Inside FWISD March 21, 2019

In this edition:

FWISD Slates Day of Service Honoring Chávez, Huerta | FWISD Pre-K and Kindergarten Children Star In TV Commercial | Data Clerks Receive Online Registration Training | Racial Equity Summit Set for Saturday | Gold Seal Wait List Status Now Available | Dunbar Alumnus, Featured In KERA’s Class of '17 Series, Dies At 20 | Secondary School Transfer Requests Accepted March 1-29 | Performing Arts, Excellence In Theater and Dance Teaching Chair Applications Due March 27 | Communications Announces Monthly Webby Award Winners | Schools Recognized for Student Engagement, Phenomenal Learning Communities | Dunbar HS Wins FWISD's Monthly FAFSA Challenge | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Plan Ahead for Severe Weather This Spring | Cyber Security for Education | Ask Elsie | We Can Help: Employee Assistance Program Spotlight | AAIL Spotlight | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog


A rally, keynote presentation by civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, service projects and break-out sessions are how Fort Worth ISD students are observing the District’s inaugural day of service honoring Ms. Huerta and César Chávez.

On Monday, March 25, Fort Worth ISD will become the first school district in Texas with a student holiday honoring the lives and legacy of the Latinx leaders who worked 30 years advocating for the civil rights of labor workers. District employees must still report to work.

The District expects 400 high school students to participate in a César Chávez and Dolores Huerta Day of Service event at 9 a.m. at Tarrant County College- Trinity River Campus where Ms. Huerta is slated to speak.

“We will be in the presence of greatness,” Sherry Breed, FWISD’s chief of equity of excellence, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a recent article. “We want [students] know, not only how to advocate for themselves, we want them to know there are heroes and ‘sheroes’ who are still with us. We want them to hear from them directly.”

The event will also include performances and presentations from Young Women’s Leadership Academy Cheer, North Side High School’s Mariachi Espuelas de Plata, My Brother’s Keeper, Girls, Inc. and Con Mi Madre.

Following the keynote, students have the option to participate in community service and leadership break-out sessions or board buses for service projects at Cook Children’s Medical Center, Presbyterian Night Shelter, Eastside Blossoms, Community Food Bank, and the Fort Worth Safe House. About 100 students are expected to volunteer.

Transportation to and from the day’s events at TCC is provided to all participating students.

“It’s not so much a day off for students, but a day for them to be of service to their community, their neighborhood or just helping out at home,” said Jacinto Ramos Jr., FWISD Board of Education trustee.

Luella Merrett Elementary School is inviting the campus community and school partners to participate in a 165-foot community mural project from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The mural, depicting literacy from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, will be painted on the wall belonging to the Frank Kent Cadillac Body Shop in the 7600 block of Kermit Avenue. Trustee Norm Robbins is slated to kick off the Luella Merrett Community Project with remarks at 8:30 a.m.

“We are excited for our school community, local businesses, local churches and FWISD families to come together on César Chávez and Dolores Huerta Day to paint a beautiful mural,” said Principal Karelyn Roberts. “This collaborative community mural project will be a colorful symbol in our community of unity, the importance of education and the power of working together for generations to come.”

More than 62 percent of students in the Fort Worth District are Hispanic.

The Board approved a resolution in April 2018 establishing the annual observance honoring Mr. Chávez and Ms. Huerta the Monday before Chávez's birth date on March 31.

FWISD’s Day of Service is one of several local events being held to honor Mr. Chávez and Ms. Huerta this month across Fort Worth. All Tarrant County offices are closed March 25 in observance of Chávez. The Cesar Chávez Committee of Tarrant County will host its 19th solidarity walk and rally, Saturday, March 30 to honor the civil rights leaders.


“There’s a place every parent wants for their child,” begins Fort Worth ISD’s new 30-second TV commercial. With the help of the District’s youngest students, the commercial then shows why that place is here – Fort Worth ISD Pre-K and Kindergarten.

The commercial began airing March 18 in English and Spanish. It urges parents to register their children for Pre-K beginning April 1, 2018. Fort Worth ISD is making it easier for parents to enroll children this year by providing streamlined online registration and requiring fewer documents during enrollment.

Here are some important dates:

April 1: Easy, online Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration begins

April 6: The Fort Worth ISD Annual Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration and Literacy Fair

In addition, the Fort Worth ISD Bookmobile will visit 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.

The District’s Pre-K program is free of charge, and there’s enough room for every child. Children attend school from 8 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.

Go to www.fwisd.org/prek for more information, including documents that parents need to bring to registration.

Pictured is the new Fort Worth ISD New Student Online Registration Reference Guide, a resource guide for front-office staff to utilize when assisting parents with the online registration process.

Data Clerks Receive Online Registration Training

Dr. Scribner Emphasizes Significant Role They Plan in Process

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.

Fort Worth ISD elementary school data clerks are spending this week getting up to speed on changes to the District’s online registration system.

The training comes just a few weeks prior to the April 1 launch of online registration to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students and their families for the 2019-2020 school year.

Improvements and changes to the online registration form and process this year include:

  • Fewer documents required from families -- only birth certificate, immunizations and proof of address
  • An updated and user-friendly online registration form for parents
  • Data clerks reporting to work a few additional days at the semester’s end to ensure all students are processed before summer break

Data clerks attending the training will receive the new Fort Worth ISD New Student Online Registration Reference Guide, a resource booklet for front-office staff to utilize when assisting parents through the online registration process.

The role clerks play in the registration process is significant, said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner.

“[Clerks] are on the front lines of the changes in our practice and our culture, and we are depending on you,” he said. “The goal is to turn no one away. Even if your school is full, go ahead and assist parents in registering their child, and we will make sure there is a place for him or her in the Fort Worth ISD.

“Thank you for what you are doing... it is not going unnoticed. We are very appreciative.”

More Pre-K/ kindergarten registration information is available at www.fwisd.org/prek.


Fort Worth ISD hosts its second annual Racial Equity Summit, Saturday, March 23, at the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA.

This free, one-day summit, sponsored by Fort Worth ISD’s Division of Equity and Excellence, brings together the District and the Tarrant County community for engaging conversations and more than a dozen breakout sessions focused on racial equity and education.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. at the Terrell Academy, 1900 I.M. Terrell Way.

Click here to learn more about summit presenters and sessions.


Students may officially inquire about their Gold Seal wait list status for the 2019-2020 school year.

Officials with Fort Worth ISD’s Gold Seal Programs and Schools of Choice officially began fielding nonstop email and phone requests about student wait list rankings, Tuesday, March 19.

As space becomes available, students will be notified and assigned to Gold Seal programs in the order in which they’re ranked. Notifications will be sent through the first of May.

Click here to learn what's needed when inquiring about your Gold Seal wait list ranking.

Pictured is Chance Hawkins (center) with his classmates at a Dunbar High School Senior Walk event in May 2017.

Dunbar Alumnus, Featured in KERA’s Class of '17 Series, Dies at 20

Dunbar High School graduate Chance Hawkins, who was featured in KERA’s Class of ‘17 series, has died.

Mr. Hawkins, who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative muscle disorder, died March 8, 2019. He was 20.

“Chance reminded us how important it is to have a loving, supportive network of people – in school and at home. He also reminded us to have goals,” said KERA education reporter Stella M. Chávez, who documented Chance’s journey through high school. “When I met Chance, he told me he wanted to graduate from high school. He did. Later, he told me he wanted to perform. He did, through music he and his older brother composed.”

KERA’s Class of ‘17 is a five-year series that chronicled the lives of multiple North Texas eighth-graders transitioning out of middle school and their journeys through high school.

Despite his obstacles, Mr. Hawkins’ inspiring story showed his determination to succeed.

“Chance had a big smile and a sense of humor. He stayed positive, despite the daily challenges,” Ms. Chávez said. “These are the qualities I’ll remember most about him.”

Mr. Hawkins was laid to rest March 16, just one day shy of his 21st birthday.

Click here to read Ms. Chávez’s story about Mr. Hawkins’ passing and his journey through high school.


Fort Worth ISD families may submit secondary school transfer requests for the 2019-2020 school year, through March 29, 2019.

Parents may request their child be transferred from their home school to another campus, where space is available. Public Education Grant (PEG) transfers from low-performing schools, will also be accepted. However, a student may not transfer to another low-performing school.

Request forms are available at secondary schools, and parents are responsible for taking the completed form to the school they anticipate transferring their child to.

Click here to learn more.


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.

Communications Announces Monthly Webby Award Winners

Western Hills Elementary School and World Languages Institute are this month’s Fort Worth ISD Webby Award winners.

The two campus websites were recognized for saluting school staff members.

Pictured on the left is Western Hills Elementary Principal Alexandra Montes and Thomas Ketchersid; On the right is Mr. Ketchersid with WLI Principal Guadalupe Barreto

Thomas Ketchersid, FWISD’s web communications coordinator, presented Western Hills Elementary and WLI principals with the coveted Webby Award trophy during elementary and secondary principals’ meetings held March 20 and 21 at the Professional Development Center. The two schools will keep the trophy for the next month and receive a $100 Kroger gift card for campus use.

"The staff at each campus are what makes each Fort Worth ISD school productive and special," Mr. Ketchersid said. "We really can't salute them enough, but this month's winners went above and beyond to celebrate the staff members on their campus making a big impact."

Distributed monthly by the FWISD Communications Department, the Webby Award recognizes campus websites that engage families, students, alumni and the community at large. Elementary and secondary school websites that best complete the monthly challenge are presented with the Webby Award at principals’ meetings.

For more details on next month’s challenge or assistance with your campus website, visit www.fwisd.org/websitetraining or email web@fwisd.org.

Schools Recognized for Student Engagement, Phenomenal Learning Communities

Seven Fort Worth ISD elementary schools were recognized for exhibiting spectacular student engagement and phenomenal learning communities over the last month.

Executive directors from the Elementary Schools Leadership Department presented certificates to campus principals on behalf of the recognized schools at an elementary schools principal meeting, March 20.

The schools recognized for phenomenal learning communities are:

  • Natha Howell
  • Bruce Shulkey
  • The Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Waverly Park

The schools exhibiting spectacular student engagement are:

  • Atwood McDonald
  • H.V. Helbing
Dunbar High School recognized as FWISD's FAFSA MVP for February.


Congratulations to the Dunbar High School for having the highest percentage of students completing the FAFSA application for the month of February.

Principal Oscar Adams received a banner to recognize the achievement at the Secondary School Principals Meeting on Thursday, March 21.

In October, the District launched its FAFSA campaign, #StartHereGoAnywhere, which encourages graduating seniors to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

From October through April, students who apply for FAFSA will receive a T-shirt and be entered into monthly drawings for prizes. The school with the highest percentage of students completing FAFSA monthly will receive a banner to display outside its campus.

Click here to learn more about the campaign.

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

T.A. Sims Elementary Career Day: Superintendent Kent Scribner was among professionals who participated in Career Day at T.A. Sims ES. He discussed his career journey and decision to become a superintendent with students, Friday, March 8

East Handley Elementary 60th Birthday Celebration:Fort Worth ISD’s East Handley Elementary School is celebrating 60 years, Friday March 8, with a celebration that included performances from Eastern Hills elementary and high school groups and Board of Education Trustee Christene Moss as its guest speaker. East Handley students also created ‘60s- themed exhibits depicting toys, local history, fashion and much more reflective of the time that was on display. The campus opened the 1958-1959 school year with 16 regular classrooms, a kindergarten room, art room and library.

Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Link Up Concert: Fort Worth ISD fourth-graders recently played their recorders alongside the Fort Worth Symphony. The performance is the culmination to the yearlong Link Up program

Plan Ahead for Severe Weather This Spring

As spring begins, preparing for severe weather is essential.

According to The Weather Channel, spring “is arguably the most active weather season of the year,” with tornadoes, flooding, high winds and snow being among the most common weather events.

A recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram article states that Texas could be in for increased severe storm risks this year, including tornadoes, which generally peak between April through June.

Annually, Fort Worth ISD schools have a minimum of 16 drills including tornado and shelter in place practices. Various state agencies mandate the drills, said Ed McGinley, emergency management coordinator for FWISD’s Safety and Security Department.

He recommends that families and staff invest in a weather radio and download local weather applications to be notified of severe weather events in the area so that they know when to take shelter. To receive the latest notifications of any school events impacted by weather, download the free Fort Worth ISD Mobile App, available in the Apple App or Google Play stores.

Preparing for severe weather’s aftermath is equally as important as preparing for where to take shelter when it hits.

“The big thing is making sure [you] have a … gallon of water for each person (including pets) in the house,” and food that can be prepared without electricity, Mr. McGinley said.

Click here to learn more about spring weather safety from the National Weather Service.


The following communication is from the Network Services Department:

In last week’s issue, we gained an understanding of how safe the media that we communicate with really is. This week, we will gain a better understanding of the people that seek to compromise our security and find out what motivates them.

The Secret Lives of Hackers



SOURCE: Rosenthal, Alex, et al. “Cybersecurity 101.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/labs/video_popup/5/33/.

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,

This year with all of the violence around the country, safety has definitely been a concerning issue. At our school, locked doors with badge access were implemented this year, however, my office is located directly inside the door leading to the teacher’s parking lot. This door is not always locked, and it has to be brought to the administration’s attention for it to be. When the door is locked between classes, before and after school, the students bang on the door and are being let in by teachers or other students.

This seems to be a very concerning safety issue to me, if the wrong person is let in, I am the first point of contact. I know nothing is 100 percent but implementing even a small measure of safety can help the staff feel more comfortable on campus. Can you advise what the policy is regarding safety in the FWISD schools?


Concerned Nurse

Dear Concerned Nurse,

Thank you for your question regarding the security of entrances and exits at your school. I reached out to Daniel Garcia, the director of the Safety and Security Department, regarding your question and here’s the response:

“The security of our schools and work places is a responsibility for all of us – administrators, teachers, students and parents. Our security is only as strong as we demand it to be. If anyone is aware of a weak link in the security chain, such as unsecured doors, or unsafe practices, such as holding doors that may allow unauthorized persons to enter a building, then we are all at risk. I would ask you to please confer with your campus administrator and share the information about the unsecured door as soon as possible. An inconvenience for some is really about the safety of everyone.”

Thanks again, Concerned Nurse, for your question and thank you, Mr. Garcia, for your response.


Dear Elsie,

I have several staff members who are 220-contract employees. They would like to start planning their summer vacations but can’t because they do not know when they will be reporting back for the 2019-2020 school year. Can you tell me when those dates will be posted so that I can share them with my staff? Or have they been posted already, and maybe I just missed them on the website? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Concerned Secretary

Dear Concerned Secretary,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Jerry Moore, assistant superintendent of Policy and Planning, regarding your question and here’s the response:

“Work report dates are being decided right now and will be published by the end of this month.”

Thanks again, Concerned Secretary, for your question and thank you, Mr. Moore, 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.


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

There are times when speaking with someone can help and the support can get you back on track. Your EAP offers short-term counseling for a variety of personal issues that's:

Confidential - No identifying information is provided to your employer

No cost to you – Just pick up the phone

Available anytime - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year

Let EAP help with any personal issue

  • Relationship Issues
  • Personal Growth Issues
  • Stress and Lifestyle Balance
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Financial Issues
  • Alcohol/Drug Issues
  • Legal Issues
  • ANY Problem Affecting Your Quality of Life

Help is just a phone call away!

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

AAIL Spotlight

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 Rachel Hambley from Sagamore Hill Elementary School this week.

March is Women's History Month

March is Texas History Month

March is Youth Art Month

FWISD is looking for Bilingual Testers

Professional Learning and Innovation Opportunities

Elementary Professional Learning Opportunities

Secondary Professional Learning Opportunities

Professional Learning Opportunities with Education Technology, Register in Eduphoria

Website Training Schedule

Gold Seal Late Application Opens, March 1- September 6

Training Schedule for New ELAR TEKS for Grades 3-5 Teachers and Administrators, Begins March 19 (Register in Eduphoria)

Racial Equity Summit, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. March 23 at I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA

Billy W. Sills Lecture Series: “Early Transoceanic Pan Am Air Travel and the Amon Carter Connection,” March 23 9:30 a.m.- noon Billy W. Sills Center for Archives (Presenters: Bill Morris and Dan Smith)

Dolores Huerta-Cesar Chavez Day of Service (Students NOT in School), March 25

Training Schedule for New ELAR TEKS for Grades 6-8 Teachers and Administrators, Teacher training begins March 26 (Register in Eduphoria)

Spring VOLY Training Sessions for FCLs, new campus staff and campus partners, Begins March 28

JROTC Participates in STEM Community Day, March 28

Fort Worth ISD Day at the Texas Rangers vs. Chicago Cubs Game, March 31

Pre-K/Kindergarten Registration Begins, April 1

Campus Teacher of the Year Ceremony, April 2, Kimbell Art Museum

Voter Registration Deadline, April 4

My Brother’s Keeper Suit Up! Campaign Ends, April 5

Project Dance 2019: The Arlington Heights High School Dance Department celebrates its 25th anniversary,  7 p.m. April 5 and 6 at the W.E. Scott Theater

The Fort Worth ISD Annual Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration and Literacy Fair, April 6

Transformation Day at Dunbar High School, April 6

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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