Inside FWISD October 4, 2018

FWISD Launches #StartHereGoAnywhere to Boost FAFSA Completion Rates

The Fort Worth ISD will launch a series of initiatives this month encouraging graduating seniors to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

On Monday October 15, the District launches its FAFSA campaign, #StartHereGoAnywhere. From October through April, students who apply for FAFSA will receive a T-shirt and be entered into monthly drawings for prizes. The school with the highest percentage of students completing FAFSA monthly will receive a banner to display outside its campus.

“Some people may say, ‘well I don’t qualify,” said Dr. Anita Perry, academic advisement director. “You don’t know until you apply. Start here and you can get anywhere.

“You can’t be eligible for aid unless you apply.”

In June FWISD was named among 25 U.S. education institutions and organizations selected to receive a grant up to $40,000 for boosting FAFSA completion rates by 5 percent the 2018-2019 school year. District officials have a goal to increase completion rates among students by 6 percent, Dr. Perry said.

This is the second iteration of the challenge and the first time FWISD has participated. 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.

Monday, October 1 was the first day students could officially begin submitting FAFSA applications nationwide.

The District will host Financial Aid Help Sessions in both English and Spanish at its high schools throughout the fall semester to assist students and their families in completing the FAFSA/TASFA process. All sessions will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Click here for additional Financial Aid Help Session details and a complete list of session dates and times.

For more FAFSA details, visit studentaid.gov.

Overall Stakeholder Results Are Favorable

Overall, results from a recent Fort Worth ISD Stakeholders Climate relating to the District’s culture and climate are favorable, according to the Grants Compliance and Monitoring Department.

In spring 2018, nearly 33,000 students in grades three through 12; parents and guardians; school administrators at all levels; all teachers; non-instructional staff; central administration and district staff; and members of the community at large participated in the survey. Results reflected survey respondents’ perceptions of the District climate and culture in three areas – engagement, safety and environment.


More than 86 percent of student and teacher respondents, respectively, believe FWISD schools demonstrate cultural and linguistic competence, that strong relationships with students exist and that students are actively participating in school.


District schools have appropriate facilities, well-managed classrooms, available school-based health supports and a clear, fair disciplinary policy, according to 80.1 percent of student respondents and 77.5 percent of teacher survey participants, respectively.


About 84 percent of teacher respondents feel safe from violence, bullying and harassment in the school community compared to about 71 percent of students surveyed.

Click on each image above to enlarge

Dr. Stacy M. Burrell of the Grants Compliance and Monitoring Department said that the recent results allow the District to:

  • Leverage what’s working well
  • Identify gaps and opportunities for improvement
  • Offer data for making decisions relating to Campus Needs Assessments and Campus Educational Improvement Plans
  • Align metrics for the Board’s progress constraints measures and the District’s new school performance framework

The new survey format is available in an online reporting tool that can easily make District-level and school-level comparisons, which offers “greater transparency,” said Dr. Burrell. Plans are in the works to post survey results on campus websites.


The Fort Worth ISD is the recipient of the 2018 CUBE (Council of Urban Boards of Education) Annual Award for Urban School Excellence and accepted the prestigious national award at ceremonies Friday, September 28 at the National School Boards Association’s annual conference.

The prize, awarded by the NSBA, recognizes urban school districts for demonstrating excellence in the areas of school board performance, academic improvement, educational equity and community engagement.

“Our commitment to Lone Star Governance -- a continuous improvement model for governing teams and their superintendents—was one of the hallmarks of our presentation to the CUBE panel,” said Fort Worth ISD Board of Education President Tobi Jackson. “Our Board is now able to work with staff to ensure the highest acuity of need areas are addressed as rapidly as possible. This ensures elimination of disproportionalities and disparities while promoting a system based on equity.”

In fact, the District’s commitment to look at all areas through an equity lens played a major part in the profile that was sent to CUBE.

“Over a short period of time, we have passed an equity policy and instituted multiple strategies to ensure discussion about the equitable allocation of resources,” said Trustee Jacinto Ramos, Jr., who also serves as a CUBE Steering Committee Member. “We have instituted District-wide racial equity training; and, we board members have ourselves participated in that training.”

Nominees compete in three size categories and FWISD won the category for large-size urban districts (60,000-plus students.)

Fort Worth ISD, along with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (North Carolina) and the Jennings School District (Missouri), accepted the prestigious award Friday, September 28 at the CUBE Annual Conference hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CUBE award recipients are recognized in programming as an exemplary urban school board featured in a special edition of the Urban Advocate, CUBE’s advocacy magazine, and receive $2,500 to advance its board goals.

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education is comprised of nine trustees who each represent a single-member districts. The group has a combined 126 years’ experience as school board members.

For more details on the CUBE Award for Urban Excellence, visit NSBA website.


Read Fort Worth Needs Your Vote to Receive $100,000 from Reliant

Read Fort Worth is one of three finalist organizations in the running for a $100,000 donation from “Reliant Gives,” a charitable-giving program from Reliant. The program expands the company’s community outreach across Texas, sharing the power of giving with local communities.

Reliant Gives will help support initiatives that promote children’s literacy in Fort Worth ISD, such as Reading Volunteers and the Library Classroom Campaign. The shared mission of Read Fort Worth and Fort Worth ISD is to align partners, strategies and resources to significantly improve early childhood literacy so that 100 percent of Fort Worth third-graders are reading on grade level by 2025. The ambitious initiative is branded “100X25FWTX.”

“We are extremely honored and excited to be part of Reliant Gives,” Read Fort Worth Executive Director Anel Mercado said. “We believe wholeheartedly in this program and its noble calling to empower Reliant’s employees and communities to help support organizations making a difference. Read Fort Worth, through our many partners and advocates, is helping make that difference in the lives of our children.”

Kicking off on Oct. 15, and running through Oct. 21, the public can cast their vote for three Texas nonprofits by visiting Reliant.com/vote. Look for #ReliantGives! on Read Fort Worth’s social media channels in the days ahead!

The nonprofit with the most votes receives $100,000. The other two nonprofits receive $20,000 and $10,000, respectively, based on the number of votes received. Reliant employees nominated a wide selection of Texas nonprofits, which are narrowed to three finalists for each round. Reliant Gives will celebrate continued community support when the winners are announced on Tuesday, Oct. 23.


It’s here – online and in hard copy – the 2017-2018 Fort Worth ISD Annual Report! The title of the report is “You Belong Here,” because as Superintendent Kent Scribner says in the book’s opening pages, this last year was very much about creating a culture of belonging in our District – a place where everyone, especially students – feel included and valued.

Flip through the pages and relive the big achievements of the year. You’ll also enjoy the special profiles of inspiring students and other members of the Fort Worth ISD family who make it their job to help others know they belong.

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,

I have concerns about the amount of paper and other recyclable materials that are thrown away every day in FWISD. I have been at several campuses that have designated paper recycle containers. I have watched the custodians throw everything in one trash bag and not recycle anything. In a district this size, we should have a way to recycle paper, soda cans and plastic. I take my recyclable materials home to put them in my City of Fort Worth recycle bin. When FWISD staff put papers in the recycling bins on campus, they should be assured that they will be recycled and not thrown in the regular trash. With a district our size, we can keep a lot of recyclable materials out of our landfills. We need to be setting a good example for our students. Fort Worth ISD needs to have a smaller carbon footprint. How can we work with the City of Fort Worth to recycle more materials, especially paper?


A Concerned FWISD employee

Dear Concerned FWISD Employee,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Yvonne Garcia Huizar, District Operations coordinator, and she had this response to your question: “A renewed resolve to recycle was recently discussed in operations. Please bear with us as we work through some of the logistics of this venture. Thank you for voicing your concern about reducing our carbon footprint, as it is the responsibility of all of us.”

Thank you for your question, Concerned FWISD Employee, and thank you Ms. Huizar for your response.


Dear Elsie,

I know parking at the Professional Development Center (PDC) is limited. Some days employees have to park several blocks away. I was wondering if there is going to be any effort to keep the Texas Christian University (TCU) students from using our parking lot. Some days there are as many as 15 spaces taken by the students who live on the west side of Sandage Avenue.

Just Wondering,

Teresa Woods, Librarian, T.I.E.

Dear Ms. Woods,

Thank you for your question.

I reached out to Yvonne Garcia Huizar, District Operations coordinator, and she had this response to your question: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Parking has been identified as a challenge for this building as more meetings and trainings are scheduled at this site. We will look to our staff to help monitor this concern and moving forward utilize other non-instruction buildings to help alleviate the building use at the PDC.”

Thank you for your question, Ms. Woods, and thank you Ms. Huizar for your response.


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.

FWISD Launches City-Wide Read, Performance Program

Fort Worth ISD sixth-graders are currently reading “The Children of Willesden Lane” by Mona Golabek, as part of the District’s City-Wide Read and Performance program with the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

Reading of the book got underway, Monday, October 1.

Celebratory kickoff events for the program took place September 17-26 at middle schools and sixth-grade centers across the District where each sixth-grader received a personal copy of the book. Daily lessons supporting and enriching the reading experience of “The Children of Willesden Lane” in literacy, social studies, and fine arts classes will take place throughout the second six weeks.

“The Children of Willesden Lane” is the story of Lisa Jura, Ms. Golabek’s mother, who was a Jewish girl from Austria that sought refuge in England during World War II in 1938. She was part of Kindertransport, a rescue mission to save children threatened by Nazi persecution.

Students are encouraged to write Ms. Golabek personal letters about their own connections to the novel and how it changed their view of themselves and or the world. The student letters have the opportunity to enter the Library of Congress Letters About Literature National Writing Contest.

Ms. Golabek, a renowned concert pianist, is scheduled to do two exclusive piano performances of her book for the District’s sixth-grade students, November 26 at the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium and November 27 at the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA.

Organizers say “Ms. Golabek combines elements of storytelling, acting, and music to tell her mother’s inspirational story of survival during the Holocaust. The show expands on the themes found in the book and further demonstrates the power of the human spirit to persevere through the most challenging of circumstances.”

District winners from Letters About Literature contest will have a chance to participate in a "Meet and Greet" event with Ms. Golabek and have their books signed.

“This story connects students with history that continues to shape today’s world, while its story’s universality resonates with children and adults from all backgrounds,” said Joseph Niedziela, director of the Social Studies Department. “Through the story, students will deepen their understanding about the resilience of the human spirit and explore how mutual understanding, acceptance, and respect form a foundation for responsible citizenship. The overall experience of reading the book, engaging in the curriculum, and participating in a live performance, will establish enduring memories that yield lessons for students well into adulthood.”

For more details on the City-Wide Read and Performance program, call the Social Studies Department at 817-814-2470, or the secondary literacy office at 817-814-2520. Information is also available at www.fwisd.org/Page/14356.


Get ready to show your school spirit, Eagle Nation. Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School is this week’s featured CBS 11 Pep Rally.

CBS 11 Meteorologist and FWISD alum Jeff Jamison will conduct live interviews with Diamond Hill-Jarvis athletes and club members from 4:30 to 7 a.m. Friday, October 5 at the high school football field. The interviews will re-air on 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. CBS 11 (KTVT) broadcasts.

Oscar Castillo, head football coach, is being presented with a $2,000 grant from Whataburger and the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation for his team during the 6:30 a.m. portion of the broadcast. Coach Castillo was recently selected the Dallas Cowboys Whataburger High School Coach of the Week.

The CBS 11 Pep Rally, a community event highlighting North Texas high schools and students, launched the 2017-2018 school year, according to CBS officials. This season, 11 high schools throughout the region will be featured.

“We want to get students fired up for not only the Friday night football game, but the school year as well,” said Martina Valverde, a CBS 11 producer. “Students, staff and parents can expect a lot of energy, school spirit, music, cheering and the showcasing of programs available to students all on live TV.”

A Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School student will also control CBS 11’s social media accounts during the live pep rally. Follow the coverage on Instagram at CBSDFW and Facebook at CBSDFW. Social media coverage can also be found with the hashtag #CBS11PepRally.

Cheer the Eagles on Friday morning as they prepare for their 7:30 p.m. matchup against Dunbar High School at Clark Stadium.

Diamond Hill-Jarvis is the second FWISD high school featured on a CBS 11 Pep Rally this season. Western Hills High participated in a rally Friday, September 7.


What: A celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the construction of Maudrie M. Walton Elementary School, formerly known as Rosedale Park. It is also the 110th anniversary of Mrs. Walton’s birth.

When: Saturday, October 20, 2018; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Maudrie M. Walton Elementary School, 5816 Rickenbacker Place, Fort Worth

Summary: On Saturday, October 20, the Fort Worth ISD and the Carver Heights neighborhood will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the construction of Maudrie M. Walton Elementary School, formerly known as Rosedale Park Elementary. Additional sponsors include the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society.

The Carver Heights neighborhood was one of a few across the country designed as a planned community specifically for professional African Americans. Originally platted in the late 1940’s, it attracted Black professionals from across the city. The streets bear names such as Ellington, Bunche and Carver, after noted figures in Black History.rosedaleparkes

The Rosedale Park School began in 1954, and had existed as a set of makeshift bungalows before an official building was erected in 1958. Maudrie M. Walton, a WWII veteran and long-time educator in the FWISD led the school from its opening until her retirement in 1974. This special celebration also marks the 110th anniversary of Mrs. Walton’s birth.

Former Star-Telegram journalist Bob Ray Sanders will moderate a community forum entitled, “Separate but Excellent: Memories of Academic Achievement, Black History, and Cultural Pride in a Segregated Community Setting”.

Students will be performing and recognition will be given to staff who were among the earliest employees of the school decades ago. Historic photos will be displayed around the school.

Many alumni have strong, passionate memories about the education received in this segregated school community. There will be stories about the ‘extended family’ atmosphere and nurturing that many students received, with a strong emphasis on academic excellence and cultural pride.rosedaleparkflier

This event is free and open to the public with no registration required. For additional information please contact Walton Elementary School at 817-815-3300 or jhigg75@gmail.com.


10 – 11 a.m. Appreciation Ceremony for all former staff of Rosedale Park with opening remarks by Dr. Kent Scribner, Superintendent, Fort Worth ISD.

11 a.m. – NoonA Roundtable Conversation with the Elders: “Separate but Excellent: Memories of Academic Achievement, Black History, and Cultural Pride in a Segregated Community Setting,” moderated by journalist Bob Ray Sanders.

12:15 - 12:30 p.m. -- Historic Marker Unveiling presented by Bert Williams, former Mayor pro tem, City of Fort Worth and Board Members of the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society

Noon – 3 p.m. -- Open House inside building, meet and greet, viewing memorabilia table/displays.

Community celebration on the playground, with a variety of children’s activities, music, food, etc.

Longtime AHHS Biology Teacher Passes Away

The Fort Worth ISD extends its condolences to the loved ones of former biology teacher Arch W. Van Meter.

Mr. Van Meter, 86, died Friday, September 21. He was laid to rest September 28 in Rhome, according to his obituary.

From 1957 to 1990, Mr. Van Meter was a biology teacher with the Fort Worth ISD, serving his first year at Rosemont Middle School and the remainder of his career at Arlington Heights High School. When he left the district in 1990, he was honored with the Arch Van Meter Science Scholarship, which still exists at Arlington Heights High. The most recent recipient is studying at Tarleton State University.

Mr. Van Meter is survived by his wife of 62 years, three sons, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Van Zandt-Guinn Featured In Exhibit of School Architecture

Fort Worth ISD’s Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary School is among 27 school projects that were featured in the Exhibit of School Architecture at this year’s TASA/TASB Convention.

The interactive display celebrated the planning and design excellence of new and renovated schools in Texas. Exhibit of School Architecture was on display September 28-30 at the Austin Convention Center.

Additionally, Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary received a 2018 Star of Distinction for excellence in planning. As a recipient of the honor, the school will be on exhibit once again January 2019 at the TASA Midwinter Conference.

Opened for classes in January 2017, the current 67,500 square-foot Van Zandt Guinn Elementary replaces a late 1970s underground school, one of two in the District. Part of the 2013 bond project approved by voters, the $17.5 million campus was funded a combination bonds and tax increment reinvestment zone money.

The project was led by architect firm, Perkins + Will.


Fort Worth ISD thanks the Fort Worth Water Department and Southside Bank.

Both organizations donated school supplies to Glen Park Elementary last week. The District and Glen Park Elementary thanks you for your generosity.

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

Texas Rangers mascot, Rangers Captain visits FWISD: Rangers Captain surprised Transitions Center Teacher Deborah Overton with gifts for her birthday from the Rangers. Ms. Overton is a season ticket holder.

Hispanic Heritage Month: FWISD elementary schools observe Hispanic Heritage Month with hall decorations, a music video shoot and other festivities.

The first two photos (starting from top left) are students and teachers at Worth Heights Elementary School; followed by hall decorations (second row center) at the Leadership Academy at Maude Logan Elementary School; followed by three images of the hallways at Glen Park Elementary; followed by the hall at the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard Elementary School. From bottom left are photos from the Hispanic Heritage Month video shoot, Saturday at George C. Clarke Elementary School. More than 125 students and educators participated in the shoot, written and directed by fifth-grade math teacher Thomas Mayfield, which he intends to release this weekend.

Social Media Guidelines

The following communication is from Social Media Coordinator Kiana King:

New Teacher Professional Learning for the Fall Semester

Professional Learning and Innovation Opportunities in October

Voly Training, September 5-November 9

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15 (Send photos of events hosted at your campus to Inside@fwisd.org)

Onsite Vaccination Clinics, September 25- October 19

Saturday Morning Medicine information session for teachers, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, October 6 at Cook Children's Medical Center Pavilion 4 Classroom

Elementary Professional Learning Opportunities for October, November

Secondary Professional Learning for October

Elementary Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities in October

HAM Radio Technician Licensing Course, 5:30- 7:30 p.m., October 1, 15, 22, 29 and November 5

Financial Aid Help Sessions, October 2-December 3

Free Kids Workshop, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, October 6

Tarrant County Harambe Festival, October 5-6

Mariposa Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, October 6, Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Monarch Migration Festival, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, October 6, Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Waiver Day, Monday, October 8

Last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election, Tuesday, October 9

Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, October 9

Movies That Matter: He Named Me Malala, Thursday, October 11

Unity in the Community Family and Youth Summit, 8:30- 1 p.m. Saturday, October 13, Dunbar High School

Billy W. Sills Lecture Series: The Evolution of Sundance Square, 9:30-10 a.m., Saturday October 13

Join O.D. Wyatt HS for the First Cowtown High School BBQ regional competition, October 19-20

We Remember Rosedale Park, Saturday, October 20

Health and Safety Fair, Saturday, October 20

Early voting for the Nov. 6 Election, October 22- November 2

Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, October 23

Final Day to Complete Mandatory Safe Schools Training, Wednesday, October 31

Save the Date: Conference on the Education of Hispanics, Saturday, December 8

Save the Date: Fort Worth Technology Conference, Coming January 2019

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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