat false narratives around public health in Hawkins, [Texas].” The campaign is titled COVID-19 is Color Blind.

The award, funded by the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative University supports college students worldwide who are committed to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, according the foundation. Mr. Kibangu is among nearly 40 global college students from 12 countries receiving grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. The fund offers at least $100,000 in total funds to students.

Click here for more details about the COVID-19 Student Action Fund.

Dear Colleagues:

As we near the first day of instruction on September 8, we are all preparing to make the weeks ahead as productive --and safe – as possible. As part of our Fort Worth ISD Forward >> plan, we are requiring everyone to complete the Safe Schools Coronavirus online courses before they return to work. This is whether you are an employee who will deliver virtual instruction or support those who do.

Those mandatory trainings are:

  • Coronavirus Awareness
  • Coronavirus: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Workplace

An email about the mandatory training began appearing in employee inboxes several weeks ago with a link to fwisd.tx.safeschools.com.

Employees may access the courses by using their employee email address and password.

For more course details, contact Aracely Chavez, Executive Director of Classified Learning, at Aracely.chavez@fwisd.org or visit the Classified Learning webpage at www.fwisd.org/Page/2807.

Sincerely,

Kent P. Scribner

FWISD ISSUES RE-IMAGE REQUIREMENT TO CAMPUS STAFF WITH DISTRICT LAPTOPS

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following memorandum issued by the Operations and Technology departments to FWISD campus staff with a District laptop is in reference to the District's laptop re-image requirement.

FWISD CELEBRATES RETIREES WITH UP TO 50 YEARS OF SERVICE

The Fort Worth ISD is thankful for its nearly 270 recent retirees and their years of service to the District.

While FWISD was not able to close the 2019-2020 academic year hosting the annual spring retirement recognition reception in their honor because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to acknowledge their contribution to the District and wish them well as they start a new chapter in their lives.

This week, FWISD celebrates the three retirees with 40-50 years of service completed the 2019-2020 academic year. The list was compiled by Human Capital Management (HCM) as of late July 2020.

They are:

1. Irma Muga, teacher's assistant I-Pre K, J. T. Stevens Elementary School – 41 years

2. Cynthia Bosquez, teacher-grade 2, M. H. Moore Elementary School – 42 years

3. Robert Bell, teacher- computer literacy, William Monnig Middle School- 50 years

Recent Retirees

The following are FWISD employees that have recently been approved for retirement according to HCM:

1. Vanessa Williams, administrative assistant III, Elementary Schools Leadership- 32 years (slated to retire August 31)

2. Patricia Tave, teacher –grade 3, Hazel Harvey Peace ES- 3 years (slated to retire August 31)

3. Brenda Thomas, custodian I, Young Men’s Leadership Academy- 7 years (slated to retire August 31)

4. Jimmie Davis, mechanic II, transportation Transportation Central- 12 years (slated to retire August 31)

5. Gloria Pedroza, teacher, grades 6-8, Rosemont Middle School- 12 years (Retired August 21)

6.Charlotte Burrell, teacher, grades 9-12 R. L. Paschal High School- 11 years (Retired June 1)

7. Sandra K. Sibley, data clerk, Polytechnic High School- (Slated to retire October 16 with 12 years service)

8. Gary Griffith, manager III, Design- Capital Improvement Project- (Slated to retire January 31, 2021 with 11 years service)

A more comprehensive list of recent retirees is slated to appear in the an upcoming Inside FWISD edition.

FOOD AVAILABLE AT MULTIPLE SITES THROUGH OCTOBER

Multiple organizations across Fort Worth are offering food to help families through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March, the Fort Worth ISD has partnered with multiple organizations to share information and organize food distribution events for families.

The Fort Worth ISD continues to offer free breakfast and lunch Meals To Go to children under 18 twice weekly from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 18 District locations through August 31. Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Meals-To-Go service will be available at most Fort Worth ISD campuses for FWISD students.

Adults may pick up meals for students if they can show documents verifying students are in the household. For more information, please visit http://www.fwisd.org/mealstogo contact the FWISD Child Nutrition Department at 817-814-3540 or 817-814-3500.

Food is available at these locations throughout October 2020:

Food Distribution

1. Monday and Wednesday, Times vary

YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth Grab and Go Meals

Multiple Locations

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth is serving free meals to youth 18 and under at multiple branch locations. Children will receive meals for multiple days. Learn more here.

2. Monday through Friday, 4- 5:30 p.m.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County

Eastside Branch, 4651 Ramey Ave.

Main Branch, 608 N. Elm St., Arlington

Martin Branch, 3123 Avenue G

NFW Branch, 2000 Ellis Ave.

Panther Branch, 1500 Hemphill

Curbside individually packaged meals and snacks are available for free to children ages 18 and younger while supplies last at Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County branch locations. Weekly at home learn resources will also be distributed with each meal.

Click here or contact LaToyia Greyer at LGreyer@bgcgtc.org for more information.

3. Friday, August 28, 9-11 a.m.

William James Middle School

1101 Nashville Ave.

Drive-through food distribution includes dairy and produce provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Box Program. Masks must be worn when picking up food.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with farmers, ranchers, specialty crop producers, food processors and distributors and nonprofit organizations to ensure that all Americans have access to the fresh and wholesome food needed during the COVID-19 national emergency. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/FarmerstoFamiliesFoodBox.pdf.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s FitWorth program is partnering with GoFresh to provide boxes of food to families.

Contact Noah Drew, director of Community Education, at 817-966-8103 for additional information.

4. Friday, August 28, 8-11 a.m.

Herman Clark Stadium

5201 CA Roberson Blvd.

Fort Worth ISD is partnering with Tarrant Area Food Bank to host a Mega Mobile Market food distribution event. Approximately 1,000 boxes of nonperishable food will be provided to families on a first-come, first-served basis.

5. Tuesday, September 1, 9-11 a.m.

Cowtown Neighborhood Farmers Market: Haltom City

The Wisdom Center

4051 Denton Highway, Haltom City

Offers locally grown produce and artisan goods grown or produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth.

Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and the Lone Star card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) accepted for eligible items as well as credit and debit cards and cash. These markets support WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and FMNP clients, and are open to the public. Access to parking will open no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

6. Wednesday, September 2, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (every Wednesday)

Bethlehem Baptist Church

1188 W. Broad St., Mansfield

Free, drive-thru food distribution open to everyone

For additional information, call 817-473-1236

7. Thursday, September 10, 9-11 a.m.

White Settlement WIC Clinic

1638 S. Cherry Lane

Offers locally grown produce and artisan goods grown or produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth.

Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and the Lone Star card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) accepted for eligible items as well as credit and debit cards and cash. These markets support WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and FMNP clients, and are open to the public. Access to parking will open no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

8. Tuesday, September 15, 9-11 a.m.

Cowtown Neighborhood Farmers Market: Haltom City

The Wisdom Center

4051 Denton Highway, Haltom City

Offers locally grown produce and artisan goods grown or produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth.

Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and the Lone Star card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) accepted for eligible items as well as credit and debit cards and cash. These markets support WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and FMNP clients, and are open to the public. Access to parking will open no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

9. Thursday, September 24, 9-11 a.m.

White Settlement WIC Clinic

1638 S. Cherry Lane

Offers locally grown produce and artisan goods grown or produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth.

Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and the Lone Star card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) accepted for eligible items as well as credit and debit cards and cash. These markets support WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and FMNP clients, and are open to the public. Access to parking will open no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

10. Thursday, October 1, 9-11 a.m.

White Settlement WIC Clinic

1638 S. Cherry Lane

Offers locally grown produce and artisan goods grown or produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth.

Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and the Lone Star card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) accepted for eligible items as well as credit and debit cards and cash. These markets support WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and FMNP clients, and are open to the public. Access to parking will open no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

For the complete Tarrant Area Mobile Food Pantry Schedule, visit https://www.tafb.org/wp-content/uploads/mobile/mobile-pantry-schedule.pdf.

Other food resources are also available:

• Social Services - https://tafb.org/services/snap/

• Go Health! Recipe Library - https://tafb.org/services/community-nutrition/recipes/.

INSIDE FWISD BRIEFS

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

City, County Expands COVID-19 Testing Sites

The City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County has expanded its free community COVID-19 testing sites. Locations for testing include two Fort Worth ISD sites.

The following are sites where COVID-19 tests are available this week.

County Extends Face Mask Order

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley has extended an executive order that includes all entities in the county providing goods or services require a face mask for visitors and employees. The order, amended Monday, has been expanded through November 30, 2020.

View the amended executive order here.

Trustee Ashley Paz Receives LWVTC Democracy Star Award for Public Service

Ashley Paz, Fort Worth ISD Board of Education District 9, is among six Tarrant County women in elective office recently presented with the 2020 League of Women Voters Tarrant County Democracy Star for distinguished public service.

The awards were presented last week to celebrate the centennial anniversary of women's suffrage and Women's Equality Day.

Learn more here.

New Teacher Academy: Teachers new to the profession and/or new to the District, hired after January 1, 2020, participated in FWISD's New Teacher Academy this week. The five-day event, which concludes Friday, offers new teachers professional learning essentials focused on topics including content, technology, social/emotional learning, equity and much more. Campus Days, focused on campus-based professional learning, are being hosted today and Friday. 

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Extended COVID-19 Coverage

CDC Tips on Properly Wearing A Cloth Mask

FWISD Partners With Virtual Care For Kids To Offer Students Telehealth Services

In efforts to reduce COVID-19 spread, the Fort Worth ISD has partnered with Virtual Care for Kids to offer students and their families telehealth services.

Students can see a Texas-based pediatrician within minutes from home virtually via computer, smartphone or tablet for urgent care services including minor colds, the flu, sore throat, cough, ear concerns, headaches, sinus or allergy issues or pink eye. Additionally, Virtual Care for Kids is offering coronavirus screening and testing in English and Spanish. Visit https://urgentcarekids.com/fwisd/ to register for services.

Employee Assistance Program Resources for FWISD Employees

FinPath Offers FWISD Employees Tips For Managing Finances During Pandemic

FinPath, an employer-paid workplace benefit, is offering Fort Worth ISD employees financial wellness tips, coaching and resources for weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched by the District last year, FinPath offers employees tips for managing finances and much more. Recent webinars and courses offered by the service have included “Dealing with the Financial Shock of COVID-19” and “Breaking Down the CARES Act and What It Means To You.”

Not using FinPath yet? Click here to activate your account.

For more details on FinPath, visit the FWISD Employee Benefits Portal and click on the Financial Wellness tab.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Check www.fwisd.org/forward regularly for District updates on Return to School and virtual learning

Follow COVID-19 updates from the City of Fort Worth at fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19/

FWISD “Meals To Go,” Available from Noon-1:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays

Online Pre-K/ Kindergarten Registration Currently Underway

Online Registration Underway

Gold Seal Programs and Schools of Choice Late Applications being accepted

New Teacher’s Academy, Continues through August 28

Employee benefits take effect, September 1

Labor Day, September 7

School Begins (first four weeks virtual), September 8

Board of Education meeting, September 22

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.

Credits:

Created with images by Etienne Boulanger - "untitled image" • Sven Scheuermeier - "Fresh Vegetable Produce" • Tai's Captures - "untitled image"