Inside FWISD April 16, 2020

In this edition:

Fort Worth ISD Continues Wages, Sets Expectations For Employees | FWISD Board Of Education Approves Purchase Of Thousands Of Computers And Hotspots | Voluntary Teacher Transfer Application Period Extended | FWISD Operations Addresses Quarantined Emails | FWISD District Teacher Of The Year Announcement Coming Soon | Step Outside At 7 p.m. Today To Applaud Frontline Workers: Fort Worth buildings will be illuminated to support first responders | Food Distribution To Families At Four Mobile Pantry Sites This Saturday | New Video Guides Parents Through FWISD Pre-K And Kinder Registration | FWISD Partners With Virtual Care For Kids To Offer Students Telehealth Services | Free Books Available For Elementary-Aged Students At Meals To Go Sites Starting April 20: 2,000 Books Available While Supplies Last | Parenting Tips Now Available On FWISD Community Resource Database | Everyone Counts: 2020 Census Underway | Project Blueprint Brings Experience To Students | FinPath Offers FWISD Employees Tips For Managing Finances During Pandemic | Inside FWISD Briefs | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot |Community Resources | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog


More than 11,500 employees of the Fort Worth Independent School District will continue to receive wages at least through May 4 under a plan authorized by Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. In turn, employees will be required to continue to report to work --either remotely from home or at a designated location.

That work includes instruction, curriculum development, staff support, maintenance and operations, food distribution, payroll, and business office functions, just to name a few.

Each employee is expected to follow the guidance of his or her supervisor. Some may be directed to work at a designated location. Those workers are reminded to practice social distancing and to follow CDC guidelines. Some hourly employees who are required to work on site will be paid at the premium rate of one and one-half times their regular pay.

All employees should be available during normal business hours or on a schedule provided by the Superintendent or his designee. If a District employee can’t work, he or she must call in an absence.

Trustees granted authority to Dr. Scribner at the March 31 Board meeting to implement procedures and to act swiftly in the best interest of the District’s students and employees.

FWISD Board of Education Approves Purchase of Thousands of Computers and Hotspots

At its scheduled online meeting on Tuesday, April 14, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education ratified the emergency purchase of thousands of Chromebook computers. The Board also approved the purchase of thousands of internet hotspots.

The 3,160 Chromebooks are urgently needed to provide elementary school families with at least one device per household to support instruction.

“Access to a device is critical for support of the District’s Learning at Home initiative during the mandated state and county Covid-19 school closure,” said Jerry Moore, FWISD’s chief academic officer.

The computer purchase will cost just over $1,194,000. When schools reopen these devices will support a one-to-one device implementation for fifth-grade students.

The Board will also vote on a measure to spend nearly $1.3 million for the immediate purchase of 6,000 hotspots to give families internet connectivity to support instruction. The hotspots will provide each household with a 3GB mobile plan and access to the District’s learning network.

Mr. Moore acknowledged the generosity and commitment of several individuals and community organizations in helping the District defer the cost of these needed items.

As was the case in the Board’s meeting on March 31, trustees convened in an online “virtual” meeting to conduct the District’s business.

Voluntary Teacher Transfer Extended

Fort Worth ISD teachers now have until midnight April 24, 2020 to submit a Voluntary Teacher Transfer.

Click here to apply online today.

FWISD Operations Addresses Quarantined Emails

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following message from Art Cavazos, FWISD's chief of operations, is regarding the recent quarantined messages FWISD employees may have noticed in their inboxes.

As of April 2020, Microsoft added phishing to the Office 365 Email filter. This has increased the amount of emails being quarantined.

We are in communication with Microsoft to see how we can best help our users receive all emails to their main inbox. We will most likely need to configure a different action for the Phishing email filtering and anti-spam policies. We will need to do so and still maintain our cyber security. We will update you soon.

In the meantime users can work with quarantined messages by opening their “Quarantined”. folder. Hope this helps. Thank you for your patience as we move forward.


Each year, Fort Worth ISD recognizes its best teachers with the District Teacher of the Year Program, and that recognition will continue, even while we work from home.

We may not be able to host a reception to make the announcement, but the 2020 District Teacher of the Year recognition will be unlike any other in Fort Worth ISD history.

Stay tuned for the big reveal next week that celebrates the District’s best!

Step outside at 7 p.m. Thursday to applaud frontline workers

Fort Worth buildings will be illuminated to support first responders

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following message is from the City of Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price joins Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson in hosting a citywide ovation for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday night at 7 p.m. Together the two cities hope to inspire a Metroplex-wide recognition of community heroes.

Price encouraged all Fort Worth residents to step outside at 7 p.m. for five minutes of applauding, cheering and thanking the individuals who are selflessly serving the community during this crisis.

In an effort to brighten residents’ spirits, Price is lighting the City of Fort Worth blue Thursday night to show gratitude for first responders and healthcare workers working around the clock. Downtown buildings and bridges will be illuminated in blue lights as a visual way to unite behind frontline workers. Residents are encouraged to turn their porch lights on and, if possible, businesses are encouraged to illuminate their building with blue lights.

Price, alongside Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis, Police Chief Chief Ed Kraus and City Manager David Cooke, will visit Fort Worth hospitals for an ovation starting at 7 p.m.


The Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) continues its work with local partner organizations and Fort Worth ISD and will provide boxes of food to families this Saturday, April 18, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at four mobile pantry sites.

Distribution of 25-pound boxes of non-perishable food items will occur at the following mobile pantry sites:

  • Rosemont Middle School, 1501 W. Seminary, Fort Worth 76115
  • South Hills Elementary, 3009 Bilglade, Fort Worth 76133
  • Worth Heights Elementary, 519 E. Butler, Fort Worth 76110
  • Carter Park Elementary, 1204 E. Broadus, Fort Worth 76115

Volunteers are with TAFB partner agencies and will take all necessary safety precautions and employ social distancing during food distribution.

Food boxes will be provided to families on a first come, first served basis. TAFB will continue this effort with more food distribution mobile pantry sites for future Saturdays.

New Video Guides Parents through FWISD Pre-K and Kinder Registration

Registering for Pre-K and Kindergarten in Fort Worth ISD is now underway, is entirely online, and, with a little preparation, only takes 10 to 15 minutes.

This new step-by-step, how-to video in English and Spanish tells parents what to have on hand for the registration process and offers other tips, including how to upload required documents, such as birth certificates and immunization records.

Please watch the video first. If you still have questions, visit www.fwisd.org/prek and click on FAQs, or contact the Parent Info Line at 817-814-2070, or email parentinfo@fwisd.org.

FWISD Partners With Virtual Care for Kids to Offer Students Telehealth Services

In efforts to reduce COVID-19 spread, the Fort Worth ISD has partnered with Virtual Care for Kids to offer students and their families telehealth services.

Students can see a Texas-based pediatrician within minutes from home virtually via computer, smartphone or tablet for urgent care services including minor colds, the flu, sore throat, cough, ear concerns, headaches, sinus or allergy issues or pink eye. Additionally, Virtual Care for Kids is offering coronavirus screening and testing in English and Spanish. Visit https://urgentcarekids.com/fwisd/ to register for services.

Secure, two-way videoconference services are available from 8 a.m. to midnight seven days a week and are free for families with Medicaid. A discounted self-pay rate of $50 is available for families without insurance, and co-pays are waived for insured families.

“We are working together to stop the spread of COVID-19. We understand that this is an alarming time for many people in the Fort Worth ISD community, and we never want the economic or citizenship status of a family to prevent them from receiving the medical care they need as they practice social distancing,” said Ottis Goodwin, FWISD director of Family and Community Resources in a recent letter to campus principals. “Our goal is to increase access to care for families while also limiting exposure to COVID-19.”

Telehealth doctors can send prescriptions to local pharmacies and reports to a FWISD student’s primary care physician.

Virtual Care for Kids is accepted by most major insurance plans including Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and United HealthCare. For a complete list visit www.virtualcarekids.com/insurance-accepted.

The District is NOT responsible for the cost of treatment provided Virtual Care for Kids. All costs will be self-paid or by a family’s health insurance company.

Free Books Available For Elementary-Aged Students At Meals To Go Sites Starting April 20

2,000 Books Available While Supplies Last

Volunteers from Broadway Baptist Church will start distributing new books to Fort Worth ISD elementary-aged students at Meals to Go pickup sites on Monday, April 20.

The books, donated by children’s literacy nonprofit Reading Partners, are available in English and Spanish for student use at home. Each book will include a reading comprehension card for parents to use as they help guide their child’s reading.

“During this challenging time, Reading Partners is pleased to continue to work with Fort Worth ISD on virtual services and to provide resources including new books to students and their families to support learning in homes,” said Lisa Bracken, Reading Partners North Texas executive director. “As we all continue to find ways to educate students, we have found that books in homes are critical to continue to support reading achievement.

Broadway Baptist Church volunteers prepare books for distribution

Approximately 2,000 books were recently delivered to Broadway Baptist where volunteers organized them and prepared them for distribution. The books are available for students while supplies last.

Titles being distributed to students include:

  • At the Museum / En el museo, Isabel Muñoz
  • La carrera de autos / The Car Race, Juan Pablo Lombana
  • Big Dog and Little Dog / Perrazo y Perrito, Dav Pilkey
  • I need a Hug / Necesito un abrazo, Aaron Blabey
  • Abuelo y los tres osos / Abuelo and the Three Bears, Jerry Tello
  • The Library's Secret / El secreto de la biblioteca, Ana Galán
  • Little Nita's Big Idea / La gran idea de la pequeña Nita, Anna W. Bardaus
  • Ten Little Puppies / Diez perritos, Adapted from a traditional nursery rhyme in Spanish, Alma Flor Ada
  • What Will We Build Today? / ¿Qué construiremos hoy?, Katherine Durgin-Bruce
  • ¡Tamales! ¡Tamales! ¡Tamales!, A multicultural tale / Un cuento multicultural, Nina Flores

Meals To Go locations are open from noon to 1:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays at 18 schools across the District. For a complete list of Meals To Go locations, visit www.fwisd.org/mealstogo.

The book distribution coincides with Fort Worth ISD’s initiative –100 X 25 FWTX – which sets a goal of 100% of third graders reading at or above grade level by the year 2025. Superintendent Kent P. Scribner is partnering with Mayor Betsy Price and city business officials to lead the community-wide Read Fort Worth initiative. This collective impact strategy engages parents, grandparents, and caregivers as well as volunteers from the city’s business sector, higher education, non-profit organizations, and the faith-based community.

Parenting Tips Now Available on FWISD Community Resource Database

The Fort Worth ISD community resource database has a new feature – parenting tips on building successful families and oral health.

The tips, added to the database this week, come from the Cook Children’s Health Care System and Fort Worth counseling service, The Parenting Center.

FWISD’s community resource database, launched earlier this month, also provides access to financial assistance, mental health help, employee assistance and locations for area feeding sites and food pantries to help FWISD families through the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to access the database today.

The District has researched available resources that provide food and supplies to students and families in Fort Worth during this pandemic. The District is working with the Tarrant Area Food Bank, churches, and other dedicated partner organizations to help families meet nutritional and health needs. The City of Fort Worth, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and other groups are also working hard to provide meals-to-go and boxes of food to families.

Because so many groups have come forward to support community, the FWISD created a database listing important information regarding area feeding sites, food pantries, financial assistance and parenting tips. The District is eager to share this important information so that students, families and community members can take advantage of as many resources as possible during this time of uncertainty.

Everyone who is helping understands the importance of staying safe. Each organization uses its own volunteers or staff and follows necessary safety precautions when distributing food at their sites. In order to maintain safety at all levels, those who need assistance should practice social distancing and follow the instructions provided at each location. Each organization also has their own days and hours of operation, so families should check the database carefully to make sure a feeding site is open before going there to ensure they receive their meals.

Everyone Counts: 2020 Census Underway

Americans nationwide are encouraged to complete the 2020 Census online, by phone or mail.

The confidential 2020 Census asks households to answer questions about the area of the country in which they live and the number of people living in their households.

“The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. Responding to the 2020 Census is easy, safe and important, and is key to shaping the future of communities,” according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau statement released. “Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs legislative district boundaries. They also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds are allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers to communities for public services and infrastructure like hospitals, emergency services, schools and bridges each year over the next 10 years.”

Based on the most recent self-response data available as of Tuesday, April 14, 51.5% of households in Tarrant County have completed the 2020 Census, according to the bureau. Nearly 45% of Texas households have responded to the census, the data shows. Nationwide, 72.6 million households, nearly 50%, have responded to the census.

In March, invitations to complete the 2020 Census began arriving in household mailboxes across the country. Americans are encouraged to complete the Census online at 2020Census.gov, by phone in English or 12 other languages at 844-330-2020 or via mail.

Nearly 60 non-English language guides and videos are available on 2020Census.gov for completing the survey.

Census takers are expected to begin household visits to homes where the Census has not been completed after June 1, following guidance from federal, state and local health authorities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau reports. Field data activities were suspended temporarily in March because of the pandemic, according to the bureau.

For more census details, visit 2020Census.gov.


Nine local architecture, engineer and construction companies are helping students in each Fort Worth ISD region chart paths toward college and career readiness.

PROCEDEO, the owner's representative for FWISD's Capital Improvement Program, has partnered with industry professionals from local businesses to create "Blueprint," a unique opportunity that allows students from nine District high schools to experience careers in architecture, engineering and construction, while also playing a role in improvements to their schools.

Blueprint allows students to plan, create and solve problems through interactive strategy sessions and explore how math and science are utilized in innovative technology to effectively complete tasks.

This video, filmed prior to the District closing because of COVID-19, offers a glimpse at the Blueprint program.

PROCEDEO officials say Blueprint honors Superintendent Kent Scribner and the FWISD Board of Education's commitment to ensuring students complete high school college and career ready.

The following FWISD schools and industry partners are participating in the Blueprint program:

FinPath Offers FWISD Employees Tips For Managing Finances During Pandemic

FinPath, an employer-paid workplace benefit, is offering Fort Worth ISD employees financial wellness tips, coaching and resources for weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched by the District last fall, FinPath offers employees tips for managing finances and much more. Recent webinars and courses offered by the service have included “Dealing with the Financial Shock of COVID-19” and “Breaking Down the CARES Act and What It Means To You.”

FinPath offers these five tips for surviving the pandemic financially:

1. Budget as a Family

With more time at home, use FinPath to create or revisit your monthly budget as a family - make it fun with pizza and reward your team with a movie!

2. Keep Building Emergency Savings

Contribute your usual entertainment and eating out budget to an emergency savings fund while local businesses are shut down.

3. Explore Relief

Keep an eye open for possible government relief opportunities. Keep checking our blog for the latest updates.

4. Invest

Continue to invest, there are rewards of dollar-cost averaging (investing at regular intervals over a long period of time). It's well explained here.

5. Ask For Help

If you're feeling stressed about your current financial situation, please schedule a virtual meeting with one of our Financial Consultants. We are here to help you through whatever comes your way!

Not using FinPath yet? Click here to activate your account.

For more details on FinPath, visit the FWISD Employee Benefits Portal and click on the Financial Wellness tab.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Inside FWISD Briefs are quick-hit stories of activities and events happening around the District.

Armed Forces Bowl Launches Weekly Activities for Students to Enjoy At Home

Officials with the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl launched family-friendly activities in its online Kids Zone this week. Weekly, themed word searches, art topics and other fun games will be posted for children to enjoy while they're home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Submitted student artwork will be featured on the Kids Zone page weekly.

Learn more at https://bit.ly/3b0lGFt.

FWISD Earns Sixth Best Communities for Music Education Designation

For the sixth year in a row, the NAMM Foundation has recognized Fort Worth ISD among the nation’s Best Communities For Music Education. The award acknowledges the District’s commitment and achievement in providing music education for all students.

Read more here.

Z's Cafe and Catering Delivers 4,000 Meals to FWISD Families Weekly

Z's Cafe and Catering is preparing and delivering 4,000 meals to families in the Fort Worth ISD throughout this pandemic. The service, which is called Crisis Meal Project, was recently featured in this NBC 5 DFW (KXAS-TV) story. 

Gary Patterson Foundation Distributes Care Packages to FWISD Students, Families

The Gary Patterson Foundation recently partnered with Saving Hope Rescue and Fort Worth SPARC to provide 500 care packages for Fort Worth ISD school children. The bags were distributed recently to families at the Como Community Center and will also benefit students at Western Hills Elementary and in the Eastern Hills and Polytechnic pyramids.

Read more in this recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram article.

Elder MS Teachers Motivate Students Learning At Home

A video of J.P. Elder Middle School motivating students as they started Learning At Home was recently featured on NBC 5 DFW (KXAS-TV). Check it out here.

Learning At Home: FWISD Learning at Home is in full swing. Here's a glimpse of some of the online learning taking place.


Employee Assistance Program Resources for FWISD Employees

Equity and Excellence, Restorative Practices Offer Social, Emotional Wellness Resources

Take care of your social and emotional wellness during this pandemic. Log onto the FWISD Restorative Practices Community Facebook page weekly for self-care lessons. Tune in Monday, Wednesday and Friday for live check-in sessions. 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Tarrant Area Food Bank offers Grab and Go Dinners for Children


EDITOR'S NOTE: The following content is from the The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth is continuing to serve the growing needs of the community with free Grab & Go meals with updated service locations and times. Pick up times will change to Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm – 6pm at the following locations.

  • Airport Area YMCA - 3524 Central Drive Bedford, TX 76021
  • Amon G. Carter, Jr. Downtown YMCA - 512 Lamar St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
  • Benbrook Community Center YMCA - 1899 Winscott Rd, Benbrook, TX 76126
  • Eastside YMCA - 1500 Sandy Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76112
  • Hood County YMCA - 1475 James Road, Granbury, TX 76049
  • Joshua Community YMCA - 1009 Joshua Station Blvd, Joshua, TX 76058
  • William M. McDonald YMCA - 2701 Moresby Street, Fort Worth, TX 76105
  • YMCA Sports Complex - 4320 Altamesa Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76133

Last week, the Y provided over 3,000 meals to families with children 18 years or younger in Tarrant, Hood and Johnson counties while schools are closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Pick up times changed to support the City of Fort Worth requests to limit food distribution to only 3 days/week or less and to comply with “stay-at-home” recommendations on social distancing. It is important to note that families will still receive up to 5 days of food when they go to pick-up their Grab & Go Meals.

  • Mondays, families will be able to pick up meals for 2 days (Mon-Tue)
  • Wednesdays, families will be able to pick up meals for 3 days (Wed - Fri)

This change reducing the number of times people are asked to leave their homes and risk exposure, thus helping to support “flattening the curve.”

“By providing these meals to children who need them most, Fort Worth area Y’s are truly fulfilling their mission of healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. I’m proud of their continued community outreach despite their temporary facility closures.” Julie Wilson, Chair, Board of Directors at YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.

Meals are provided by local vendors including Purple Hearts, Inc. and Tarrant Area Food Bank and they come complete with protein, fruit or vegetable, snacks and more. Together with the support of community leaders, volunteers, staff and donors, the Y wants to ensure that every child is safe, healthy and fed.

“For over 130 years, the YMCA has served the ever-changing needs of our local community. Today is no different as we continue to find ways to support Fort Worth, Benbrook and surrounding counties by partnering with local organizations to provide grab-and-go meals at our branches.” Tony Shuman, President and CEO of YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.

In addition to the Grab & Go initiative, the Y is continuing to support the community by providing pre-schools and childcare to the families of essential employees and first responders and connecting with seniors to check on their wellbeing to help avoid isolation.

For questions or additional information or visit www.ymcafw.org

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth branches have been temporarily closed for traditional health and wellness activities due to the COVID-19 public health mandates by city, county and state authorities. Staff and volunteers have continue to be vigilante in continuing to serve the community outside of the walls of the Y.

Check www.fwisd.org/COVID-19 regularly for District updates

FWISD “Meals To Go,” Available from Noon-1:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday

Join the mayor for live virtual updates on the city's COVID-19 response

Online Pre-K/ Kindergarten Registration Currently Underway

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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