Inside FWISD January 16, 2020

FWISD Closed Monday In Observance of MLK Holiday

Staff, Students to Observe Day Participating in Service, Community Events

The Fort Worth ISD is closed Monday, January 20, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

The District will resume normal business and class schedules on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

Fort Worth ISD students, staff and board members will observe the holiday participating in the city’s 35th annual tribute parade to the civil rights leader and the District’s second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Music groups from Dunbar, Eastern Hills, Polytechnic and O.D. Wyatt will march in the 35th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade beginning at 11 a.m. Monday, January 20 at Ninth and Commerce streets in downtown Fort Worth. The parade concludes with a rally at Sundance Square beginning at noon.

FWISD employees, Central Office Leadership, Board Trustees and community leaders will assemble 500 care packages including hats, gloves, blankets, toiletries and nonperishable foods that will be distributed to the homeless along with lunch, January 20. For more details, visit www.fwisd.org/MLK.

Annually on the third Monday in January, the nation observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day, established to honor the preacher, author, civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner. He is most notably known for his “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the 1963 March on Washington in Washington, D.C.

Since 1994, the U.S. Congress has commemorated the holiday as a national day of service, encouraging Americans to participate in service projects within their communities.


What: Fort Worth ISD Career Fairs

When: Thursday, January 16 – 4:30-6:30 p.m. for teaching applicants; 1-3 p.m. for all other FWISD job openings

Where: Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St. in Fort Worth

Summary: End your search for a career here in the Fort Worth ISD.

The District is hosting two hiring events – teacher and auxiliary career fairs --- today, January 16 at Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St. in Fort Worth.

Qualified teachers – and college seniors who will graduate May 2020 and plan to become teachers – may attend the afternoon session from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Campus principals will conduct on-site interviews and are eager to meet with applicants.

Those interested in employment as nurses, substitute teachers, CDL bus drivers, campus monitors, cafeteria or custodial service employees and much more were invited to meet with District representatives earlier in the day from 1 to 3 p.m.

The two career fairs allow attendees to:

Meet and interview with District representatives on the spot

Get questions answered about working in the Fort Worth ISD

Learn about the $54,000 starting salary for teachers as well as professional development to ensure success

For more details on FWISD employment opportunities, call 817-814-HIRE or visit www.fwisd.org/careers.

Take the Fast FWISD Survey and Win a Prize For You Or Your School!

Fort Worth ISD Stakeholder Survey Extended Until Friday

There's still time to complete the Fort Worth ISD Stakeholder Survey.

We’ve extended the deadline through Friday, January 17, to give you a little extra time to enter and a chance to win a great gift basket – whether for yourself or your school.

The survey will help your campus better serve your child. So, families, we need to hear from you now!

Families, we need to hear from you now!

>> 2019-2020 Stakeholders’ Climate Survey

How is this for an incentive?

Each campus that meets or exceeds their 15 percent parent participation goal over last year in the survey will also be entered into a drawing for a variety of fun, family-friendly gift baskets. The schools will use the gift basket as an incentive for an upcoming event.

Fort Worth ISD appreciates everyone’s participation in the survey and helping us provide every opportunity for students to succeed in college, career and community leadership.

More reasons to take the survey?

It takes only a few minutes.

The results will help us budget and plan for campus needs in the 2020-21 school year.

You or your child’s school could receive a great prize for your time!


Pre-register by Saturday

Test out the latest education apps at the 15th annual Fort Worth Technology Conference (FWTC).

The one-day event, which Fort Worth ISD’s Educational Technology Department is hosting January 25, offers area educators nearly 100 presentations, sessions and workshops led by local, regional, and national digital-instruction innovators. Also available is an Escape Room that immerses attendees in classroom technologies and a Digital Playground where educators can test out tech tools for enhancing student comprehension. The conference gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday, January 25 at Southwest High School, 4100 Altamesa Blvd.

“We strive to teach technology integration so that the technology is just a tool in the process of learning, not the end goal,” said Dr. Becky Navarre, assistant superintendent of technology for the Division of Academics.

Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google, will present “The Problem-Solving Generation,” a 45-minute keynote address focused on equipping students with skills for thriving in an ever-changing digital environment. A 45-minute question-and-answer session with Mr. Casap will follow the presentation.

FWTC admission is free to District employees and $35 for out-of-district pre-registered participants. A box lunch and conference gift are guaranteed for pre-registered attendees, and the FWISD schools with the most registered attendees will receive a campus prize. Drawings for individual door prizes will take place throughout the conference. On-site registration is $40 for out-of-district participants.

Twelve FWISD teachers are vying for the title of Tech Idol at FWTC. Attendees will participate in a poll that selects the District educator that’s exercised impactful technology integration in the classroom.

Attendance hit a record in 2019 at FWTC, with nearly 1,110 registrants, and conference organizers are anticipating larger crowds this year.

Rochelle Horton, principal at FWISD’s A.M. Pate Elementary school talks about how and why she encourages her staff to attend FWTC in a recent episode of FWEdCast, a monthly podcast produced by FWISD’s Educational Technology Department.

She said teachers are taking more risks presenting before their peers, students and others as a result of attending FWTC. Students are being prepared “for jobs that don’t even exist yet,” Ms. Horton said, and FWTC keeps educators of on the pulse of new technology for engaging students. Teachers leave the conference with knowledge of the new apps and updates that they can utilize on Monday when they’re back in the classroom, Ms. Horton said.

“The value of receiving free tech … there is an increase of student engagement in the classroom. When teachers go to the conference, they learn new things, they come back and they’re able to use it in the classroom, and you see students are more engaged in learning,” Ms. Horton said on the podcast. “Going to the tech conference gives teachers an opportunity to see it in practice, in application and then be able to come back to campus and replicate that.”

FWTC pre-registration closes Saturday, January 18. Register today and get the conference agenda, session catalog and map by visiting www.fwisd.org/FWTC. For additional details, contact the Educational Technology Department at 817-814-3100 or emailing edtech@fwisd.org.


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

This school year the Fort Worth ISD transitioned to paperless report cards, making student grades available via Parent Portal. The online portal also gives parents and guardians access to their child’s attendance and provides an easy way to email the student’s teacher. Report cards were posted Wednesday, January 15.

Parents who prefer a paper copy of report cards must visit their child’s campus to request one.

For Parent Portal access, visit www.fwisd.org/parentportal. Parents or guardians need their child’s student identification (ID) information, birth date and their email address to register.

The fourth six weeks officially began Tuesday, January 7 and concludes February 14. The third six weeks ended Friday, December 20.


Start the spring semester off right with free backpacks, school supplies, winter gear, hair cut vouchers and accessories.

Buzz Back to School Winter Edition offers all this and much more for children ages 4-18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, January 18 at the Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave. The event is sponsored by District 8 Fort Worth City Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray, the Rainwater Charitable Foundation, Fort Worth Black Law Enforcement Officers Association, Hillside Community Center, City of Fort Worth Neighborhood Services, 97.9 The Beat (KBFB)/Majic 94.5(KZMJ) and Williams Barber College.

“We focus attention on Back To School during August but forget kids need supplies all year long,” Councilwoman Gary wrote in a recent Facebook post.

The Fort Worth ISD community is invited to participate in this family-friendly event which also includes fun activities and entertainment. Onsite vendors will include the City of Fort Worth Neighborhood Services, Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County and the University of North Texas Health Science Center Mobile Clinic.

FWISD Among Fort Worth Stock Show All-Western Parade Participants

Five Fort Worth ISD high schools will participate in the Fort Worth Stock Show’s "One-and-Only, Horse Powered, All-Western Parade," Saturday, January 18 in downtown Fort Worth.

Music groups from Arlington Heights, Dunbar, Eastern Hills, Paschal and Southwest are expected to march in the parade processional. Festivities get underway at 11 a.m. at the corner of Weatherford and Main streets. The five FWISD groups are joining other marching bands, floats, dignitaries and more than 2,000 horses in the parade processional.

Parade tickets are $15 and $25 and must be purchased in advance. The ticket is good for general admission into the Fort Worth Stock Show grounds during its 23-day run but does not include admission to rodeo shows.

Drawing an annual crowd of more than 100,000 spectators, the All-Western Parade, held the first Saturday of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, is a unique event with multiple wagons and horses but no motorized vehicles.

For more details, visit fwssr.com.

FWISD Second Annual Elementary Math Bee Set for Saturday

One Student Will Be Crowned District Winner

Elementary mathematicians are vying for Fort Worth ISD’s Elementary Math Bee title this weekend.

It’s a battle of brains as winners from each FWISD elementary campus use math to solve number sense problems in hopes of ultimately being crowned champion. The District’s second annual Elementary Math Bee gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday, January 18 at O.D. Wyatt High School, 2400 E. Seminary Drive.

“Our goal of the Elementary Math Bee is to provide our younger students a positive experience with mathematics. We want our students and community members to realize that mathematics can provide a wealth of possibilities and opportunities,” said Shannon Hernandez, FWISD mathematics literacy director. “We hope that this competition will continue to foster students’ mathematical interest and skills.”

Campus rounds of the Math Bee were previously held, and the best of the best from each school are invited to the District-wide competition. This is the first year the bee recognizes an overall District champion. In 2019, the District recognized winners from each campus.

For more details, call 817-814-2543.


5 Days Remain Until Sport of Knowledge Begins

Did you see Fort Worth ISD Whiz Quiz student competitors from the Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences and Young Men’s Leadership Academy on Good Morning Texas this week?

See these teams and 10 others live at the 42nd annual Whiz Quiz competition, January 21-23.

Five days remain until FWISD’s Sport of Knowledge. Two five-member teams will square off nightly to answer rapid-fire questions about science, literature, social studies, geography, grammar, math and pop culture in the Jeopardy-style academic competition. The top two teams will square off for Whiz Quiz trophies in the categories of sixth grade, middle school and high school.

Join us for the fun and test your knowledge!


Adriana Nixon, a first grader at Fort Worth ISD’s Lowery Road Elementary School, is an honorary Fort Worth police officer.

The 6-year old was sworn in as an honorary officer by Fort Worth Police, Thursday January 9, in a special ceremony at the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex. Additionally, Adriana rode in a patrol car, practiced with the department’s SWAT team, handled a K-9 officer and took a flight in FWPD's Air One helicopter over the Fort Worth Zoo with her sibling.

The first grader was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma in July 2019 and is currently undergoing treatment. It’s been her dream to become a Fort Worth police officer.

View photos of Adriana’s memorable day here and in this video produced by the District.


By Art Garcia

Inside FWISD Contributor

A celebration 100 years in the making is coming to Arlington Heights High School. The “School on the Hill” is gearing up to commemorate its first century as a Fort Worth institution later this semester.

“We have some amazing alumni from John Denver to Mayor Price to Bill Paxton,” Arlington Heights Principal Sarah Weeks said. “When we look at history and some of the schools that stand out in Fort Worth, Arlington Heights is one of those schools.”

Ms. Weeks, in her seventh year as principal and 26th in Fort Worth ISD, is working with an Arlington Heights parent to gather ideas and support for the 100th-year festivities.

She's envisioning a weekend of fun, with alumni being invited back to an open house on campus. Input on the celebration will come from all corners of Fort Worth and beyond.

“I’m sure we’ll have many people that will help us come up with ideas to celebrate Arlington Heights,” she said.

Arlington Heights, with an enrollment of about 1,900, opened in 1920 and the current location houses more than 70 classrooms, a library, band hall, auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria, workrooms and administrative offices. The red brick building also houses a state-of-the-art dance studio for its renowned dance program.

As much as the campus has physically changed over the years – Weeks noted the construction that has reshaped Arlington Heights and is still ongoing – one constant has been the students. There’s a proud tradition of Yellow Jackets making a difference locally and beyond Fort Worth’s borders.

Among the many politicians, actors, musicians, service members and athletes to grace the halls off West Freeway are Pete Geren, Tom Schieffer, author John Graves, football players Mike Renfro and Turner Gil, and wrestler Dusty Rhodes.

“I always say you can throw a rock here in Fort Worth and hit an Arlington Heights alum,” Ms. Weeks said. “It’s just been here forever. Many of our alums have gone on to do great things.”

Ms. Weeks hopes to make an announcement on Arlington Height’s centennial celebration along with FWISD officials in the near future.


Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School alumnus Ollie “Babe” Garza recently shared his message of tragedy and triumph at a signing event for his new book.

“Why Not Me? 8 Keys To Turning Tragedy Into Triumph,” is Mr. Garza’s story of acceptance following a 1978 high school football injury that left him paralyzed and permanently in a wheelchair. Mr. Garza is a 1978 DH-J graduate.

“If there was one thing that was a game changer for me, it was when I learned to embrace the process,” he writes in his book. “For so many of us today, we want the results without the required work, but it’s in the work that we learn the most.

See and hear more about Mr. Garza and his book in the latest NBC 5 DFW (KXAS-TV) Something Good” segment.


FWISD Educator Pays Lunch Debt for McLean MS Students

Lunch debts for all students at Fort Worth ISD’s McLean Middle School were paid off recently, thanks to head band director Sarah Chance.

NBC 5 DFW (KXAS-TV) recently put a spotlight on Ms. Chance’s good deed in its “Something Good” segment. For her birthday, Ms. Chance launched a Facebook fundraiser to eliminate $750 in school lunch debts for 20 students in the band program. The fundraiser collected over $5,400, enough to cover lunch debts for each student at McLean Middle School.

Click here to view the “Something Good” segment featuring Ms. Chance.

FWISD JROTC Cadets Attend Lunch with Bestselling Author, Retired Army Commander

Cadets from Fort Worth ISD’s JROTC recently had lunch with New York Times bestselling author and retired U.S. Army Special Forces/ Delta Force Lt. Col. Brad Taylor.

During the January 10 lunch, Lt. Col. Taylor discussed with cadets his perspective on the current state of affairs in Iraq and Iran and his path to becoming an author and security consultant. Since 2011, Lt. Col. Taylor has written nearly two dozen books including Pike Logan, a series with over 13 installments and more than 2 million copies sold.

His latest book “Hunter Killer” debuted January 7, 2020. Each cadet received a signed copy of the book.

“This event, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth, certainly opened the eyes of our future leaders learning about the world and its challenges through the JROTC program offered in FWISD,” said retired Lt. Col. Richard Crossley, director of FWISD’s JROTC programs.

To thank Lt. Col. Taylor for the time spent with cadets, Lt. Col. Crossley presented him with the District’s JROTC coin.

Buzz Worthy: Checking the Emotion Engine

Fort Worth ISD campuses are always posting great ways to motivate students and staff. Regularly, Inside FWISD will post tricks of the trade. If you see an idea you like, try it at your campus!

The leadership team at Waverly Park Elementary School empowers students to understand and communicate their emotional status. The counselors and principal provide great tips for how to start the “Engine Check” activity at your campus!

Principal Roberto Baeta-Gutierrez says:

“Some of our students were struggling with self-regulation. Our counselors identified a way to build their social emotional skills in order to have successful relationships with their peers and teachers.”

How it works: Waverly park started the school year with every student creating their own engine plate that identifies different emotions. Students are encouraged to check their engines each morning and according to where they are in their engine, they use their skills that they have been taught to prepare themselves for academic success.

Impact: “What we have seen from the students is that they know that when they are in red, they know what to do to get themselves back to green, feeling just right, so they can just focus. For teachers, it has been a reduction on classroom disruptions,” Mr. Baeta-Gutierrez said.

What a great way to help students practice self-awareness and communication!

If you need additional guidance email Waverly Park counselors Crystal Jennings at crystal.jennings@fwisd.org and Tyanna Smith at tyanna.smith@fwisd.org.

Want to be a featured Buzz Worthy column? Follow these easy steps:

1. Post it on your campus social media page or email inside.fwisd@fwisd.org

2. Provide photos of the impact

Try out the “Engine Check” activity on your campus and let us know the benefits and challenges!

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

Board Recognition Month: The Fort Worth ISD joins the Texas Association of School Boards and school districts across the state in observing School Board Appreciation Month this January. This month many schools will salute district representatives with acknowledgements posted to campus marquees, as well as other activities. Additionally, Board members will be recognized during the January 28 Board meeting.

Business Leaders Observe Future Workforce At North Side HS: Nearly a dozen representatives from the Fort Worth business community toured Fort Worth ISD’s North Side High School, Tuesday, January 14. The tour is one of many slated this school year in which business leaders will visit Fort Worth high schools for a glimpse at how the future workforce is being educated and trained.

Leadership Fort Worth Education Day: Superintendent Kent Scribner recently participated on a panel at the Leadership Fort Worth Education Day event, January 9. The event brings together the business community and education leaders for discussions focused on preparing students from pre-kindergarten to college and career.

January is Board Appreciation Month

FWISD Teacher Career Fair, January 16

Elementary Math Bee, January 18

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (District wide and federal holiday), January 20

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, January 20

Whiz Quiz, January 21-23

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, January 23

Fort Worth Technology Conference, January 25

FWISD Spelling Bee, January 27-29

Save the date for the Racial Equity Summit

Save the date for Summer Professional Learning

Girls and Boys Basketball Schedules

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.