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Inside FWISD October 1, 2020

In this edition:

Why, Why Now: New Video Explains FWISD’s November Tax Rate Election | Fort Worth ISD Trustees Approve Return to Campus Phase-In Schedule: Also Approve Hybrid Instructional Model for District High Schools | FWISD Issues Campus Technology Preparation Plan| FWISD Announces Flu Vaccine Clinics For Employees | Employee Self Service Now Available | FWISD Accepts IMA Nominations | Teachers Are Doing Virtually Everything To Showcase Their Online Classrooms In This Year’s Chairs For Teaching Excellence Award Program | MeKayla Cook: ‘You hold power in voting’ -- Inside FWISD Spotlights Student Voter Registration EffortsFWISD Adds Alice Contreras To Wall Of Fame | Fort Worth ISD Solidifies Legacy Of Alice Contreras: “Educator, Leader, & Pioneer for Diversity” | FWISD Announces Recent Retirees | What Children Need To Know About Fire Safety | FWISD Policy Alert For October 2020Food Available At Multiple Sites Through November | Inside FWISD Briefs | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Community Resources | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

Why, Why Now: New Video Explains FWISD’s November Tax Rate Election

In a new video, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner answers essential questions about the Fort Worth ISD Voter-Approval Tax Ratification Election (TRE) on November 3. He explains that, if approved, the TRE will provide funds for:

  • Increased teacher salaries to attract and retain top educators
  • Expanded safety, health, and security on campuses, including more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Chromebooks, hot spots and reliable connectivity to the internet for all students

Also in the video, you’ll hear from FWISD Chief Financial Officer Michael Ball and learn how the TRE, if approved by voters, would generate $44 million for the District plus another $22 million from the State. He also breaks down what the TRE would mean for homeowners.

Please mark your calendars for:

  • Early Voting – October 13 – 30.
  • Election Day – Tuesday, November 3.

FORT WORTH ISD TRUSTEES APPROVE RETURN TO CAMPUS PHASE-IN SCHEDULE

Also Approve Hybrid Instructional Model for District High Schools

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education recently voted to extend virtual learning by an additional two weeks to October 19 with in-person instruction phased in beginning October 5 for various and special student groups. [See attached chart]

The District must still seek a waiver from the Texas Education Agency in order to implement the new timeline.

The decision came at the end of a marathon 10-and-one-half hour meeting which began at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22 and ended close to 4 a.m. on Wednesday. Earlier in the evening, trustees heard more than three hours of public comment from almost 200 citizens, followed by reports from senior staff detailing several options.

At the same time, trustees also approved a hybrid model of in-person instruction for the District’s high schools. The plan will split students into two groups that will alternate two days of in-person and two days of virtual education. The two cohorts would then attend school every other Friday.

  • Ninth-grade students will start the hybrid model during the phase-in week of October 5 and 10th grade students will begin the hybrid model the week of October 13
  • The full implementation for grades 9-12 will happen on October 19

Specific schedules and details will be shared soon by each high school.

Phase-In Timeline

Under the two-week virtual instruction extension plan, teachers will report to campus on September 28.

Asynchronous instruction will continue District-wide on October 1 and 2, which will also be designated as days on which teachers can prep their rooms for in-person instruction.

Pre-K, Kindergarten, first grade, 6th grade, and 9th grade students – as well as self-contained special education classes – who choose in-person instruction will return on October 5. Seventh-graders at Rosemont, Wedgwood, McLean, and Forest Oak Middle Schools who choose in-person instruction will also begin this day.

Monday, October 12, will be a teacher “flex day” for professional development. This will be a holiday for students

Then, second, third, seventh, and 10th-grade students who choose in-person instruction will begin classes on October 13.

Finally, all students will participate in either in-person or virtual classes on October 19.

Campuses will proactively communicate all of these plans to parents and students.

FWISD Issues Campus Technology Preparation Plan

EDITOR's NOTE: The following document issued by FWISD's Student and School Support provides actions that allow all users a high quality internet connectivity experience when students return to the campus and network usage increases.

FWISD Announces Flu Vaccine Clinics For Employees

Passport Health/Staying Healthy Medical Services will be providing on site vaccination clinics for Fort Worth ISD this fall for all eligible employees and their eligible immediate family members. A schedule of clinic locations and times is listed below.

To sign up for a clinic please visit: https://www.passageware.com/ClinicSignUp/FWISD/. Any questions regarding insurance should be directed to Passport Health at 469-241-1954.

If you have questions about this communication (excluding insurance information), please reach out to the Health Services department at 817-814-2990.

They are able to accept the following insurances:

  • All TRS plans offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield – covered at 100%
  • Aetna*
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield*
  • Cigna*
  • Humana
  • United Health Care
  • Medicare Part B (Flu shots only - also, please provide a copy of any supplement plans)

They do not accept HMO plans other than BCBS Primary, Primary+ and Scott & White.

*They are unable to accept Aetna & Blue Cross Gold, Silver & Bronze plans and Cigna Local Plus. Please see the consent forms for other known exceptions of plans that do not cover vaccines at 100%.

The following vaccines will be available:

On the date of your vaccinations, you must bring a photo copy of both your insurance card and your driver’s license to receive your vaccinations at no charge. Electronic cards cannot be accepted. Cash or a check made out to Staying Healthy Medical Services are also acceptable.

When you enroll online, a confirmation page will be displayed. Follow the link to print the consent form for vaccinations. Only one consent form is needed for all vaccinations. The B12 shot will require a separate form. If you have questions about any particular vaccination, please see the onsite nurse on the day of the clinic.

The new Shingles vaccine (Shingrix) will be available at this clinic for employees (age 50-64) that register for it. Please note that this vaccine is known to cause more frequent local reactions than other routine immunizations and cannot be given to anyone younger than 50 years old.

Individuals age 65 and over can only receive the flu shot, no other vaccines, if using insurance. Age appropriate vaccines can be administered to those 65 and over that are paying out of pocket for the vaccine.

If you received routine vaccinations from Staying Healthy Medical Services, other than flu, in previous years and need a copy of your records, please email them at info@stayinghealthymedical.com. In the email you will need to include your name and birthdate. Depending on the carrier, insurance claims may be filed as Community Health and Immunization Services or Staying Healthy Medical Services.

If you have questions (excluding insurance information) about this communication, please reach out to the Health Services department at 817-814-2990.

Flu Vaccine Clinics - Schedule

Employee Self Service Now Available

Colleagues:

Full access (internal and external) to Employee Self Service (ESS) has been restored. All active employees can now view their paycheck and salary information by accessing the ESS webpage https://employeeselfservice.fwisd.org/mss/ and selecting 'Log In'. Please be sure to enter your user id without fwisd.org (i.e. jane.doe) and your network password.

Thank you for your patience,

If you have problems with your user ID & Password, you may direct your inquiry to “Let’s Talk” and select “Customer Service.”

FWISD Accepts IMA Nominations

EDITOR's NOTE: The following memorandum from the Curriculum Policy Department is regarding Instructional Materials Advisory Committee nominations.

Teachers are Doing Virtually Everything to Showcase their Online Classrooms in this Year’s Chairs for Teaching Excellence Award Program

Fort Worth ISD teachers are using chats, transcripts, screen capture software and other newly-acquired tricks of the trade to showcase their virtual classrooms in this year’s Chairs for Teaching Excellence award program.

This rigorous award program has always involved an application, teaching demonstration, and panel interview. Each year, selection committee members review more than 100 applications to select finalists. The teaching demonstration has involved District staff visiting classrooms and recording the teacher on video for judges to evaluate before the panel interview in late October.

Like everything else in public education, the Teaching Chairs program has changed significantly to recognize and reward teachers in the middle of a global pandemic. Nothing about this year’s program is the same except for its rigorous three-part process and the dedication of teachers, committees, and partnership sponsors.

This year’s application included questions about teaching during a pandemic. In addition, teachers had to have been a Classroom Teacher of the Year during the last five years or had to demonstrate on their application how they are leaders in and out of the classroom. A record 140 teachers across the program’s 16 categories applied during the spring.

No staff will visit classrooms to shoot video this year, so teachers are submitting videos of themselves teaching virtually, using Google Meet or Zoom. Selection committees will still look for student engagement, but engagement will look different depending on the teacher and the platform.

Some students do not unmute themselves during class because of background noise, so teachers can submit a class transcript to demonstrate engagement. Sometimes when teachers show slides on their screen, the viewer cannot see students’ faces, so engagement may be verbal or a combination of verbal and chat. Some teachers are using screen capture software to show themselves, their students, and the lesson being taught, all on one screen, due to the limitations of Google Meet and Zoom.

Each year, the Fort Worth ISD Chairs for Teaching Excellence awards recognizes outstanding classroom teachers in 16 categories. Exemplary teachers who win this award receive $5,000 and the title of Chair of Teaching Excellence for one year. Dedicated partnership sponsors have provided cash awards since the program’s inception in 1994.

The 2020 Fort Worth ISD Chairs for Teaching Excellence will be announced in mid-November.

MeKayla Cook: ‘You hold power in voting’

Inside FWISD Spotlights Student Voter Registration Efforts

EDITOR’s NOTE: In editions of Inside FWISD leading up to the November 3 election, we will spotlight efforts across the District encouraging FWISD students to be part of the election process.

Meet MeKayla Cook, a senior at FWISD’s Dunbar High School, that’s leading efforts to ensure her peers are registered to vote in the November 3 general and special elections.

Recently, Inside FWISD chatted with MeKayla about her efforts and the importance of voting. Through not yet of eligible age to vote, she’s making strides to ensure that her peers that are eligible to vote do so this upcoming election cycle.

Texans who want to be eligible to vote in the November 3 general and special elections must submit their voter registration documents no later than Monday, October 5. Registered Texas voters can vote early October 13-30. Election Day is November 3.

MeKayla is one of seven high school organizers for National High School Voter Registration Day in North Texas, a local initiative focused on high school voter education, registration, mobilization and awareness. On National Voter Registration Day, September 22, the group hosted an Election 2020 Teen Talk webinar to raise voter registration awareness. The virtual event featured Tarrant County Election officials, local school district administrators and officials, students and parents.

Check out a portion of the Q&A from Inside FWISD’s correspondence with MeKayla here:

Q: How did you become involved with National High School Voter Registration Day- North Texas and become a high school organizer?

A: Over the summer, I’d become more involved in social issues after the death of George Floyd. I joined a group of peers to discuss what we could do as young people and got the opportunity to meet some community leaders of Fort Worth. The advice I received was to 1) research, research, research and 2) vote. This inspired a flame of activism within me, which only grew as a result of my Texas Wesleyan Upward Bound government class.

The teacher … taught us about the different systems that control our everyday lives, including the banking system and the Electoral College. He then allowed us to discuss our thoughts through one pagers and in-class reviews. My peers and I soon realized that there were a lot of moving parts and issues within our country that we initially had no idea existed. As our summer class came to an end, [the teacher] encouraged us to engage more with our elected officials and make our voices heard. Again, I was told to use my voice through voting.

As the national election drew closer, I grew excited about the opportunity to vote for the first time! I know that in Texas, 17 years and 10 months is the “age of majority” legally, so I figured I’d be able to vote on November 3rd. Sadly, I cannot because that age only applies when registering to vote, not actually casting a ballot.

Disappointed, I began to look for other ways to get involved with the voting process. I sent in an application to be a student poll worker and then reached out to some of the community leaders I’d met before… who then helped me create the National High School Voter Registration Day in North Texas initiative and reach out to not only my high school, but students of other high schools, as well.

Q: How are you getting out the message to your classmates about registering to vote and when did you start?

A: Of course, one of the first things I did was reach out to my friends and ask if they were going to vote if eligible. Most were just as confused as me or unable to vote yet. I wanted to reach a bigger sphere of students, however, so I began to look into reaching different high schools to ensure that their students are getting registered to vote. This all started in August when I first sent out letters to elected officials and community organizations, and then took off in September as I gathered more student leaders to send their own letter to their respective communities.

Q: About how many people have you assisted with registering so far? Does everyone you’ve registered attend Dunbar High, and if not, what are some other schools or areas of North Texas where you’ve registered voters?

A: I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but I do know that about 100 seniors at Dunbar, alone, are eligible to register to vote.

Although my immediate area of influence is FWISD and Tarrant County, I’ve gathered a team of students from other locations: Lancaster High School, Westlake Academy, Hockaday School in Dallas, North Crowley High School, and Central High School in Fort Worth to help push this initiative within their own schools.

I’m also building a partnership with March to the Polls and their partnering student groups, Voices of the Empowered in Tarrant County and the Student Voter Empowerment Coalition in Dallas, to provide for a broader span of students. March to the Polls has an online form that allows students to fill out their information and have a registration form sent directly to them. This could help alleviate the pressure on high schools in registering students, since school is obviously the best way to reach the greatest number of new voters. This is also why I’ve reached out to FWISD to help push the initiative further throughout the district.

Q: How significant, in your opinion, is it that you and your classmates and other high school students like you exercise their right to vote this November?

A: This November election will be a historic one. It’s occurring during a time of political unrest. There’s literally a split between the left and right, which I’m still trying to understand today.

My generation will have to deal with the consequences of whoever is elected to be our president. Whether it’s Trump or Biden, the two dominating candidates right now, we will have to grow up fixing something and our vote can determine what exactly we will have to fix and how much effort it will take to fix it.

Q: What are some things you’ve noticed that many high school students don’t know about the voter registration process and what’s the message you hope to share with them?

A: I’ve noticed that many are confused about where to get registration forms and how to legally fill them out. There’s also confusion over whether or not registering actually qualifies for casting a ballot, because the number 17 years and 10 months implies that one would be able to vote as long as one is registered. That’s obviously not the case because even if registered, students can’t vote until 18. I think this should be made clearer for students, and that registration forms should be provided by students’ high schools in order to make the process as easy as possible.

Preferably school districts will also support each of their schools and students by helping streamline the ordering of registration forms and ensuring each school is distributing them to students with the proper information for successful completion.

The message I’d like to send to my peers is, ”Don’t you dare let anyone, including yourself, convince you that your voice, your vote doesn’t matter. Recent events would lead minorities, especially, to believe such a thing, but I assure you that you hold power in voting. You CAN determine your future by deciding who YOUR leaders will be. As a young, black, female student, I know how small one can feel in a world that doesn’t seem to listen. I am here to tell you that you are capable of pushing the changes you want to see in your community. Not voting equals silence and silence changes nothing.”

View the early voting schedule and locations for Tarrant County here.

For more voting details and to check your voter registration status, visit votetexas.gov or the Tarrant County Elections Administration website.

FWISD Adds Alice Contreras To Wall of Fame

The contributions made by Alice Contreras stretch back more than just decades. The former Fort Worth ISD Director of Bilingual Education impacted generations of students and educators, building a legacy of inclusion and acceptance that continues to impact the District today.

Mrs. Contreras also happens to be a former District student, and her inspirational career is being celebrated as she will be among the next class of the prestigious FWISD Wall of Fame. The Wall of Fame is dedicated to those whose FWISD education served as the basis of their success.

“Alice Contreras, like many other ethnic minority teacher educators of her generation was, no doubt, motivated in her approach to education by her own personal experience as a young Mexican-American student facing discrimination in the public school system,” said Dr. Rudy Rodriguez, founding FWISD Director of Bilingual Education. “This was evident in her hard work and mucho corazón devoted to improving education for Spanish-speaking children in the FWISD and other culturally diverse learners. ‘Fixing the system’ thus was not only a professional interest for Alice, but also a personal one.”

Alice Contreras was born in Fort Worth in 1928, went to Washington Heights Elementary and graduated from North Side High School. She began teaching in FWISD at M.G. Ellis Elementary after graduating from Texas Wesleyan in 1951. One of the few Mexican-American teachers in FWISD, she followed Dr. Rodriguez as bilingual director in 1976. Mrs. Contreras died in 2013, at the age of 85.

“Alice taught me and other Mexican-American students, and was a wonderful role model for teachers who wanted to become principals, vice-principals and administrators in Fort Worth ISD,” said Jesse Martinez, former District 6 FWISD board member. “She is someone whom all of Fort Worth can be proud of.”

Mrs. Contreras poured her considerable heart into her students, colleagues, and mission to expand bilingual and ESL programs. FWISD has previously honored her with the dedication of Alice D. Contreras Elementary, which was championed by Mr. Martinez.

“Alice left the legacy that we as teachers respect all children, regardless of race, color, rich, poor, etcetera,” said Dr. Anita Castaneda, an assistant professor at Tarleton State University. “Do the best job you can so the children can become productive citizens and aspire to become the best in the area of their choice.”

Dr. Castaneda was in the Teacher Corps Program, a collaboration between Texas Wesleyan and FWISD, when she met Mrs. Contreras. They formed a friendship that lasted a lifetime.

“Alice took a great interest in our needs as far as training and helping us, as Teacher Corps teacher interns in the classroom,” Dr. Castaneda said. “She took an interest not just in our educational needs, but in our personal needs and concerns because the majority of us were from cities far from Fort Worth.”

Dr. Castaneda added that beyond the positive influence Mrs. Contreras had on Hispanic children throughout FWISD, she implored District principals to ensure bilingual programs were being carried out as they were intended.

“Mrs. Contreras was an educator who worked tirelessly to provide the best bilingual education to students,” said Guadalupe Barreto, principal at World Languages Institute. “She also managed to nurture young adults who were interested in becoming bilingual teachers. I was one of the young adults who became a bilingual teacher because of her guidance and support.”

Mrs. Contreras worked alongside Dr. Rodriguez in the bilingual department before succeeding him as director. Those early years proved challenging, as the department was tasked with building a program without a clearly defined curriculum. Mrs. Contreras’ leadership and experience as an educator proved invaluable in developing a focused curriculum.

“This newly reformed approach to teaching and learning incorporated a well-balanced program of academic development,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “Especially new and innovative was the use of English and Spanish suited for English learners, unlike the traditional mono-cultural, English-only ‘one size fits all’ program of education.

“The updated curriculum also integrated opportunities for the first time for children to enhance their appreciation for their cultural and language differences as part of their improved social and psychological development.”

Mrs. Contreras’ induction is especially poignant as part of the District’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

“By honoring her legacy in this manner, Alice Contreras, as one of the new members of the FWISD Wall of Fame, now becomes a part of the expansive history and record of education excellence of the Fort Worth ISD,” Dr. Rodriguez said.

“I should also mention the timing for this posthumous recognition beautifully aligns with the national celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. As Hispanics, we are united by our collective pride and a strong faith in every Hispanic moving toward a better future, as evidenced by Alice Contreras’ exemplary record as professional educator and distinguished service to Fort Worth children and families.”

Fort Worth ISD Solidifies Legacy of ALICE CONTRERAS

“Educator, Leader, & Pioneer for Diversity”

EDITOR's NOTE: Rudy Rodriguez, founding director of Fort Worth ISD’s first Bilingual Education Program, paid the following tribute to Alice Contreras at the September 22 Board of Education meeting.

Thanks to Fort Worth ISD Board President Jacinto (Cinto) Ramos and District Trustees for honoring the legacy of one of the District’s first Hispanic educators, Alice Contreras. Her photo and record of achievement will now be added to the District’s highly coveted WALL OF FAME with other framed portraits of Fort Worth citizens and school personnel. These are distinguished individuals who, by virtue of their exemplary work and service, have honored and brought prestige to the FWISD.

Alice now becomes a part of the long history and record of education excellence of the Fort Worth ISD.

I appreciated the opportunity of nominating Alice Contreras for this posthumous distinguished recognition and feel equally fortunate to have worked with Alice during my 1969-1973 years as founding director of the FWISD Bilingual Program. During those formative years, we were faced with the daunting task of building a program without a clearly defined curriculum. Alice, as one of the most experienced of educators in the program, provided sorely needed leadership and guidance in shaping a more coherent and focused curriculum for mainly Mexican – American non-English speakers. This newly reformed approach to teaching and learning incorporated a well-balanced program of academic development. Especially new and innovative were the use of English and Spanish suited for Spanish-speaking children. This was unlike the traditional and highly punitive English-only “one size fits all” school program.

I should mention the timing for this recognition beautifully aligns with the national celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. As Hispanics we should all celebrate our collective pride and strong faith in every Hispanic moving toward a better future, as evidenced by Alice Contreras’ exemplary record as a caring educator and distinguished service to Fort Worth children and families.

The FWISD program of bilingual education ably led by Executive Director Cloris Rangel continues to flourish today. This can be attributed, in large measure, to the extraordinary dedication y mucho corazón of the early trailblazers “who paved the way” such as Alice Contreras, the consummate professional.

MIL GRACIAS, ALICE, FOR MAKING US SO VERY PROUD!!!! “YOU SOWED THE SEEDS THAT BEAR THE FRUIT FOR GENERATIONS NOW AND TO COME.”

FWISD Announces Recent Retirees

The following are Fort Worth ISD employees that have recently retired, according to human Capital Management.

They are:

1. Delia Shiflet, middle school/special education data clerk, Glencrest 6th Grade- 25 years

2. Kathleen Glass, diagnostic evaluation specialist, Special Education Department- 21 years

3. Cheryl Cantu-Mireles, ninth-12th grade teacher, World Languages Institute- 32 years

4. Charlotte Burrell, ninth-12th grade teacher, Paschal High School- 31 years

WHAT CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FIRE SAFETY

EDITOR's NOTE: The following communication regarding children and safety is from the Fort Worth Fire Department.

October is Fire Safety Month. During this time when many children are at home because of the pandemic, parents can help teach their kids some fundamental fire prevention and safety education ways to stay safe.

Take a few moments to explain that fire is dangerous and can harm or even kill people and pets, and damage your home and belongings. Taking the time now to help your children learn what to do in case fire breaks out in your home can prevent tragedy later.

Here are important fire safety concepts to teach children, presented in easy-to-remember phrases. Teach your children these rules and reinforce the messages with the suggested activities for each.

"Do your part: Be fire smart!"

The smart thing for children to do is to stay away from anything that can start a fire or burn them-especially matches, lighters and candles. This includes the kitchen stove, fireplace, space heaters, radiators, irons and other hot appliances. Create a "safe space" rule for children: they are not to come within 3 feet of any of these items. Remind children never to place anything on top of radiators or space heaters. Tell your children you count on them to be smart about fire safety.

"A TOOL NOT A TOY!"

Children set more than 700,000 fires every year in the United States. Impress upon your children that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys, and that they are to stay away from them. Tell your children that if they see matches or a lighter lying about, they are to tell a grown-up right away.

"Know when to go."

Smoke detectors are proven lifesavers. Be sure your children know the sound of a smoke detector alarm and to get out fast when they hear it. Enlist your children's help in testing smoke alarms monthly and in changing the batteries twice a year.

"Don't be scared-be prepared."

Create and practice a family home fire escape plan. Have your children help draw up a floor plan of your home showing two ways out of each room (usually a door and a window). Visit each room and have children point to the two ways out." Then have "fire drills" where everyone has to get outside from different places in the house.

"Go straight to the meeting place."

Your family fire escape plan should designate a meeting place a safe distance from the house-such as a mailbox, tree or lamppost. Teach children to go and wait there if a fire breaks out -- and never to go back inside for anything.

"Never hide-hurry outside."

Impress upon children that they are to get out quickly when they see smoke or hear the smoke alarm. Tell them not to stop or to take anything -- toys, clothes or pets.

"See smoke, crawl low; door's hot, don't go."

In a fire, the air near the floor is fresher and cooler. Help children learn to crawl low under smoke by holding towels or sheets about 3 feet above the floor for them to make their way under. Also teach children to test a closed door before opening it. Have them practice by placing the back of a hand on the doorknob and at the crack of the door. If the door is warm, fire could be on the other side, so children should leave the door closed and use the second way out of the room.

"Never fear firefighters in gear."

A firefighter dressed in bulky "turnout" gear, a helmet and face mask can be a frightening sight to young children. Tell children that firefighters are their friends who come to help them. Find pictures of firefighters in gear on the Internet. Better yet, take your children to visit the fire station. Call ahead to arrange a visit or watch for notices of fire station open houses.

"Stay in control: Stop, drop and roll."

Children should know not to run if their clothes catch fire. Instead, they should stop, drop to the ground, cover their face with their hands and roll over and over until the flames are out. Have them practice this. Consider cutting "flames" out of felt and placing them on a child's clothing. Have the child rollover until these "flames" fall off.

"Get out first, then make the call."

Children should know to call 911 to report a fire only from a place outside of a burning building. Play the role of an emergency dispatcher and have your children practice calling in a fire report. Ask for their name, address, what the emergency is, and other related details. Remind your children to speak slowly and clearly, and to hang up only after they are told to do so.

FWISD POLICY ALERT FOR OCTOBER 2020

EDITOR's NOTE: The following alert is from the FWISD Division of Policy and Planning

The FWISD Board Policy Manual contains policies governing the operation of this District. Periodically the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) provides updates to various policies based on changes in the law and Texas Education Agency (TEA) requirements. Occasionally revisions may be needed to meet the needs of the District as well.

As a courtesy and in an effort to keep you informed, a policy alert will be provided monthly so that you may be aware of changes specific to our District. Each employee is still expected to be aware of and follow all policies of the District.

The District policy manual consists of four (4) different components:

  • LEGAL policies compile federal law, state law, and court decisions, providing the statutory context in which all other policies should be read; these cannot be changed by District administration or the Board.
  • LOCAL policies reflect decisions made by the Fort Worth ISD board of trustees and are specific to our District.
  • REGULATION documents are administrative procedures that implement board policies.
  • EXHIBIT documents may contain forms, charts, and other kinds of supporting information.

The following policies have been revised and/or added:

  • DIA(LOCAL): EMPLOYEE WELFARE-FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION
  • DIA(EXHIBIT): EMPLOYEE WELFARE-FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION
  • FB(LOCAL): EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
  • FB(EXHIBIT): EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
  • FEB(LOCAL): ATTENDANCE-ATTENDANCE ACCOUNTING
  • FFH(LOCAL): STUDENT WELFARE-FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION
  • FFH(EXHIBIT): STUDENT WELFARE-FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION

Please disseminate to others, and if you have questions, contact Dr. Amanda Coleman in the Division of Policy and Planning at amanda.coleman@fwisd.org or 817-814-1956.

Food Available At Multiple Sites Through November

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.

Meals-To-Go service is available at most Fort Worth ISD campuses for FWISD students. Adults may pick up meals for students if they can show documents verifying FWISD students are in the household. For more information, contact the FWISD Child Nutrition Department at 817-814-3500.

Food is available at these locations throughout November 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. Learn more here.

2. Monday through Friday

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County

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. Other meal distribution options are also available.

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

3. Friday, October 2, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

4. Saturday, October 3, 9 a.m.-noon

Center Church

1221 Jacksboro Highway, Fort Worth

Tarrant Area Food Bank will provide fresh produce and groceries to 150 families at a Mobile Distribution event. A limited supply of food will be provided to families on a first-come, first-serve basis.

5. Wednesday, October 7, 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

6. Friday, October 9, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

7. Friday, October 16, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

8. Friday, October 23, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

9. Friday, October 30, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

10. Friday, November 6, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

11. Friday, November 13, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

12. Friday, November 20, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

13. Friday, November 27, 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. Each family will receive 100 pounds of high-quality produce, meat dairy and groceries.

For the complete Tarrant Area Mobile Food Pantry Schedule, visit https://www.tafb.org/wp-content/uploads/mobile/mobile-pantry-schedule.pdf. Need food delivered? Call 817-534-0814 to speak with a live representative about how to access nutritious food.

Other food resources are also available:

INSIDE FWISD BRIEFS

EDITOR'S NOTE: Inside FWISD Briefs are quick-hit stories of activities and events happening locally and nationally.

Banding Together: Paschal Football Raises Funds to Replace Classmate’s Bike

The Paschal High School football team recently gifted junior Sean Miller, who films practice for the team, with a new bicycle.

Last month, Sean’s bike was stolen. When the team learned about this, they raised funds to replace the bike he lost.

Read more of this story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Teachers Can Recognizes Walton ES Teacher

Kimberly Robertson, a fourth grade teacher at Fort Worth ISD’s Maudrie Walton Elementary, is the subject of this week’s Teachers Can Tuesday spotlight.

Teachers Can, a statewide movement led by teachers and supported by multiple businesses that elevates the teaching profession and the critical role teachers play in Texas’ success, recognized Ms. Robertson on Facebook for being a campus leader who “works tirelessly tutoring students, mentoring teachers and interns and presenting new and innovative ideas to colleagues.”

“Her leadership and dedication to social emotional growth has led to real results for students,” the post reads. “The parent who nominated her says that ‘she views every student interaction as an opportunity to add value. There’s nothing she won’t and can’t do to help students meet their personal growth goals.’”

The Teachers Can Tuesday spotlight shows appreciation for amazing Texas teachers. Students, parents and community members nominate teachers for the spotlight.

NBC 5 Conversation Spotlights FWISD Racial Equity Committee

NBC 5’s (KXAS) Community Conversation: A Call for Change recently featured Fort Worth ISD’s Racial Equity Committee.

In the 22-minute conversation, FWISD Board of Education Trustees Quinton Phillips and Ashley Paz explain the committee’s purpose of ensuring academic success for all students, its goals and how the community can get involved.

Click here to view the segment and learn more about FWISD’s Racial Equity Committee.

City, County Announces This Week's 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 upcoming events where COVID-19 tests are available.

TEA, Texas DSHS Partners to Post COVID-19 Cases in Public Schools

The Texas Education Agency and Texas Department of State Health Services is partnering to post weekly statewide COVID-19 cases in Texas public schools.

COVID-19 cases for public school students and staff and data by school district will be reported each week.

To view Fort Worth ISD’s COVID-19 reporting protocols, click here. View FWISD's positive COVID-19 report at www.fwisd.org/covidreports.

“The data will provide an overview of the burden of disease in Texas schools over time and inform public policy decisions about COVID-19. School districts and other local authorities will continue to be the best source of the most current and specific information about cases in their schools,” a recent TEA statement reads. “Reporting this information to the state does not replace the legal requirement that schools notify public health officials in their area of all cases. Additionally, as per TEA guidance, schools will still be required to inform all parents, teachers, and campus staff of any positive cases tied to their on-campus instruction or activities.”

Additionally, Tarrant County Public Health recently launched a school data dashboard “to help school leadership and residents better understand the COVID-19 metrics in the area,” according to the county health department’s recent statement. View the dashboard at www.tarrantcounty.com/schoolguidance. The dashboard is updated weekly on Monday.

Time Running Out to Complete 2020 Census

Time is running out to respond to the 2020 Census, and U.S. households are encouraged to complete it before it’s too late, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The quick and easy confidential 2020 Census asks households to answer questions about the area of the country in which they live and the number of people living in their households.

“The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. Responding to the 2020 Census is easy, safe and important, and is key to shaping the future of communities,” according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau statement released. “Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs legislative district boundaries. They also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds are allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers to communities for public services and infrastructure like hospitals, emergency services, schools and bridges each year over the next 10 years.”

Households are encouraged to complete the Census online at 2020Census.gov, by phone in English or 12 other languages at 844-330-2020 or via mail. Earlier this week, the Secretary of Commerce announced the 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations will end October 5, 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Know The Plan: Build Your Emergency Kit for Disaster, Evacuation

The City of Fort Worth is encouraging residents to build emergency kits for their homes and vehicles.

As National Preparedness Month came to a close this week, the city recommended residents build a 72-hour emergency kit for their homes that can be accessed when a disaster hits and a smaller GoBag for their vehicles in the event of an evacuation.

“During disasters, first responders might not be able to get to you right away due to missing or flooded roads, downed power lines or trees or other reasons,” according to a recent statement from the city. “Plan for what you can do … in a major disaster.”

The emergency kits should include essentials for everyday life. For ideas of what to add to your kit, click here.

Teachers Return to Campuses: FWISD teachers returned to their respective campuses this week in preparation for in-person instruction. Pictured are educators teaching from their classroom and preparing their campuses for in-person students.

Rock the Vote: FWISD's Paschal and Polytechnic high schools recently hosted voter registration drives for eligible students and the community on their respective campuses. Texans who want to be eligible to vote in the November 3 general and special elections must submit their voter registration documents no later than Monday, October 5.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Extended COVID-19 Coverage

Wear A Mask

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. Additionally, FWISD employees can receive free curbside rapid COVID-19 tests for them and their dependents, October 3-4.

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.

Exclusive curbside rapid COVID-19 tests are available to FWISD employees at nine North Texas Urgent Care for Kids clinics. To schedule an appointment, visit virtualcarefamilies.com/fwisd-staff.

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

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

Asynchronous Instruction District-wide, October 1-2

College Application Boot Camp, October 3

World Teachers Day, October 5

Grades PK, K, 1, 6 (Rosemont, Wedgwood, McLean and Forest Oak), 9 and Self-Contained Special Education return for in-person learning, October 5

Registration for November 6 Youth Mental Health First Aid Training Ends, October 7

Flex Day for teachers, October 12

Grades 2, 3, 7 and 10 return for in-person learning, October 13

Registration for November 13 Youth Mental Health First Aid Training Ends, October 14

Hispanic Heritage Month concludes, October 15

In-person or Virtual Leaning Choice begins (HS Hybrid, Full Schedule ES and MS), October 19

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 Piotr Chrobot - "Fire extinguisher" • Sven Scheuermeier - "Fresh Vegetable Produce" • Adeolu Eletu - "Businessman opening a paper"