Inside FWISD April 10, 2019

In this edition:

Pre-K and Kinder Registration Makes It Easy for Parents to Enroll Children for Early Learning Programs | Join the District Advisory Committee to Help Guide FWISD: Nominations Are Due April 19 | Reception Slated To Recognize Moss’ Service To FWISD School Board | FWISD Announces Readers Become Leaders Finalists | Vital Link Teacher Applications Due Friday | Donate To The MBK Suit Up! Campaign | Advisory: In-Home Tutoring | FWISD Visual, Performing Arts Department Recognized Nationally Six Straight Years | AHHS Dance To Host Second Artist Residency This Semester April 15-17 | Final Week To Vote For Read Fort Worth In A Community Thrives Contest | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Ask Elsie | We Can Help: Planing For The Future | AAIL Spotlight | Calendar


FWISD Pre-K and Kindergarten Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration is underway. Go to www.fwisd.org/prek to register online now.

Parents, the Fort Worth ISD is making it easier for you to enroll your child for Pre-K and Kindergarten. Backing up its belief that “Your Child Belongs Here,” the District is providing streamlined online registration and requiring fewer documents during enrollment.

Additionally, the Fort Worth ISD Bookmobile is visiting local neighborhoods to help parents register their children. Children will receive free books to get them excited about learning as they prepare to begin school in the fall.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to call 817-814-2070 for assistance.

The District’s Pre-K program is free of charge, and there’s enough room for every child. Children attend school from 7:50 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. each day in classrooms that are nurturing, safe spaces that inspire discovery and learning.

Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers in Fort Worth ISD have earned their state certification. Pre-K teachers receive an extra 30 hours of training each year and Kindergarten teachers receive 16 additional hours of training annually. This additional training equips teachers with the latest tools to give young students the right balance of structure and play in their education. Our teachers focus on literacy, math, social interactions and other skills to help children successfully navigate the academic path that lies ahead.

Research shows young children who have positive early learning experiences are better equipped to develop the cognitive, social, physical, and emotional skills they will need throughout elementary and secondary school.

Learn more at www.fwisd.org/prek. If you have questions, contact the Parent Information Line at 817-814-2070.

Join District Advisory Committee to Help Guide FWISD

Nominations Are Due April 19

Fort Worth ISD staff nominations to the District Advisory Committee (DAC) in Places 1-12 are being accepted through Friday, April 19.

The DAC is a 21-member group that meets four to six times a year to advise the superintendent and Board of Education of educational plans, goals, performance objectives, and major classroom instructional programs. Other matters brought to the DAC include the District budget, calendar, professional development plans and new education programs and initiatives.

The committee includes representatives from the District’s professional staff, parents with children enrolled in the FWISD, business and community partners. Terms on the committee are two years.

Nominations and self-nominations are being accepted here through 5 p.m. Friday, April 19 for FWISD personnel. Staffers may only recommend their peers to the committee. District employees will vote for DAC members, in their peer groups, April 22- May 3, 2019.

Elementary and secondary teachers and principals and non-instructional staff such as librarians, nurses, counselors, instructional specialists or central administration personnel are eligible to serve on the DAC. The committee includes eight classroom teachers, one at-large non-instructional employee and three campus administrators voted onto the committee by District staff. The remaining 11 committee members are appointed by FWISD school board trustees.

For more details, contact Dr. Amanda Coleman, director of Board policy, governance and strategic support/elections officer in the Policy and Planning Department at 817-814-1956 or email amanda.coleman@fwisd.org.

Reception Slated to Recognize Moss’ Service to FWISD School Board

Christene Moss’ namesake school is hosting an event recognizing her nearly three decades on the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education.

A reception celebrating Mrs. Moss’ 29 years of service is being planned for Thursday, April 18 at Christene C. Moss Elementary School, 4108 Eastland St.

Performances from Dunbar High School and Jacquet Middle School are among expected entertainment for the event. Students from multiple District 3 schools are also slated to speak.

In February, Mrs. Moss announced that she is not seeking re-election and will step down from the District 3 seat when her term ends this May.

A product of the Fort Worth ISD who attended Como Elementary through Como High School, Mrs. Moss was first elected to the Board of Education in 1990.

She currently represents East Handley Elementary, Bill J. Elliott Elementary, Maude Logan Elementary, Lowery Road Elementary, Atwood McDonald Elementary, A.M. Pate Elementary, Sunrise-McMillan Elementary, Maudrie Walton Elementary, West Handley Elementary, John T. White Elementary, Jacquet Middle, Young Men's Leadership Academy, Handley Middle, McClung Middle and Dunbar High School.

As a trustee Mrs. Moss has been part of decisions to transform the Board of Education from an 8-1 governance model to nine single-member districts. She led efforts for single-gender schools, which resulted in creation of the YMLA and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy and she created the first FWISD community, student and youth forums.

She is the immediate past president of the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members.

Mrs. Moss’ work as a FWISD trustee has led to numerous accolades.

Eastland Elementary School, built in 1953, was renamed for Mrs. Moss in 2005. The Salvation Army also named its Children’s Library in her honor for her assistance establishing a facility for homeless students.

Read more about Mrs. Moss here.

FWISD Announces Readers Become Leaders Finalists

The Fort Worth ISD has selected its three finalists for the Readers Become Leaders elementary literacy program.

The following schools accumulated the average reading minutes per student and will attend Open Practice, April 18 for teams competing at the National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championship, April 19-20 at the Fort Worth Convention Center:

  • Floor Exercise Group – H. V. Helbing
  • Uneven Bars Group – Leadership Academy at Como
  • Vault Group – Lily B. Clayton

The overall Readers Become Leaders winner will be announced at the April 18 event.

Balance Beam group winner, Meadowbrook Elementary, will receive a special visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog. Highest average minutes read in each of the four groups -- Balance Beam, Floor Exercise, Uneven Bars, and Vault -- was entered in a drawing for lunch with an author, and fourth-graders at Rosemont Elementary are the winning grade level.

The Fort Worth ISD partnered with the NCAA, Scholastic, Read Fort Worth and Visit Fort Worth to implement Readers Become Leaders into the District’s elementary schools. More than 17,000 students from 38 schools participated in the inaugural event and logged more than 6.7 million minutes.

NCAA’s Team Works division sponsors Readers Become Leaders to help address the literacy problem facing the nation’s youth. Readers Become Leaders encourages students in kindergarten through fifth grade to read by creating a fun environment where they can compete against other schools. Students win prizes that may include NCAA items, pizza parties, and tickets to NCAA events.

Readers Become Leaders supports 100 X 25FWTX, the District’s early literacy initiative with a goal to ensure 100 percent of third-grade students are reading at or above grade level by the year 2025. 100 X 25FWTX will ensure all children in Fort Worth are prepared for college, career and community leadership.

Superintendent Kent P. Scribner is partnering with Mayor Betsy Price and BNSF Executive Chairman Matt Rose to lead the community-wide Read Fort Worth initiative. Anel Mercado serves as the executive director. This cradle-to-career strategy puts childhood literacy front and center and aligns the resources of the Fort Worth ISD with the city’s business sector, city leaders, higher education, nonprofit organizations, the faith-based community as well as educators and parents. Childhood literacy can determine success in all subjects for years to come, including math and science.

The 2019 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships selected Fort Worth as the host city after a successful bid process spearheaded by Visit Fort Worth, Texas Woman’s University and the Knight Eady Sports Group. Fort Worth will host the event through 2022 with the final three years hosted at the new Dickies Arena.

The Championship will feature the eight top Division I gymnastics programs competing in two semi-final events at noon and 6 p.m., Friday, April 19, with the Championship set to take place at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 20. ESPN will televise all events on both days.

Vital Link Teacher Applications Due Friday

Spend the summer helping Fort Worth ISD students discover a future career and earn some extra money in the process.

If you're a certified FWISD teacher, the Vital Link Program, now in its 28th year, wants you to join its team this summer. Applications are due by Friday, April 12, 2019.

The program, which will operate June 10-14 and June 17-21, offers rising seventh-graders an opportunity like none other.

Students are connected with local businesses for half-day, weeklong unpaid summer internships where they see how what they're taught in the classroom is exercised in an actual workplace setting. The students are placed in law, banking, health care, municipal government, construction and college work spaces among many others.

Certified teachers accompany the students to the internships and supervise their work. They are responsible for assisting students in discovering how skills learned in school, including oral and written communication, reading, mathematics, technology, problem-solving and teamwork are beneficial in the workplace.

Vital Link teaching supervisors receive a $525 stipend each week of the program, a $21 stipend for the program's mandatory training and a $200 stipend for the time spent calling students prior to the Vital Link start date, June 10. The total compensation for teaching supervisors is $1,271.

Teaching supervisors are required to:

  • Plan the week with Vital Link host businesses/organizations before the internship;
  • Verify student attendance in their assigned groups;
  • Meet students at designated bus stops, escort them to the internship, supervise them and accompany them to their original pick-up site;
  • Facilitate the internship for students and host partners;
  • Assist students with their journal writing and making academic-workplace connections.

The FWISD Department of Career and Technical Education is accepting applications from prospective Vital Link teaching supervisors through April 12, 2019 here. Principals will be required to complete a recommendation form for potential teaching supervisors. Teachers selected to participate with Vital Link are required to attend a mandatory training this May prior to the program start date and will be required to work both weeks of the program.

For more details, contact Lila Boydston in the Career and Technical Education department at 817-814-1813 or lila.boydston@fwisd.org.


Invest in the accomplishments and success of a graduating senior.

Be part of the 2019 My Brother’s Keeper Suit Up! Campaign. Fort Worth ISD, the Education Foundation for Fort Worth Schools and Jos. A. Bank are partnering to recognize graduating male seniors with a tailored suit, dress shirt, tie, belt and shoes. Contributions in any amount are being accepted that will go toward outfitting about 60 students.

“Our goal is to ensure each graduating senior that meets the criteria receives a suit to wear when interviewing for college admissions or college functions,” said Sherry Breed, FWISD’s chief of Equity and Excellence.

Launched by President Barack Obama in 2014, My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is a national initiative addressing persistent opportunity gaps boys and young men of color face and ensure all youth reach their full potential.

Fort Worth ISD has 17 MBK high school chapters that meet weekly for discussions on cultural history and consciousness, personal growth, leadership development, college preparation, career choices and community involvement.

Eligible MBK students will be fitted for suits later this spring at Jos. A. Bank.

Donors contributing $450 or more to the MBK Suit Up! Campaign will receive an invitation to attend FWISD’s MBK Graduation Stole Draping Ceremony, May 22, 2019 at Texas Christian University’s Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center. The annual event celebrates accomplishments of MBK’s graduating seniors and presents the seniors with a distinctive stole to be worn at graduation that symbolizes cultural pride and personal academic accomplishments. Young men who attend a majority of their MBK chapter meetings are eligible for the stole.

Visit http://www.ef4fw.org/ to donate to the 2019 MBK Suit Up! Campaign.

Advisory: In-Home Tutoring

It has come to the Fort Worth Independent School District’s attention that some parents in our schools are being contacted by phone and in person by companies offering to sell in-home tutoring to their children. Those parents have reported and brought forth concerns that a sales person from these companies pressures them into believing the companies are associated with the District.

This is an advisory to inform the FWISD community that no tutoring company is associated with the District. Some of these companies may give the impression they are “District approved” without really using those words. Their goal is to get parents to sign a contract for payment and to collect the money.

Please contact your local school campus principal with the name of any such company that contacts you, and the name of the salesman, if possible. The campus should immediately send that information to Safety and Security.

Federal law allows consumers three business days to cancel a contract for a full refund on any purchases over $25. Learn more here.

FWISD Visual, Performing Arts Department Recognized Nationally Six Straight Years

Fort Worth ISD is one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education a sixth straight year.

The designation recently presented by the NAMM Foundation, honors districts and individual schools for ensuring music access to students in the classroom and for an “outstanding commitment to music education,” according to the nonprofit partly supported by the National Association of Music Merchants. The District responded to questions about “funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time facilities,” music program support and “community music-making programs” to qualify for the designation, according to the foundation.

“The music programs in Fort Worth provide a unique opportunity for educational enrichment. Our programs inspire students to be productive community members and provide inspiration for consistent attendance and effort throughout the school day,” said Dick Clardy, FWISD director of instrumental music. “The commitment and work ethic our students developed in their music classes transfers to all aspects of their life. Receiving an award of this magnitude magnifies the tremendous commitment and work of the students and staff. We are thankful!”

The District recently completed a five-year replacement plan, providing new acoustic pianos to all District campuses and is in the process of completing a $1.4 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Education supporting various music education certifications for elementary and secondary music teachers, said Christina Walk, FWISD executive director of visual and performing arts. Additionally, FWISD has multiple partnerships with organizations and foundations in the Fort Worth arts community that offer free concerts and master classes and other support and opportunities to students and teachers.

In an effort to ensure optimal music experiences for students, the FWISD “Music Department is in a resurgence of hiring the very best music educators,” said Dinah Menger, director of choral and elementary music.

“These enriching experiences build confidence in helping students find power in their own abilities, which infuses every other subject,” she said. “Through patience and persistence, [music teachers] create true musicians who can compete at the local, state, and national level. These students leave us with stronger soft skills and grit to better prepare them for the future.”

Fort Worth ISD has received the Best Communities for Music Education designation since 2014.

AHHS Dance to Host Second Artist Residency This Semester April 15-17

Leslie Williams, director of dance at West Texas A&M University, will take up a two-day residency with dancers at Fort Worth ISD’s Arlington Heights High School, April 15-17.

While Ms. Williams has annually attended AHHS Senior Recruitment, this is her first time taking up a residency at the school. In addition to leading dance at West Texas A&M University, she dances with Michigan’s Peter Sparling Dance Company, according to her biography.

“We are pumped to have her here for a longer time to work more in depth with our students,” said Rachel Wade, director of AHHS’ Dance Department and Repertory Company. “She is truly an outstanding educator and more than that is a huge advocate for dance in high schools.”

This is the second artist residency at Arlington Heights this semester. In January, the Dance Department hosted Amy Miller, senior company director at Gibney, a New York-based dance company. Her four-day residency included master classes and two choreography workshops with Heights dancers. Ms. Wade said that she hopes to continue the artist residency with students this fall.

Final Week to Vote for Read Fort Worth In A Community Thrives Contest

The following is from Read Fort Worth:

Three days remain to help Read Fort Worth raise $100,000 and possibly more to upgrade four Fort Worth ISD libraries as part of the District's 100X25 initiative -- 100 percent of third-graders reading on grade level by 2025. These funds will help implement elementary literacy strategies and introduce STEM enrichment to libraries at four elementary campuses in need -- Sunrise, Moss, and Western Hills Primary and Elementary.

One-hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to FWISD. Let's get these four FWISD school libraries current with state standards in STEM library resources. The four 100x25 project elementary school libraries serve 2,247 students, of which 91.5 percent are economically disadvantaged.

Give and become a fundraiser clicking here!

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

STAAR Testing: State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing for students in the fourth-, fifth-, seventh- and eighth-grades, and at the high school level took place this week in the Fort Worth ISD and across the state. In preparation for the test teachers motivated their students with encouraging messages as they entered school. Here are just a few examples from Bill J. Elliott, the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard, Glen Park and South Hills elementary schools.

Week of the Young Child:Fort Worth ISD is joining school districts across the country in celebrating National Week of the Young Child, April 8-12. The 2019 Week of the Young Child focus is intergenerational friendship, building community and finding beauty in unlikely places.

AHHS Project Dance: The Arlington Heights Dance Department celebrated its 25-year anniversary with its Project Dance production April 5 and 6 at the Fort Worth Community Art Center’s W.E. Scott Theater. The production included all-level dancers performing choreographed works by Arlington Heights faculty, current and former students.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Schreiner

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration Literacy Fair: More than 450 attended the annual event which provided on-site assistance with the pre-K and kindergarten online registration process, immunizations, developmental and dental screenings and free books. On-site registration assistance is still available at FWISD campuses, and families can call the Parent Information Line at 817-814-2070 for assistance.

Transformation Day at Dunbar High School: Fidelity Cares volunteers returned to Dunbar High School, April 6, for another Transformation Day event. Volunteers spent several hours participating in beautification projects on the campus.

Leadership Academy at Maude Logan Career Day: Students learned about becoming artists, barbers, police, firemen and much more at the April 4 event.

Riverside ALC Students Tour GRACE RestaurantStudents at Fort Worth ISD’s Riverside Applied Learning Center were recently treated to a special tour of downtown restaurant GRACE, by owner Dain “Adam” Jones. The April 4 tour is the culmination of an applied learning six-week study of the restaurant and hospitality industry by pre-kindergarten through second-graders participating in the school’s Too Cool to Cook club.

Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School Student-Athletes Receive $2,500 grant: The student-athletes recently received a grant from the Gene and Jerry Jones Foundation for their SOAR To Success Community Literacy Project as part of the Dallas Cowboys Community Quarterback Challenge presented by Ryan Tax Services. The program challenges high school football teams to develop a community service project that impacts their local community. Read more here.

Photos courtesy of the DHJ Athletics Booster Club

McLean Middle School Students Meet Actress Touring with the Broadway Musical "Anastasia": About 50 students recently attended a performance of the national tour for "Anastasia" at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas. Taylor Quick, who is part of the tour ensemble and a Texas Christian University graduate met with the students after the show. "Anastasia" was in Dallas February 19-March 3, 2019.

Seven FWISD Golf Teams Advance to Regionals: Congratulations to the golf teams from FWISD's Paschal, Arlington Heights South Hills, North Side, Carter-Riverside, Benbrook and Western Hills high schools that will represent the District in UIL Region golf Tournaments April 22-25 in Classes 6A, 5A and 4A, respectively.

Pictured are golfers from Arlington Heights, South Hills, Benbrook and Western Hills high schools.

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,

FWISD celebrated its 'Inaugural Day of Service' honoring Latino civil rights activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta on Monday, March 25.

I noticed a distinct difference between the two pictures chosen for publicity and the District website.

For Chavez, his picture shows him as a very young man -- his hair is shiny and fully black, his face is smooth and wrinkle-free, and his skin is taut and tanned.

For Huerta, her close-up picture (unlike Chavez's upper body shot) shows her as a clearly middle-aged woman -- her face is lined with wrinkles, her hair is graying at the temples, her lipstick is faded and faint, and her neck, with protruding bones, show clear signs of age.

I would like to know who decided on these pictures used to honor these civil rights icons?

Thank you for any information you can provide.


DeNell Russell

Dear Ms. Russell,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Barbara Griffith, FWISD’s senior communications officer, regarding your question and here’s the response: “The images were the ones provided by Mr. Chavez and Ms. Huerta’s individual foundations as the ‘approved’ photographs we could use. Their respective foundations control the rights to these images and monitor their use. It may also be worth noting that Mr. Chavez passed away almost three decades ago. On the other hand, Ms. Huerta is still with us, thankfully, and celebrated her 89th birthday Wednesday.”

Mariachi Aguilas Azul from Carter-Riverside High School were recently asked to play at Dolores Huerta's 89th birthday celebration in the Southside of Fort Worth.

Thank you, Ms. Russell for your question, and thank you, Mrs. Griffith 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.

We Can Help: Planning for the Future

The following information is from the District’s Employee Assistance Program provider, Alliance Work Partners:

Creating a will is an important step in planning the distribution of your estate (assets including real and personal property) following your death. A will allows for your children, spouse, other family members, and pets to be provided for after your death. Although making a will is a sobering experience, your loved ones and friends will thank you for being so organized and thoughtful ahead of time.

Your EAP website provides a resource for you to create a will along with other important estate-planning documents at no cost to you.

To get started:

Go to AWPnow.com and create an account

Once signed on, Select Benefits > Law Access

Click Connect to Law Access

On the right, in the blue Legal and Financial Center box, select the "Click here" tab to access legal and financial content.

Download Quicken WillMaker Plus 2019 and create your customized estate plan.

Remember to include the discount code “1050” at checkout to receive this invaluable tool for free.

For more information, contact us at 800-343-3822 or visit www.awpnow.com/main/fwisd-eap-resource-room/.


The following communication is from the Advanced, Accelerated, and Innovative Learning Department:

In an effort to celebrate excellent employees and share best practices, the Advanced, Accelerated and Innovative Learning Department is “spotlighting” outstanding individuals and schools. We are excited to spotlight Kathleen Hockema at the Leadership Academy at Como this week!

April is Child Safety Month

April is Month of the Military Child

April is School Library Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month

FWISD is looking for Bilingual Testers

Professional Learning and Innovation Opportunities

Elementary Professional Learning Opportunities

Secondary Professional Learning Opportunities

Website Training Schedule

Gold Seal Late Application Window, Continues through September 6

Training Schedule for New ELAR TEKS for Grades 3-5 Teachers and Administrators, Register in Eduphoria

Training Schedule for New ELAR TEKS for Grades 6-8 Teachers and Administrators, Register in Eduphoria

Spring VOLY Training Sessions for FCLs, new campus staff and campus partners

National Library Week, Continues through April 12

Week of the Young Child, Continues through April 12

Celebrating the Legacy of Christene C. Moss, 4:30-6:30 p.m. April 18, C.C. Moss Elementary, 4108 Eastland St.

2019 Women’s Gymnastics Championships, April 19-20 Fort Worth Convention Center

Good Friday (Student Holiday. 240- and 245- employees must report to work), April 19

Easter, April 21

Public School Volunteer Week, April 22-26

Early voting for May 4 Joint General and Special Elections, April 22-30 (Rosemont MS is the only FWISD polling location)

Board of Education Regular Meeting, April 23

Report cards issued, April 24

Administrative Professionals Day, April 24

JROTC Pass in Review, April 26

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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