Inside FWISD June 14, 2018

New Start and End Times for Fort Worth ISD Students

‘Attendance Adds Up’ for Students

Starting this fall the Fort Worth ISD will implement a new daily class schedule. While it means ten to 15 more minutes in class for students, the benefits – both instructionally and operationally – are many. And, FWISD will join many other districts in aligning with a new state law based on minutes, not days.

In 2015 the Texas Legislature changed the way school districts account for student instructional time. Instead of the old 180-day calendar, lawmakers decided that students must be in class at least 75,600 minutes each year.

Under our ongoing campaign of Attendance Adds Up, the District is unveiling the following schedule:

Fort Worth ISD’s traditional high schools will now begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m.

Middle school students will arrive at 9:15 a.m. and end their day at 4:30 p.m.

And, traditional elementary school students in the Fort Worth ISD will begin at 7:50 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m.

The District’s Schools of Choice, early college high schools, and other specialty schools will also extend their instructional day but some with different beginning and ending times. See below for a complete chart.

Under the new state law, teachers will work the same number of hours as they did under the 180-day calendar.

Changing from days to minutes (a day is considered to be at least 420 minutes) brings benefits to student and their families as well as districts.

The increased learning time will provide more opportunity for integrated instruction. It will benefit students who may need additional assistance.

Also, under the old 180-day system the Fort Worth ISD had to include two weather make-up days. These days were often scheduled for Good Friday or for the day after school was scheduled to end. Allowing FWISD to count, and accumulate minutes, however, allows for the elimination of the scheduled “weather days.” By adding 10 or 15 minutes to each day, students will gain enough minutes to still meet the state required goal without adding extra days.

The message of Attendance Adds Up –which, when launched, addressed the importance of going to school every day, now also means making every minute count!


The 2018 Spring STAAR test results for Fort Worth ISD grades 3 through 8 show significant gains in the percentage of students passing Reading, Math, and Science at the elementary level.

The greatest increase was in third-grade Reading, with an 8-point gain in the percentage of those passing, moving from 60 percent in 2017 to 68 percent this year. In 2017, the state average was 72 percent. While we don’t yet know the state average for this year, it appears the gap is closing.

The percentage of students reading on grade level increased for all elementary grade levels. Specifically, there was:

A 3-point gain in Reading on grade level for 4th graders

A 6-point gain in Reading on grade level for 5th graders

Grade 3 students saw a modest increase – from 34 percent to 35 percent ­- of students reading on grade level. This is a steady trajectory from our 28 percent in 2015 to the present. When combined with the large increase in Grade 3 students passing the STAAR Reading test, the news provides solid evidence our plan is working. More Fort Worth ISD students are moving toward reading on grade level.

The improvements of our Leadership Academies and Improvement Required campuses positively impacted the overall District gains. In third grade Reading for example:

Approaches Standard improved from 39 percent to 58 percent - a 19 percent increase

Meets Standard improved from 16 percent to 26 percent - a 10 percent increase

Masters Standard improved from 6 percent to 11 percent - a 5 percent increase

Middle school students saw gains in Math at sixth grade (+1 percent) and 7th grade (+4 percent) and held steady at eighth grade with 77 percent of the students passing. The percentage of students performing on grade level in Math increased for both sixth and eighth grades.

Middle school Reading results were mixed, with no change at sixth grade, a slight gain at seventh grade, and a decrease at eighth grade.

Eighth-grade Science and Social Studies scores both saw a 3 percent decrease.

“We will continue to study and parse these data in the days and weeks ahead,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “Adjustments will be made, especially in our middle school approach. But, we are confident that our overall strategy is working. We are focusing on fewer things – and doing those things well.”


On Tuesday, June 12, 2018 the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved the appointment of two new leaders of the Athletics and the Safety and Security departments.

Todd Vesely will assume duties as the head of Athletics. He is currently serving as the executive director of Athletics for the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa. Mr. Vesely is an accomplished administrator with over 20 years of coaching experience and an impressive list of professional accolades including:

Texas High School Gymnastics Coaches Association Hall of Fame 2017

Texas Coach of the Year 1994, 2000, 2003 and 2004

National High School Gymnastics Coach of the Year 1994 and 2000

Coached five state championship teams 1994, 1995, 2003, 2004 and 2005

Master Teacher Permian High School

Certified Athletic Administrator

“Todd has had the opportunity to build a rich legacy in Ector County,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner, in introducing him to the school trustees. “We are pleased he has chosen to bring that experience to the Fort Worth ISD to continue merging the lessons of teamwork and self-discipline with Fort Worth ISD’s commitment to academics.”

“I am truly honored to be considered as the next executive director of athletics in the Fort Worth ISD,” said Mr. Vesely. “The opportunity to have an impact on the lives of so many student athletes at so many different schools is a challenge to which I wholeheartedly look forward.”

Mr. Vesely will begin his job on July 16. He succeeds veteran Executive Director of Athletics Kevin Greene. In a proactive effort to continue the District’s commitment to serving students, educators, and administrators in an equitable, fair, and safe environment, the Fort Worth ISD recognized the need for a director of Title IX and UIL Compliance. Mr. Greene readily accepted the opportunity as a way to use his background, knowledge and to continue his outstanding service to the District.

The Board also approved the appointment of Daniel Garcia as the director of the Safety and Security department.

Mr. Garcia is a former assistant police chief for the Fort Worth Police Department with 25 years of policing experience. He has been serving since January, 2017 in an interim capacity as director of Safety and Security. His professional accomplishments include:

FBI National Academy graduate

Texas DPS Terrorism Training

Basic S.W.A.T. School

Leadership Fort Worth: Networking with Executives

More than 15 years of Supervision/Executive Management

Master Peace Officer

First Hispanic police Captain in Fort Worth PD

School Initiative Sergeant leading security for seven school districts

“Given Mr. Garcia’s vast experience with our local law enforcement I know he will continue to be extremely beneficial to the Fort Worth ISD, especially in this time of concern for school safety,” said Art Cavazos, chief of District Operations.

During the spring, Mr. Garcia convened an ad hoc committee of police and school safety personnel to research and compile a list of safety improvement recommendations in the wake of the tragedy in Santa Fe. Most of those recommendations have been implemented in FWISD and parallel those subsequently suggested by state leaders.


Dr. Theresa Mossige, principal at R.L. Paschal High School, will become assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education at Lamar CSD near Houston.

“I’ve been enriched by each and every one of you: students, parents and community members. And, I have been honored to serve each and every one of you,” Dr. Mossige said in a heartfelt communication to Paschal students, parents, and community members.

Dr. Mossige has been with the District for 19 years, eight of them as Paschal principal. Previously, she served as middle school principal at Stripling, and before that as an assistant principal and teacher.

She will begin her new duties at Lamar CSD on July 2.

A District leadership team is meeting to consider candidates for a new campus leader at Paschal.

Dr. Mossige also shared this heartfelt, special message to Paschal students, families and supporters.

Letter from Dr. Terri Mossige June 12, 2018

Good afternoon,

I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the rest and rejuvenation that summer provides.

I am not usually at a loss for words, but I am today.

After an eight-year tenure as the principal of Paschal High School, it is time for me to bid you farewell. Yesterday, I accepted the job of Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education in Lamar CISD in the Houston area.

I’ll begin my new role on July 2.

We have seen many successes and tackled many challenges in the last eight years. We laughed together, we have celebrated together, and, during some periods, we have cried together. I’ve been enriched by each and every one of you: students, parents and community members. And, I have been honored to serve each and every one of you.

Thank you for all of the memories and the inspiration, kindness, and love each of you has shown. You truly have impacted my life in many ways.

#PaschalProud. We are Paschal!

Farewell and Godspeed.

Terri Mossige

Nation Celebrates Flag Day

Today, the nation commemorates Flag Day, a day celebrating Congress’ adoption of the U.S. flag, which took place June 14, 1777.

In 1949, the U.S. Congress deemed June 14 National Flag Day.

To ensure you’re properly displaying the flag, on Flag Day, please view the U.S. flag code.

It is important to inspect your flag and replace it if damaged. Partnering with your local PTA is a good way of doing so.

PowerSchool training dates set

PowerSchool training for elementary and secondary school secretaries and data clerks is slated for July 31, Aug. 1 and 3 at O.D. Wyatt High School, 2400 E. Seminary Drive.

The sessions will prepare District staff for assisting families with registering for school. The following training schedules are scheduled:

o July 31, 2018

  • High School Data Clerks, OD Wyatt HS
  • High School Secretaries: OD Wyatt HS

o August 1, 2018

  • Elementary Secretaries: OD Wyatt HS

o August 3, 2018

  • Middle School Data clerks: 2-hour sessions, AM, OD Wyatt HS
  • Middle School Secretaries: 2-hour sessions, PM, OD Wyatt HS

School data clerks and secretaries will soon be able to register for the training sessions in Eduphoria.

Training for high school personnel will focus on the following:

  • Workspace navigation
  • Record data quality steps
  • Record edit steps
  • Record approval process and requirements
  • Workflow
  • Generating and exporting forms and reports

Online registration is currently underway for new prekindergarten through 12th-grade students at www.fwisd.org/registration. Registration for current students begins July 2.


The Fort Worth Independent School District is among 25 U.S. education institutions and organizations receiving a grant up to $40,000 for boosting FAFSA completion rates by 5 percent.

The 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant, funded by The Kresge Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates, was announced by the National College Access Network (NCAN), June 4. Awarded to cities where the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion rates are currently below the national average, the grant aims to close equity gaps and challenges its recipients to increase FAFSA completion rates for the graduating Class of 2019 by 5 percentage points.

Completion of the FAFSA application informs students of the financial aid they’re eligible for to fund their college education. Data shows a pattern in which students who are likely to complete a FAFSA application are likely to enroll in and complete college.

This is the second iteration of the challenge and the first time FWISD has participated. Resources for training, tracking student data, messaging and student assistance in completing the FAFSA application are just some of the ways the grant can be utilized by its recipients.

“The 2016-17 Challenge demonstrated that cities could achieve significant progress in just one school year by working collaboratively across sectors to give students the FAFSA completion support they need,” said Caroline Altman Smith, Kresge’s deputy director for its Education program, in a recent statement. “This is a high-leverage investment for philanthropy because the FAFSA enables students to tap into huge amounts of government resources that often go unclaimed.”

Fort Worth is one of eight Texas organizations awarded the grant.

In September 2019, the National College Access Network will award a $100,000 grand prize to one city that’s shown great gains in FAFSA completion rates through the adoption of effective strategies and that shows likability to sustain the percentage rates. The announcement will be made at the NCAN National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

For more details, visit www.collegeaccess.org/FAFSAchallenge.

Photos Courtesy of Fort Worth Sister Cities International

FWISD Students, Teachers Represent Fort Worth In France, Japan, Swaziland

Fort Worth ISD teachers and students are among a 47-member delegation visiting Fort Worth’s sister cities: Nîmes, France, Nagaoka, Japan and Mbabane, Swaziland this summer.

Students are serving as Youth Ambassadors of Fort Worth. The program promotes leadership skills and participation in a cultural exchange.

“Today’s growing global community is making more of a footprint in young people’s lives, making cultural understanding and exchange a pivotal part of a student’s education. Our student-centered program ensures students develop the skills necessary for them to pursue their own goals and become globally-minded leaders in their communities,” said Dr. Sheryl Harris, Chair of the Exchanges anf Outreach committee of Sister Cities.

The following FWISD educators are leading delegations in France, Japan and Swaziland:

Nîmes, France: Jay Kurima, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences and Marvin Vann Griffith, World Languages Institute, as well as Associate Delegation Leaders Stephanie Atkinson and Michelle Chuah.

Nagaoka, Japan: Courtney Smith, Como Montessori

Mbabane, Swaziland: Kimberly Tezak-Daus, Diamond Hill-Jarvis

Photo courtesy of the Fort Worth Public Library

Juneteenth exhibit features former fwisd educator

Opal Lee, a former Fort Worth ISD teacher and counselor and advocate for Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday, is featured in a Juneteenth exhibit at the Fort Worth Central Library.

The exhibit, which is on display through June 30 in the library’s main foyer, includes an oral history video interview with Ms. Lee and a text panel detailing her Juneteenth efforts. On loan to the library by Ms. Lee for the exhibit are the shoes she wore while marching to Washington, D.C. to have Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday, her Juneteenth flag, a framed Juneteenth anthem and a certificate honoring her efforts that was presented to her by the City of Fort Worth, according to library officials.

The Fort Worth Central Library is located at 500 W. Third St.

Ms. Lee, a civil rights activist, advocated 40 years for a Juneteenth Independence Day. She’s walked to the U.S. Capitol several times advocating that the nation recognizes Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Juneteenth, annually celebrated June 19 in African American communities, commemorates the day slaves were emancipated in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordan Granger arrived on the shores of Galveston with news that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves were freed. The order was announced more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, declaring an end to slavery throughout the United States.

Ms. Lee worked for the Fort Worth ISD over the course of the decades as an elementary school teacher and a counteraction and homeschool counselor.

She celebrated her 91st birthday last fall. Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner attended and delivered remarks at Ms. Lee’s 91st birthday celebration, hosted October 8 at the historic Baker Chapel AME Church.

FWISD’s Khechara Bradford Receives Digital Leadership Award

Congratulations to Khechara Bradford, Fort Worth ISD’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, who was presented with the K-12 Excellence in Digital Leadership Award, Wednesday, June 13.

The award, presented at the ignite18 Conference in Irving, was established by the Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (Texas ASCD). Ms. Bradford was recognized for her “efforts to implement a unique, innovative idea involving student leadership that leverages the power of education technology in curriculum,” according to a letter from Texas ASCD executive director that she shared with the FWISD Communications Department.

“It is a huge honor and I proudly accept as a member of the Fort Worth ISD team,” Ms. Bradford said. “ASCD is the [largest] and most respected curriculum association.”

In addition to the award, Ms. Bradford is being recognized in the Texas ASCD bi-monthly publication, Leadership.

Texas ASCD offers educators with resources relating to teaching, learning and leadership. According to the organization’s website, it is one of the largest ASCD affiliates, which is an international education organization with a membership of 170,000 members across the globe.

Ms. Bradford has served as FWISD’s assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction since August 2016.

JCLC Equips Cadets with Confidence, Leadership Skills

When Fort Worth ISD cadets leave the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) this week, program officials are hopeful they walk away with confidence and a sense of leadership.

The one-week camp is hosted in two cycles at FWISD's Outdoor Learning Center-Leadership Learning Center (OLC-LLC) in Azle, June 4-8 and June 11-15. Students spend the week participating in team-building exercises and activities.

Removed from a classroom setting, rising ninth through 12th-grade students are placed in a mostly outdoor environment where they are instructed on land navigation, participate in health-related courses focusing on drugs and drowning prevention, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) courses and rope-climbing exercises for confidence building.

Students are assigned a leadership position and challenged to think about how they influence their group, they must be receptive to other’s ideas and work together as a team.

Each day concludes with a competition and cadets reflecting on the day with a small group instructor.

“We’re challenging them, and we’re putting them in leadership roles,” said Army First Sgt. Terrance Campbell (RET), who is the operations and training manager for the District’s JROTC program. “When they’re here at camp, they have an entire week to collaborate with other teams.”

An estimated 270 FWISD cadets and instructors are participating in one of two cycles of the camp. JROTC groups from five other North Texas schools are also participating the camp.

In addition to camp activities, participating cadets visit the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, museums and offices for area businesses. In recent years, cadets have traveled to local department stores, a city water treatment facility and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

JCLC is designed to challenge cadets physically, intellectually and emotionally, said Army LTC Richard Crossley (RET), director of FWISD’s JROTC programs.

“They are a better person in the end, and they’ve gained greater confidence that they had not had,” according to LTC Crossley. “They overcome a physical obstacle and know that they can go back and overcome challenges in the classroom.”

High School JROTC units are required to participate in an annual JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge, and each school is required to have at least 10 percent of its cadets participate per U.S. Army Cadet Command regulations. Cadets are recommended for camp by their campus instructors.

JCLC is a learning experience for not only JROTC cadets but also for some of Fort Worth ISD’s culinary arts students. Future chefs are selected from Fort Worth ISD Gold Seal Schools and Programs of Choice to prepare most of the meals for the entire camp.

Since 2012, the District has conducted its JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge at the FWISD Outdoor Learning Center-Leadership Learning Center (OLC-LLC) . In recent years, exercises have motivated students to overcome their fears, read a map and sharpen skills for becoming productive members of their community. The camp culminates with the cadets’ parents being invited to the Leadership Learning Center to observe how they’ve spent their week.

Read more about the cadets' experiences at JCLC in next week's Inside FWISD.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.

Dear Elsie,

1. Where can I find the responses to all of the previous questions that “Ask Elsie” has answered?

2. When was the last time the Perks Plus Employee discount program list was updated? If it is more than one year, when can we expect an updated copy? Below is an example of an out-of-date listing: “Great Wolf Lodge * Attn: Dawn Harrison 100 Great Wolf Dr., Grapevine, TX 76051 Phone: 817-722-3881 Fax: 817-722-3946 www.greatwolf.com - 20% off of our best available rates. Includes waterpark admission the day you arrive through the day you depart. Valid on a per night basis, some blackout dates apply. Valid through December 20, 2016. For more information or reservations visit greatwolf.com or call 866-925-9653. Must present valid work ID or documentation at check-in.”

Thank you.

FWISD Employee

Dear FWISD Employee

I reached out to the Communications Department regarding your first question. Most previous responses that have appeared in Ask Elsie can be found on the Inside FWISD blog. The responses can also be accessed by going back through previous Inside FWISD editions. All editions of the newsletter are available at www.fwisd.org/insidefwisdnewsletters.

I reached out to Brenda DeLeon, FWISD director of compensation and employee records, regarding your second question, and she had this to say on the matter: “The Perks Plus program is monitored on a continuous basis and is updated as needed. It appears the information for Great Wolf Lodge was overlooked but corrected back in April. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused; we hope that you continue to access the Perks Plus Program as new businesses are always being added.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance regarding the Perks Plus Program, please contact the Compensation Department at 817-814-2081.”

Thank you for your questions, FWISD Employee, and thank you FWISD Communications Department and Ms. DeLeon for your responses.


Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put the words "Ask Elsie" in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.


Thank you to our Vital Link partners.

On Monday, the District launched its 27th year of the program, which allows rising seventh-graders an opportunity to intern a half-day for one week with local businesses. Through the experiences, students observe how reading, mathematics, writing, oral communication, technology and other skills are utilized in the workplace.

This week, students have learned about erosion prevention and watersheds with the Tarrant Regional Water District, and they’ve toured Fire Station No. 2 and the Fort Worth Water Gardens with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to name a few activities.

The District’s Vital Link partners are:

  • Balfour Beatty Construction
  • Blue Zones
  • City of Benbrook
  • Cook Children’s Medical Center
  • EECU
  • Exelon
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Fidelity Investments/Legal
  • Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
  • Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
  • Fort Worth Parks and Community Services
  • Fort Worth Zoo
  • Goodwill Fort Worth
  • KERA
  • Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base
  • North Central Texas Council of Governments
  • Performing Arts of Fort Worth
  • TCC-Northwest
  • TCC-South
  • TCU
  • Trinity River Authority
  • Univision
  • Wells Fargo Advisors

Vital Link continues through Friday, June 22. For more details, visit https://www.fwisd.org/Page/463, or contact Marsha Waters at marsha.waters@fwisd.org.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In the latest edition of Fort Worth Snapshot, we share photos of some recent events hosted across the District.

Our Top 2018 Graduation Hats

View more graduation photos at www.fwisd.org/graduation

FWISD Hiring Fairs

PPLE (Principals Professional Learning Event)

Jo Kelly School Graduation


The Fort Worth ISD Communications Department will continue to publish Inside FWISD throughout the summer months.

Let us know how you're spending your summer.

Throughout the summer break, don't forget to email us with photos of your travels, professional development activities and just simply how you're spending your vacation. We'd love to share some of those photos with your colleagues in future Inside FWISD editions throughout the summer.

Start your week off with a look at the week ahead:

Teachers, please share this information with your students about the Summer Reading Incentive

ELITE (Excellent Literacy Instruction to Empower) Summer Institute, Session 1 is June 4-21, and Session 2 is July 9-25

Ram Readers Summer Reading Clinic for K-5 Students, Session 1 is June 4-21, and Session 2 is July 9-25

FWISD Summer Food Program, Continues through Wednesday, June 27

College Application Bootcamp, Wednesday and Thursday, June 13 and 14

Jo Kelly School graduation, Wednesday, June 13

Flag Day, Thursday, June 14

Father's Day, Sunday, June 17

Education Technology summer Professional Development classes

FWISD Summer Semester 2018

Early Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities

Secondary Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities, Register in Eduphoria

Professional Learning Opportunities for Sixth-Grade Literacy, Social Studies and Music Teachers and Campus Librarians

Elementary Math Summer Learning Opportunities

STAAR and EOC retests, Monday June 25- Friday, June 29

FWISD Board of Education regular meeting, Tuesday, June 26

Fort Worth ISD’s 2018 Academic Chair for Teaching Excellence application deadline, Friday, June 29

Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4 (FWISD will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, July 5 to observe the holiday)

University Grill in the Administration Building, Closed Monday, July 9- Friday, July 27

Applied Digital Skills professional development for sixth-12th-grade teachers, 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 19, Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave. Room 256

AAIL Summer Academy, Monday, July 23-Thursday, July 26

The Advanced, Accelerated and Innovative Learning Department will be hosting its annual summer academy and renewal opportunities for gifted and talented certification July 23-26, 2018. The event will be held at the Applied learning Academy on Camp Bowie, and participants may register on Eduphoria.

Texas Home and Garden Show, August 17-19, Will Rogers Memorial Center (FWISD Teachers and Support Staff tickets are half-price)

Convocation 2018, Friday, August 17, Originating at Board Conference Room, 2903 Shotts St. and streamed to all schools and campuses

Visit the Inside FWISD blog on Mondays for a look at The Week Ahead.

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.

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