Inside FWISD February 27, 2020

In this edition:

KNOW THE PLAN: Important Information for Parents, Employees, and Students Regarding Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-9) : Fort Worth ISD Takes Precautionary Measures| FWISD Board of Education Approves Boundary Realignment: The Plan Repairs “Broken” Feeder Patterns| Area Superintendents Compete In 2020 North Central Texas “Game Of Drones” Showcase | District Teacher of the Year Deadline Approaching: Applications Due Friday, February 28| FWISD Runs With Cowtown | Teacher FLEX Credit Deadline Is March 31 | Change the Narrative at the 2020 Racial Equity Summit III | Meet Dunbar’s New Aviation Maintenance Instructor | Wedgwood Sixth Honors and Inspires with Black History Month Program | Law School Students Lend A Hand In Sunrise-McMillan Elementary Campus Beautification Project | FWISD Announces Campus Stakeholder Survey Winners | Inside FWISD Briefs Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

KNOW THE PLAN: Important Information for Parents, Employees, and Students Regarding Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-9)

Fort Worth ISD Takes Precautionary Measures

The Fort Worth ISD (FWISD) is actively collaborating with Tarrant County Public Health and Texas Department of State Health Services to “Know the Plan” about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Right now in Texas, there are several cases of confirmed infections in San Antonio, but all those individuals contracted the disease outside of Texas and those persons are under federal quarantine at a military base.

However, FWISD is taking this health threat very seriously and continuing to monitor schools. When respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms materialize our school nurses and school leaders will use the existing illness outbreak processes to track illnesses, notify Tarrant County Health department officials, disinfect schools, and notify staff and parents.

We are also reminding parents to not send children to school if they may be sick. Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of all students and staff. This kind of response is the same as for the regular seasonal flu.

Read more about COVID-19, how it spreads, its symptoms and how to protect yourself here.

FWISD Board of Education Approves Boundary Realignment

The Plan Repairs “Broken” Feeder Patterns

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved the first major District-wide school boundary changes in more than 20 years, repairing “broken” feeder patterns that, in one example, had students who attend a single middle school continuing on to as many as three different high schools.

The Board vote is the culmination of work by the District’s Facility Master Plan Committee, established by the Board in 2015 to support the District’s mission of preparing all students for success in college, career and community leadership. Pyramid re-alignment and subsequent boundary and attendance zone changes are now at the forefront.

“We know that students are best positioned for success when they are part of a coherent school feeder pattern,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “Coherent school feeder patterns are good not only for academics but also for athletics, extracurricular activities, fine arts, band, life-long friendships as a result of a stronger, long-term social relationship.

“We are talking about the creation and strengthening of school communities.”

Read more about what the boundary changes address and how it will impact campus pyramids here.

Area Superintendents Compete In 2020 NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS “GAME OF DRONES” SHOWCASE

Student demonstrations and competition teams from Region 11 school districts participated in the “Game of Drones” event today at Wilkerson-Greines Activity. The event culminated with area superintendents trying their hand at flying drones in a fierce competition against one another with students coaching them.

Coached by Dunbar High School junior Kenneth Rodgers, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner clinched the Games of Drones superintendent title.

This “Game of Drones” event included remarks from school district, law enforcement and industry professionals, performances by Cowley ISD's Summer Creek Middle School Jazz Band and the Dancing Drones. The nation's colors were presented by the FWISD JROTC program, and the choir from I.M. Terrell Academy sang the national anthem. Additionally, the event included mock competition demonstrations from FWISD and Birdville ISD student teams.

The 2020 North Central Texas Aerial Robotics Showcase (“Game of Drones”) was organized by the North Central Texas (NCTX) Aerial Robotics STEM Initiative which is a regional network of educators and employers developing Aerial Robotics STEM pathways. Industry partners collaborating in this venture include Bell, Tarrant County College District, Tarrant County Workforce, and Interlink.

The NCTX Aerial Robotics Collaborative is one of 10 groups in Texas awarded a Texas Education Agency grant establishing the Texas Regional Pathways Network (TRPN).

Fort Worth ISD is spearheading the initiative which includes 10 school districts, ranging in size from 176 to more than 83,000 students. The partnering districts include:

  • Fort Worth ISD
  • Azle ISD
  • Birdville ISD
  • Crowley ISD
  • Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  • Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
  • Keller ISD
  • Cleburne ISD
  • Era ISD
  • Strawn ISD
  • Arlington ISD
  • Northwest ISD
  • Mineral Wells ISD

Through this initiative, the key stakeholders are developing curriculum, engaging in professional development, and providing opportunities for students to build knowledge and skills in an emerging industry.

District Teacher of the Year Deadline Approaching

Applications Due Friday, February 28

The application deadline for the District Teacher of the Year Award is Friday, February 28.

Fort Worth ISD 2019-2020 Campus Teacher of the Year honorees are eligible to apply online here. This March, a selection committee will review the applications, and five elementary and five secondary finalists will be announced at the Campus Teacher of the Year reception, April 2 at the Piano Pavilion of the Kimbell Art Museum.

The 10 finalists will have personal interviews with the selection committee in April and be invited to the District Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner, May 7, sponsored by Central Market. FWISD’s elementary and secondary District Teacher of the Year winners will be announced at the dinner and will receive a $5,000 honorarium. The eight finalists will receive $1,500.

The District Teacher of the Year Award recognizes FWISD’s best of the best.

Click here to apply and for additional details.


By Art Garcia

Inside FWISD Contributor

Abhijeet Kumar is attempting what few ever consider. The fact that he’s 17 and in high school makes it all the more impressive.

The Paschal High School senior is running the Ultra Marathon leg of The 2020 Cowtown Race Weekend, which runs Friday, February 28- Sunday, March 1 in Fort Worth. Abhijeet is navigating his way through 31 miles (50K) – a marathon is 26.2 miles – in honor of someone special.

“I’m doing it for my mom,” he said. “My mom motivated me to start running back when I was in seventh and eighth grade. Like any kid, I didn’t listen the first few years. … It grew on me and I started running more and more.

“My mom has always wanted to do the Boston Marathon. I thought if I can get good enough and run a good time, I can run with my mom. And that would be pretty fun.”

Fort Worth ISD student and staff have historically played an integral part in The Cowtown, which has become a local treasure during its 42-year existence. The Cowtown and FWISD schools have a long partnership history.

More than 3,000 FWISD students are participating in The Cowtown Kids 5K this year as part of the C.A.L.F. Program (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness), which helps “area children lace up and cross countless finish lines.” C.A.L.F. staff and volunteers visit approximately 400 schools across North Texas annually, teaching students about proper running techniques, nutrition and hydration and living an active lifestyle.

Read more about FWISD's participation in The Cowtown here.

Teacher FLEX Credit Deadline Is March 31

Fort Worth ISD teachers have until March 31 to earn FLEX credit hours for the 2019-2020 school year.

Teachers hired prior to August 5, 2019, must complete a required 30 hours. Teachers hired after August 5 are not required to earn FLEX hours but they can earn compensation for the hours acquired. Teachers may check their FLEX hours in Eduphoria!.

Approximately 125 FLEX opportunities are available through Eduphoria! until March 31. Sessions not listed in Eduphoria! that educators want to attend must follow Professional Learning and Innovation guidelines to ensure FLEX credit is earned. Credit is not guaranteed in all sessions.

FLEX credits are available at the third annual Racial Equity Summit on March 21. The summit offers educators an opportunity to learn, collaborate and discuss topics centered on racial equity in the District.

Beginning this summer, teachers may earn all 30 FLEX hours at the Fort Worth ISD ConnectED teacher conferences, June 8-12 or August 3-7.

For FLEX guidance, visit www.fwisd.org/pli.

Change the Narrative at the 2020 Racial Equity Summit III

Just a few days remain to pre-register for Fort Worth ISD’s 2020 Racial Equity Summit!

The third annual event, hosted by Fort Worth ISD’s Division of Equity and Excellence, brings together District students, staff, community members and higher education leaders for discussions about student equity, race and its impact on schools and the community. The free summit gets underway with check-in at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, March 21 in the Nick and Lou Martin University Center at Texas Wesleyan University, 3165 E. Rosedale St.

Online pre-registration is open through Thursday, March 5 at www.fwisd.org/RES2020.

The 2020 theme, “Changing the Narrative,” offers attendees 30 breakout sessions focusing on four learning strands:

  • Advocacy
  • Race
  • Student Voice
  • Teaching Practices

Sydney Johnson, a University of California Los Angeles political science and African American studies student, will present the 8:30 a.m. keynote, “Who You Are and What You Aren’t” in the Ann Waggoner Fine Arts Building. Miss Johnson is the student racial equity leader for Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR), and her work advocates for underserved and underrepresented communities.

Summit organizers say they’re looking forward to engaging and meaningful conversations that challenge attendees to examine their own biases, consider multiple perspectives and see how differences are not a source of discord or division but a source of strength and recognition.

Teachers attending the summit can earn three or six FLEX hour credits but must register in Eduphoria!

Limited seating is available for this year’s summit.

Booth space at the summit expo is still available for community organizations. For more details, contact Mia Hall at 817-814-2339 or email mia.hall@fwisd.org.

Meet Dunbar’s New Aviation Maintenance Instructor

Fort Worth ISD Dunbar High School’s new Career and Technical Education/ aviation maintenance instructor brings a wealth of knowledge to the job.

Al Brooks grew up near New York’s LaGuardia Airport. His father began working on aircraft in the mid 1950s and at the time was one of the few African Americans who went to school and earned an airframe and powerplant (A&P) license.

Growing up around airplanes, Mr. Brooks became fascinated with them and a career in aviation was inevitable.

Pictured from top is Mr. Brooks early on in his career and drill work performed by his students at Dunbar High.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and in his five years in the military, Mr. Brooks was an aircraft crew chief who performed engine and aircraft inspections and maintenance. Throughout his career, he’s also taught at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, as an instructor at Irving High School’s Aviation Academy and at Tarrant County College. In the 2014-2015 school year, the Seidel Chapter of the Air Force Association named him Teacher of the Year.

Recently, Inside FWISD caught up with Mr. Brooks to learn more about him and his goals for the aviation program at Dunbar.

Al Brooks

Education: U.S. Air Force CCAF (Community College of the Air Force); aviation science degree from Eastern New Mexico University

Related Credentials: Airframe and Powerplant license; FAA certified drone pilot

Q: What fascinates you about aviation?

A: I’ve worked on airplanes for over 30 years now, mostly as an aircraft mechanic. Being an aircraft mechanic, it has taken me all over the world, and I have enjoyed my work. Getting into education was not the plan. I went on an interview, with a friend, to teach at Aviation Institute of Maintenance. Little did I know that I would fall in love with educating people about aircraft maintenance. Years later I was asked to put together an aviation program at Irving High. After Irving High for six years, I taught with the Tarrant County College District for two years.

Q: As an instructor, what do you hope to pass along to future aviators?

A: Aviation is never the same. You must always do your job in a safe manner. What fascinates me is that I work on some of the newest technology on the planet.

Q: What are your goals for the aviation maintenance program at Dunbar?

A: My goal for the aviation program at Dunbar High is to provide the students with my 30 years of experience, the best education on aircraft maintenance, electronics and overall aviation science. That being said, I also want to provide the students, when they leave Dunbar, with certifications they can use – OSHA 10 certification, FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot License and forklift certification. The overall plan is for the students to pursue their A&P license to work on aircraft.

Q: What would you like the FWISD community to know about you?

A: I would like the FWISD community to know I am very happy to work in FWISD. It is an honor to teach at the historical Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Being the Air Force’s Teacher of the Year in 2014-2015, I will bring my knowledge and experience to the Dunbar classroom.

Wedgwood Sixth Honors and Inspires with Black History Month Program

Wedgwood Sixth Grade Center hosted a successful and well-attended Black History Month program Tuesday, February 25. The program was called, “Honoring the past, inspiring the future.”

The event included a presentation of colors, performance by the show choir, presentation of posters of famous African Americans, and a skit depicting African American heroes, past and present. One person portrayed in the skit was school custodian Mr. Eddie Dukes, who was in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam war. Mr. Dukes, who sat in the audience, did not know his story would be included in the skit. He is a much-beloved member of the Wedgwood staff. Event organizers wanted everyone to know his service to his country had not gone unnoticed.

In a surprise presentation after the skit, Judy E. Ramos of the Community Partnerships Department and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), presented Mr. Dukes with a DAR commemorative Vietnam veteran’s certificate and pin for his service, to the delight of the audience. Among the surprises for Mr. Dukes was the presence of his family, who were secretly invited to the event.

Ms. Ramos also presented a certificate to the Wedgwood Middle School Junior Cadet Corps for proper use of the US flag while serving as color guard for the program. She presented a final certificate to the Wedgwood Sixth Grade Social Studies department for organizing this community event. The program was a joint effort of the social studies teachers, music teachers, theater teacher, Fort Worth After School Program, and a host of school administrators and other staff.

The evening concluded with a performance by Charles “Baba Kwasi” Harris, who taught students how to play a song with the various African drums and instruments he had on stage, followed by a reception in the cafeteria.

Law School Students Lend A Hand In Sunrise-McMillan Elementary Campus Beautification Project

Students arriving for classes at Fort Worth ISD’s Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School on Monday, February 24 were greeted with some new campus additions.

Principal LaTres Cole stood in the school hallway watching as students pointed to new campus murals, drawn by fifth-grade science teacher Yasmine Toney, and painted by campus staff and other volunteers.

“They were excited,” Mrs. Cole said. “They were in awe.”

School staff along with their families and students from the Texas A&M School of Law spent Saturday, February 22 sprucing up the school’s landscaping, installing bird houses, posting positive messages in student restrooms, repainting outdoor murals and painting indoor murals. Approximately 20 people volunteered at the campus helping to make it an attractive landmark in the Stop Six Community.

The beautification project was a continuation of work that started on the campus last year, Mrs. Cole said.

“We got a lot done. It was well needed; our landscaping in the front looks awesome,” she said. “It was a very productive day and we were able to get a lot accomplished and our campus looks great.”

View more photos from Sunrise-McMillan Elementary’s Campus Beautification Project here.

FWISD Announces Campus Stakeholder Survey Winners

The results are in, and 10 Fort Worth ISD schools are being recognized for meeting or exceeding targets on the parent portion of the 2019-2020 Fort Worth Stakeholders’ Climate Survey incentive.

More than 30 schools were entered into a drawing for the chance to win gift baskets for a family game night, coffee maker and new kitchen utensils or a bookcase and collection of books to build a home library. Schools who met or exceeded targets for the parent portion of the survey were eligible for the drawing.

Winners were announced live via Facebook, Monday, February 17.

They are:

  • Kirkpatrick Elementary School
  • McLean Middle School
  • McLean 6th
  • Sam Rosen Elementary
  • Leonard Middle
  • Diamond Hill Elementary
  • Alice Carlson Applied Learning Academy
  • I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA
  • Monnig Middle
  • South Hi Mount Elementary

The winning schools may use the prizes for a campus program incentive or campus initiative.


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

Fourth Six Weeks Report Cards Now Available

Report cards for the fourth six weeks grading period are now available to parents via the Fort Worth ISD Parent Portal. Read more here.

FWISD AVID Students Outperform Peers Nationally In Taking AP Exams

Fort Worth ISD’s 2019 AVID graduates outperformed their peers nationally in completion of Advanced Placement exams, according data released by the AVID program.

Data released for the 2018-2019 school year show 78% of FWISD’s 2019 AVID class sat for at least one AP exam. That’s 32 percentage points above the national average. Additionally, 97% of FWISD AVID graduates met four-year college entrance requirements, and 84% took at least one AP, international Baccalaureate or Advanced International Certificate of Education course.

Read more here.

FWISD Board President Jacinto Ramos, Jr. Inaugurated As Leader Of MASBA

Fort Worth ISD Board of Education President Jacinto Ramos Jr. has another new leadership role -- president of the Mexican American School Board Association.

Ramos was recently sworn in as leader of MASBA during a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, as the organization celebrates its 50 year anniversary. Read more here.

Ramey Street Maintenance Project Meeting This Saturday

The City of Fort Worth will host a meeting Saturday, February 29, to discuss upcoming road construction on Ramey Avenue. For more details, read here.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are recent photos from across the Fort Worth ISD.

Southwest Classic Unified Basketball Tournament: Fort Worth ISD’s Southwest High School hosted the District’s inaugural Southwest Classic Unified Basketball Tournament, Wednesday, February 26. The tournament promoted inclusion and brought together seven high school teams made up of both special and general education student-athletes. This is the first event demonstrating Unified Sports in the Fort Worth ISD, according to organizers.

“Straight Talk: A Matter of Life and Breath” Panel Discussion: The Fort Worth ISD Council of PTAs hosted a free watch party, February 25.The organization was among 25 district-wide PTA councils in Texas streaming the discussion which addressed the nation’s deadly vaping crisis and its impact on youth live from the Texas Capitol. Following the live streaming, FWISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner addressed the group, and five to 10 parents were randomly selected for a small focus group with the superintendent. Attendees could also sign up at the event for a committee taking action to extinguish youth vaping.

Campus Beautification Project: Students from Texas A & M School of Law joined members of the community to beautify the Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School, Saturday, February 22.

Lowery Road Annual Black History Month Program

D. McRae Elementary School Black History Festival: The inaugural celebration, hosted February 20, included food, a photo booth, performances by the Dunbar High School Prancing Kittens and Drumline, a Harriet Tubman interpretive dance performance and a display of handmade Kente fans and sashes from Ghana.

Food Trucks Roll Onto HS Campuses: The District recently debuted food trucks at its high school campuses

Professional Development Opportunity

District Teacher of the Year application deadline, February 28

Cowtown Marathon, February 28-March 1

Save the date for the Racial Equity Summit

Save the date for Summer Professional Learning

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.