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.
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.
FORT WORTH ISD AWARDED NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION’S CUBE AWARD
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.”
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.
"WE REMEMBER ROSEDALE PARK"
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.
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.