Inside FWISD February 21, 2019

In this edition:

Calendar Vote Information | FWISD Announces 4-Day Workweek Summer Schedule | Apply Today for the Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts and the Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Theater and Dance | Apply Now for District Teacher of the Year | Submit Your 2019 Cowtown Marathon Photos | O.D. Wyatt, Dunbar Advance to Area Basketball Playoffs | Pre-K/K Registration Information |FWISD Observes CTE Month | FWISD Celebrates African-American History Month | FWISD Inspires Future Speech-Language Pathologists | Mandatory Email Signature Information | Teacher Volunteer Transfer Information | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Ask Elsie | Southwest HS Names IPAA/PESA Public Speaking Winners | AAIL Spotlight |Social Media Tip of the Week | Calendar

Calendar Vote

Fort Worth ISD is seeking stakeholder feedback on options for the 2019-2020 school calendar.

Through a survey, students, parents and employees are being asked to select one of two calendar options for the 2019-2020 school year. The calendar options were developed utilizing the flexibility of school minutes. This flexibility has allowed the District to offer calendar options that address many of our needs as a District and community.

Read more here.

fwisd aNNOUNCES 4-dAY workweek sUMMER SCHEDULE

The following memorandum is from Superintendent Kent P. Scribner:


Apply today for the Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts and the Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Theater and Dance.

Find eligibility requirements and the application form on the Community and Strategic Partnerships Page.

Submit your application to the Department of Community and Strategic Partnerships by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 27. For more details, contact Peg Murphy at peg.murphy@fwisd.org

Apply for District Teacher of the Year

All Campus Teacher of the Year honorees are among an elite group of educators eligible to apply for the 2019 District Teacher of the Year award.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in order to be evaluated by the judging panel. A $5,000 cash honorarium will be awarded to both the elementary and secondary winners at the District Teacher of the Year dinner, which will be held at the Savanna Events Pavilion at the Fort Worth Zoo on May 2. Additionally, eight finalists will receive a $1,500 honorarium.

Five finalists in each category -- elementary and secondary -- will be announced at the Campus Teacher of the Year Reception April 2 at the Kimbell Art Museum. Please direct any questions to Peg Murphy, director of Community Partnerships at peg.murphy@fwisd.org.

Running The Cowtown?

Let FWISD Know

Participating in The Cowtown Marathon festivities this weekend?

The Fort Worth ISD wants to celebrate you.

The District will feature FWISD Nation taking part in the race, February 23-24. Snap a photo at the race and post it on social media using the Cowtown and FWISD hashtags, #RunCowtown and #FWISD.

Some photos will appear in the District’s internal newsletter, Inside FWISD and on the District’s social media platforms.

More than 60 schools are expected to participate in the 2019 Cowtown under the C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) Program. In recent weeks, more than 2,000 FWISD students have received shoes, socks and support in preparation for Saturday’s 5K race.

The two-day event includes 10K, 5K, Kids 5K half, full- and ultra-marathon races.

For more details on The Cowtown Marathon, visit cowtownmarathon.org.


Fort Worth ISD’s O.D. Wyatt and Dunbar high school boys’ basketball teams are headed to the area playoffs.

Both teams are scheduled to play, Friday, February 22, 2019:


Dunbar versus Wilmer-Hutchins

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Mansfield Summit High School, 1071 Turner Warnell Road, Arlington, Texas 76001


O. D. Wyatt vs. The Colony

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: at Grapevine High School, 3223 Mustang Drive, Grapevine, Texas 76051

Read more here.

PRE-K/K Registration Information

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten online registration begins, Monday, April 1. Over the next few weeks, Inside FWISD will share preparation information with employees.

The Fort Worth ISD will simultaneously conduct pre-kindergarten and kindergarten online registration for the 2019-2020 school year, beginning April 1, 2019,

Keep these important dates in mind:

1. Data clerk training for the new Pre-K process is slated March 19 – 22

2. Pre-K student applications completed and recorded in PowerSchool from April 1-26, are being processed first

3. From April 29-May 10, data clerks will finalize any outstanding online registration applications, received between April 1 and May 10.

4. Families will receive letters about their Pre-K application status by May 13

5. Data Clerks will work four additional days, June 4-7, to ensure all Pre-K applicants are registered before summer break

We will continue sharing information about the Pre-K documentation and process over the upcoming weeks. Feel free to contact Jennifer Perez with any questions.

More Pre-K/K registration is available here.

Thank you for your support!

FWISD Celebrates CTE Month

Fort Worth ISD is celebrating Career and Technical Education Month with a rotating display highlighting the District’s CTE programs.

Every two to three days throughout February, the District will spotlight one of its CTE programs or student organizations in the display case located in the main lobby of the District Administration Building, 100 N. University Drive.

CTE Month is a public awareness campaign observed nationally throughout the country in February. It celebrates the value, achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs.

“Career and Technical Education programs offer students the opportunity to earn industry certifications and college credit, develop their leadership skills, and be engaged in Career and Technical Education Student Organizations (CTSO),” said Lila Boydston, FWISD’s CTE Partnerships Coordinator.

The District’s CTE programs includes 16 career cluster pathways.

Displays featured in Administration lobby this CTE Month

More than 24,000 FWISD students in the sixth through 12th grades are currently enrolled in CTE programs. FWISD students earned more than 1,500 industry certifications/ licensures in workplace skillsets the 2017- 2018 school ear.

For more details about FWISD’s CTE programs click here.


The following post originally appeared in Inside FWISD, November 8, 2018

The origin of African-American people does not begin with slavery. It dates back to the birth of civilization.

That’s one of the themes Fort Worth ISD intends to address in its new K-12 curriculum overlay for the Infusion of African and African-American History and Culture recently made available to teachers and administrators via itsLearning and Edugence.

The curriculum is organized into seven themes. Theme No. 1 explores “The African Experience.”

“For Theme One, its importance goes back to changing the single story that African American history begins at slavery,” said Joseph Niedziela, FWISD director of social studies. “What we’re trying to do is show that slavery is a disruption of African history. We want to show that African history connects to the birth of civilization.

“One thing we wanted to do was address misconceptions.”

Some people often think of Africa as a country not a continent, and the curriculum explores the region’s rich history and culture, Mr. Niedziela said. Others may view Africa as a victim or talk about deficits, but this curriculum is more “celebratory in nature,” elevating its rich history and the kings, queens, philosophers and scholars with connections to ancient and precolonial Africa, he said. It also examines African culture, religion and lifestyles.

The curriculum can be used in Grade 3 lessons that focus on community, while in Grades 6 and 9, students may study Africa when focusing on regions of the world.

During the 2017-2018 school year, a team of consultants, teachers and community groups collaborated to develop the African and African-American History and Culture, which is still in a draft version.

A draft version of Fort Worth ISD’s curriculum for the Infusion of African and African-American History and Culture is now available for teachers and administrators to review, offer feedback and use via itsLearning and Edugence.

Learn more about the African and African-American History and Culture curriculum in future editions of Inside FWISD.

FWISD Inspires Future Speech Language Pathologists

The Fort Worth ISD is nurturing and recruiting future speech-language pathologists.

Recently, FWISD’s Speech, Language and Hearing Services hosted its 11th annual Student Symposium.

Approximately 60 undergraduate and graduate students from Texas Christian University, University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and the University of Texas at Dallas participated in the event which introduces the role speech-language pathologists play in public schools. The symposium -- held February 2 at FWISD’s Professional Development Center – also included small-group discussions on “diversity, behavior, resources, scope of practice/professional growth and ‘the unexpected,’” said Lori Colletti, FWISD’s assistant director of special education. This year’s theme was “Public School SLP: Opportunities and Challenges; Comparing Large Urban School Districts to Smaller School Districts and Other SLP Work Settings.”

“The Symposium has strengthened partnerships with area university speech pathology programs and allowed current university students to network with FWISD speech-language pathologists, which has increased interest in working in public schools thereby aiding in the recruitment of quality professionals,” she said. “With a shortage of SLPs in Texas and around the country, recruiting and retaining SLPs is difficult in a highly-competitive field. The Symposium has allowed university students to get an honest look at what public school speech pathology is really like and to consider our setting as a possible career choice.”

Speech-Language Pathologists, also called SLPs, must have a master's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. They work “in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehab centers, home health agencies, early intervention programs and private practice,” Ms. Colleti said.

Every FWISD campus has SLPs assigned to their campus which offer services to students demonstrating communication disorders that impact their education and children as young as 3 who may struggle reading. Additionally, SLPs support the District's racial equity efforts and have created an "SLP Equity Group," engaged in a book study on "Courageous Conversations About Race."


FWISD now requires all of its employees to use an official e-mail signature for all email correspondence created through your FWISD email account. Email signatures that do not follow this standard may no longer be used. Consistent email signatures deliver a visually coherent look across departments and campuses and are just one more tool to help all employees judge if email correspondence is legitimate. Just as our business cards follow a standardized approach, email signatures should be consistent.

Email signatures should include:

  • Your name
  • Job title
  • Department or Campus
  • Fort Worth Independent School District
  • Phone number
  • Email Address
  • Location


The following is from Human Capital Management:

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

First Longhorns Dad's Breakfast at Leonard Middle School: Leonard Middle School hosted its inaugural Longhorns Dad’s Breakfast, Wednesday, February 20. The goal of the breakfast was fostering strong relationships and connections with both teachers and parents. Staff discussed ways fathers can volunteer, upcoming campus events and gave an overview of their Program of Choice.

Administrative Assistants Awards: Elementary Schools Leadership celebrated administrative assistants for efficiency and customer service at a meeting, Thursday, February 21.

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FWISD Dance Showcase: Six high school dance programs participated in the 2019 Fort Worth ISD Dance Showcase, Tuesday, February 19 at the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA. Student dancers from Arlington Heights, Carter-Riverside, Diamond Hill-Jarvis and South Hills high schools, I.M. Terrell Academy and Monnig Middle School displayed their dance talent and technique. Dallas-based company Bruce Wood Dance Project was a special guest performer and conducted master classes with FWISD dance students.

Read Fort Worth, Scholastic Education Team Up to Donate Books for Young Readers: Thanks to a generous donation from Scholastic Education, Read Fort Worth delivered more than 1,000 books and more than 100 Clifford the Big Red Dog plush toys to the Fort Worth ISD this week. The early elementary school-level books and Clifford toys, which adorned tables at the February 19 State of the City luncheon, will be distributed to families during the District’s Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Roundup next month .

Administrators for a Day: Students Jesus Romero and Joel Umana recently served as principal and dean of instruction respectively during the Young Men's Leadership Academy's administrators for a day. "These two young men completed four walk-throughs, worked all three lunches, monitored the hallways, as well as made decisions with teachers. They earned this opportunity by making the A/B Honor Roll and writing a letter to Mr. [Nelson] Walker and I about why they want to lead," said Rodney White, YMLA principal.

Fort Worth ISD’s JROTC Director Receives DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal: Congratulations to Lt. Col. (Retired) Richard Crossley, Jr., FWISD's JROTC Programs director, who was presented with the Distinguished Citizen Medal by the Mary Isham Keith Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention: Multiple students and teachers represented the Fort Worth ISD as performers or presenters at the 2019 Texas Music Educators Association Convention February 13-16 in San Antonio.

Pictured from top left: Paschal Concert Programs at TMEA 2019; From left Dick Clardy FWISD director of instrumental music, Ron Garcia, Paschal High School vice principal, Troy Langston, Paschal HS principal, Dinah Menger FWISD director of choral and elementary music, Don Devous, FWISD secondary choral specialist, and Anael Luebanos FWISD school board member pose for a picture prior to Paschal's concert; L-R Chrissie Seligson, FWISD elementary music specialist, Trevlyn Nipper, paschal assistant choir director, Nathan Benavides, Paschal choir director, Dinah Menger FWISD director of choral and elementary music and Don Devous, FWISD secondary choral specialist are pictured with a plaque presented to the Paschal Corps Tenor Bass Choir; FWISD TFME Student organization at TMEA 2019; FWISD TFME Students and FWISD teachers and directors at TMEA 2019; Carlos Saenz, Northside HS Choir teacher, is the featured soloist for the 2019 TMEA All-State Mixed Choir performing "Mata del Anima Sola" by Antonio Estevez; Pictured in the bottom row, second from the left is Avery Duke, Benbrook Middle High School Soprano singing with the 2019 TMEA All-State Small School Mixed Choir; Pictured bottom row, fourth from the left with a purple tie is Aidan Kocur, a Paschal HS bass singer, performing with the 2019 TMEA All-State Tenor-Bass Choir; Paschal High School Tenor-Bass TMEA 2019 Honor Choir. Pictured on front row L-R: Nathan Benavides choir director, Ron Garcia Paschal VP, Anael Luebanos FWISD School Board Member, Troy Langston Paschal Principal and Trevlyn Nipper assistant choir director;Paschal High School Tenor-Bass TMEA 2019 Honor Choir.

UIL State Swimming and Diving Championships: R. L. Paschal High School swimmer Ian Neville competed in the state competition,February 15-16 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Ian swam a 46.99 in the prelims of 100 freestyle on Friday, the 12th fastest time in the state. He qualified for the “B” final in the 100 freestyle and swam a 46.95 (four-one hundredths of a second faster than in the prelims) on February 16. He improved over the weekend and finished 13th overall in the consolation final.

Top photos from left: R. L. Paschal High School swimmer Ian Neville competes in the UIL State Swimming and Diving Championships. Bottom from left: Ian poses for a photo with Jason Lovell, head coach of the Paschal swim team; Ian (center) poses with Lovell and Troy Bell, a FWISD assistant director of athletics.

National Hispanic College Fair : Fort Worth ISD high school juniors had an opportunity to meet with representatives from as many as 50 colleges, universities and vocational training institutions at the National Hispanic College Fair, Friday, February 15.

Saturday Morning Medicine: This enrichment program, now in its second year, allows 15 students in FWISD's anatomy and physiology classes to learn about the medical profession and increase their anatomy knowledge. On Saturday, February 16, students worked in a simulation lab at Cook Children's Hospital with Dr. Sam Cantu, a pediatric gastroenterologist, on how to perform endoscopies. View more photos here.

Adult ESL Classes: The Student Placement Center now offers adult ESL classes to parents of English learners and parents taking the classes who have FWISD students in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade receive free childcare. While parents are learning how to become proficient English in their own classrooms, students are participating in activities that enhance their reading and academic achievement. The 10-week ESL course us free and offered by the Student Placement Center in fall, spring and summer.

World Languages Institute Hosts Exchange Students from Nîmes, France: Three teachers and 21 students from Nîmes are in Fort Worth February 15-25 for its first youth ambassador exchange. Last week, Mayor Jean-Paul Fournier of Nîmes was at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth to formally sign municipal agreements to become sister cities with Fort Worth. FWISD’s World Languages Institute is host to 10 of the exchange students visiting Fort Worth from France. Read more in this FOX 4 (KDFW) story here.

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 was looking at the updated Fort Worth perks and was wondering if FWISD has considered partnering with the YMCA for discount memberships? At least one local district has a free, personal membership program and half off the family membership for employees. This seems like it would be a great idea with the Blue Zones effort.

Jennifer Andrews-Cox

Dear Ms. Cox,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Brenda DeLeon, FWISD’s compensation and employee relations director, regarding your question and here’s the response: “We have not worked with or partnered with the YMCA for discount membership, but that is something that we can look into for the future. Currently, we are partnered with 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Camp Gladiator, LA Fitness and many more fitness organizations.”

Thanks again Ms. Cox for your question and thank you Ms. DeLeon for your response.


Dear Elsie,

As our schools are gearing up to plan schedules for next year, I wonder if the District administration believes the eight-period schedule, implemented this year in high schools and middle schools, has been a success. The plan has shortened class time for all subjects and added an elective. I have heard students and teachers say they do not have enough time to cover everything in their 45-minute classes. My understanding is that the purpose was to help struggling students have more chances to pass required classes and graduate from high school. Will more students be graduating this year because of the change?

Thank you,

A Parent

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Cherie Washington, chief of secondary schools, regarding your question and here’s the response: “We are aware of the concerns regarding the schedule change to eight periods. In response, we held several meetings to get stakeholder input regarding the 2019-2020 master schedule. Stakeholders include: student representatives from all campuses (UC4V), DERC (teachers), Administrators, counselors and central administration. The District is also engaged in an efficiency study with the company ERS. This process will analyze master scheduling and suggest recommendations. We will utilize all data and feedback to make the best decision for students and teachers. Because state graduation rate reports run a year behind, our most recent graduation report from TEA [Texas Education Agency] reflects graduation rates from 2017. Next school year TEA, will have graduation rates for 2018 which will not reflect students enrolled in eight periods.”

Thanks again Parent for your question and thank you Mrs. Washington for your response.


Dear Elsie,

Although we are much appreciative of the slight (I do mean slight) pay increase, I was wondering has FWISD studied the cost of living trend and the current pay increases to reflect the rising cost of living? It seems from talking with the majority of my colleagues that we are just working to pay bills and maybe eat. In order to attract the best, the brightest, and the bravest educators to impact innovative learning for our future; our salaries should reflect this innovation.


Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Brenda DeLeon, FWISD’s compensation and employee relations director, regarding your question and here’s the response: “FWISD does review the Consumer Price Index data along with other information to determine a salary increase recommendation. Ultimately, these recommendations are reviewed and approved by the FWISD Board of Education.”

Thanks again Anonymous for your question and thank you Ms. DeLeon 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.

Please bear with us as we have a backlog of Ask Elsie questions and are responding to questions as soon as we can.

Southwest HS Names IPAA/PESA Public Speaking Winners

Congratulations to the winners of Southwest High School’s IPAA/PESA public speaking competition.

Student teams in each high school grade level spoke before a panel of judges made up of former educators, petroleum and engineer professionals about global concerns in the petroleum industry. First- and second-place winning teams received $50 and $25 Walmart gift cards, respectively, that were generously funded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America/Petroleum Equipment and Services Association (IPAA/PESA) Energy Education Center.

The winners are:

First-place (12th-grade) Panel Discussion

Clearing up misconceptions about the petroleum industry: Hector Camacho, Rachelle Harris, Ian Jimenez and Aaron Hernandez-Willis

Second Place (12th grade) Panel Discussion

Newest Technologies being used in the energy industry: Vanessa Diaz, Drew Wyzkowski, Tylin Armstrong, Margaret Green-Wallace and Larry McPhail

Pictured from left to right is Vanessa Diaz, Drew Wyzkowski, Tylin Armstrong, Margaret Green-Wallace and Larry McPhail

First Place (11th grade) Panel Discussion

Benefits and Challenges of Environmental Laws Regarding Petroleum and Natural Gas: Isabella Diaz, Jaqueline Estrada, Jacobey Watson and Jacobey Watson

Pictured from left is Isabella Diaz, Jaqueline Estrada, Jacobey Watson and Jacobey Watson

Second Place (11th grade) Panel Discussion

Fossil Fuels and Global Warming: Brandon Hinojosa, Nicholas Farr, Brett Walters, Carlos Martinez and Ivan Ceja

Pictured from left is Brandon Hinojosa, Nicholas Farr, Brett Walters, Carlos Martinez and Ivan Ceja

First Place (10th grade) PowerPoint presentation

Onshore and Offshore Drilling Rigs: Victor Diaz, Blanca Morales and Stephanie Aguilar

Pictured from left is Victor Diaz, Blanca Morales and Stephanie Aguilar

Second Place (10th grade) PowerPoint presentation

Hydraulic Fracturing: Hayden Underwood, Michael Luckie, Ashley Rojas Rodriguez, Cameron Waites

Pictured from left is Hayden Underwood, Michael Luckie, Ashley Rojas Rodriguez and Cameron Waite

First Place (Ninth grade) PowerPoint presentation

Oil and Gas: Do we need It?: Calvin Nering, Brandon Lim, Shanta Stiles and Miranda Nava

Pictured from left is Calvin Nering, Brandon Lim, Shanta Stiles and Miranda Nava

Second Place (Ninth grade) PowerPoint presentation

Energy Industry Value Chain: Mohammed Beghdadi, Matthew Preston and London Bell

Pictured from left is Mohammed Beghdadi, Matthew Preston and London Bell


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 Stuart Sumner from Leonard Middle School this week.


The following is from Kiana King, FWISD's social media coordinator:

#FWISD is highlighting schools that create engaging social media content! Congratulations, @BillJElliottES, on being Fort Worth ISD's #socialmediagoals for the week!

Bill J. Elliott Elementary School posts consistently during the week. Their content is focused on programs, students, and campus information. Their photos are student-focused with descriptive captions. Be sure to follow Bill J. Elliott Elementary School on Facebook and Twitter at @BillJElliottES.

February is African-American History Month

February is Career and Technical Education Month

Professional Learning and Innovation Opportunities

New Teacher Professional Learning Opportunities

Elementary Professional Learning Opportunities

Secondary Professional Learning Opportunities

Professional Learning Opportunities with Education Technology, Register in Eduphoria

Professional Learning Opportunities for Pre-Kindergarten to Second-Grade Teachers, Register in Eduphoria

Registration for ESL classes underway

Website Training Schedule

District-wide Financial Aid Help Session, February 23

Gospel Fest, 5 p.m. February 23 Kirkpatrick MS

Board of Education Regular Meeting, February 26

March is Women’s History Month

Gold Seal Late Application Opens, March 1

Report cards issued, March 6

Racial Equity Summit Registration, pre-register through March 7

East Handley ES 60th Birthday Celebration, 10 a.m. March 8

Spring Break, March 11-15

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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