Inside FWISD August 9, 2018


Dear Colleagues:

Dr. Scribner recently mentioned we would provide information regarding links to the virtual and live Convocation set for August 17, 2018. Since we are requesting each campus to watch as a group it is imperative that equipment and access be tested and verified to be in good working order prior to the event. Please complete the Convocation 2018 Contact Information form.

To help you prepare for Convocation 2018, we have created a Convocation 2018 Test webpage where you can test your equipment and access to the live stream. Identify the location on your campus where Convocation 2018 will be streamed, set up your equipment, and join us for testing on one of the following dates:

• Friday, August 10, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Monday, August 13, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Tuesday, August 14, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Convocation 2018 will be broadcast live from the FWISD Board Room on August 17, 2018. Test your equipment and access by visiting the following website: http://www.fwisd.org/convocationtest. Click the play button in the video player on the day you are testing. You will see a live stream of the FWISD Board Room, hear narration and music. Once you have tested your equipment and access to the live stream, please complete the Convocation 2018 Testing Confirmation form.

It is important to remember the Convocation 2018 webpage is also, where you will go to access the live stream for Convocation on Friday, August 17, at 9 a.m. One-stop shopping for testing and the actual event stream.

We will also broadcast the event live on cable via Charter (Spectrum), Channel 192 and AT&T U-verse, Channel 99. If for some reason you and your staff are unable to watch live, the event will be archived shortly after the live-cast is concluded. We will release those links immediately afterwards.

Again, our goal is to provide maximum inspiration with minimal interruption to your day. If you have questions about connectivity, please call 817-814-TEST (8378) for assistance.

District employees are assisted with enrollment questions at a benefits session, Tuesday, August 7 in the Administration Building.

OPEN ENROLLMENT Sessions Underway

Fort Worth ISD employees have multiple opportunities for getting insurance questions answered and signing up for 2018-2019 benefits at open enrollment sessions being hosted across the District through August 24.

Nearly 20 sessions are slated to take place at District campuses through August 13. Sessions for transportation and Professional Development Center personnel are slated for August 16, 17 and 24. Employees opting to enroll for benefits at one of the scheduled enrollment sessions will need their username and password to access the online benefits portal.

Because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) ALL employees must either enroll, opt to keep the same coverage or decline health coverage.

Open enrollment, which began July 24, continues through August 24. Coverage changes take effect September 1.

The District released 2018-2019 insurance benefits details in English and Spanish, Thursday, July 26. Among benefits changes is a slight increase to health premiums only and new benefit offerings for accidental injury and emergency transportation.

At one of the multiple open enrollment sessions scheduled, employees will be assisted one-on-one with benefits questions and enrolling for coverage, according to the FWISD Benefits Department.

Visit www.mybenefitshub.com/fortworthisd or call Benefits at 817-814-2240 for additional details about available health, dental, vision and other insurance plans and open enrollment sessions. The Benefits office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

More Than A Game

Academy Focuses On How Coaches Impact Student-Athletes

Standing on the auditorium stage at Southwest High School, Dr. Matt Johnson challenged Fort Worth ISD coaches to take a closer look at their objective when educating student-athletes.

“What you see depends on what you’re focused on,” the sport psychology consultant told the audience of coaches.

Dr. Johnson was one of multiple presenters at Fort Worth ISD’s inaugural Coaches Academy, hosted July 30 and 31, who discussed sports educators’ impact on their student-athletes.

Hundreds attended the event, which was open to District coaches and dance sponsors. Various topics were presented including how to become a head coach, benefits of multi-sports participation, building a practice plan and creating a successful practice culture.

The book “InSideOut Coaching: How Coaching Can Transform Lives” by former NFL star Joe Ehrmann was a key part of training presented at the event. The book was given as prizes to 15 academy participants.

“The inaugural Coaches Academy was a success,” said Dr. Lisa Langston, FWISD athletics director. “We could not have asked for a better response for a first-time event.”

In an InSideOut Leadership training session, coaches talked about why they do this job. They talked about their athletes, especially those from tough circumstances who overcame obstacles to reach success.

In a session titled “Coaching the Mental Game in Young Athlete,” Dr. Matt Johnson offered coaches strategies and techniques for boosting confidence, motivating and increasing mental toughness in their student-athletes.

He urged coaches to examine what they’re saying to student-athletes and what those players are saying to themselves. Does it get that student-athlete closer to their goal, he asked. Motivating student-athletes to focus on what they can control and to letting what they can’t control go is key, Dr. Johnson said.

“It’s not essential that you have to mention winning to win,” he said.

Feedback for the Coaches Academy was refreshing, Dr. Langston said. While some coaches said it was meaningful and made them think about their purpose others said they enjoyed the academy and hoped the Athletics Department would host the event again.

“Personally, I am brimming with pride. The coaches modeled what we want for our students – to be lifelong learners,” Dr. Langston said. “We observed coaches who were engaged and introspective in their reflection on why they coach. Our coaches displayed professionalism, passion and a commitment to serve our students well. We anxiously await the next steps in our InSideOut coaching initiative.”


Prepare families for the first day of school, August 20, by directing them to the Fort Worth ISD Back to School webpage.

This page offers a wealth of resources including school start times, attendance guidelines, how to register for the 2018-2019 year, back to school events and much more.

Back to School details for district personnel

Teacher Prep/In-Service days are slated for August 13-17.

Educators will have one full day and time after the District Convocation, Friday, August 17, to prepare their classrooms for the 2018-2019 school year.

Campus principals are responsible for scheduling six hours of professional learning for their teachers, August 14-16. The administrators may choose two half-day sessions, three hours each, or a full day of professional learning, six hours. Registration for the courses is done via Eduphoria, and once a course is full, registration is closed. No on-site registration is available.

The following are reporting and ending dates for District employees who work fewer than 240 days.

FWISD Is Hiring

Spread the word. Someone you know may be the perfect fit for teacher and non-teaching positions Fort Worth ISD needs to fill.

School nurse and nurse specialist, bilingual teachers and bus drivers are among the positions the District is accepting applications for. A complete list of vacancies is available at www.fwisd.org/careers.


Fort Worth ISD’s Health Services Department is currently accepting applications for school nurse and nurse specialist jobs. Prospective candidates for each position must possess a Bachelor of Science nursing degree, a license to practice in Texas and a current cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate.

It’s preferred that prospective candidates for the school nurse position have experience working as a school or public health nurse. Required qualifications for the nurse position include an automatic external defibrillator (AED) certificate and five years experience as a nurse. It’s preferred that nurse specialist applicants have a master’s degree and experience working as a school nurse for Fort Worth ISD.

“We really try to interview and hire nurses who will go that extra step to provide the best for our students,” Alice Turner-Jackson, health services director said. “It really is a good place to work. Most of our nurses do not leave unless they’re relocating. They become really attached to their schools, students.”

Bilingual educators

The District is looking for bilingual teachers for the 2018-2019 year, according to the Human Capital Management Department.

Prospective candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a valid Texas teacher certification for the appropriate grade level and subject area. They must also have successfully passed a state-mandated bilingual language proficiency test.

Bus drivers

The District recently announced that it’s offering a $500 bonus to new bus driver hires who commit to one year of employment.

Also, both new and veteran drivers are eligible for additional pay when they have perfect or “almost-perfect” attendance. This fall, drivers who complete 100 percent of their routes during the school year will receive an extra $12 per day. Drivers who complete 95 percent of their routes (that means they are absent no more than five days) will receive an additional $9 a day.

The $500 “new bus driver” bonus will be paid at the end of the 2018-19 school year. The “attendance payouts” will happen twice a year, in January and June.

For more details, contact the Fort Worth ISD Transportation Recruiting Office at 817-815-7918.

For more details on available job openings, visit www.fwisd.org/careers.

Fort Worth ISD Parents Can Save Money on

Back-to-School Shopping During Sales Tax Holiday

Who: Parents and families of Fort Worth ISD

What: Annual sales tax holiday

When: August 10 – 12, 2018

Where: Texas stores or online or catalog seller doing business in Texas

Parents and families in the Fort Worth ISD can save money on most of their back-to-school shopping during the annual sales tax holiday. This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 10, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 12.

During this holiday weekend, shoppers can buy most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks (sold for less than $100) tax free. The sales tax exemption applies only to qualifying items purchased during the sales tax holiday.

The following information is taken from the Texas State Comptroller website

Clothing and footwear

The exemption applies to each eligible item sold for less than $100, and there is no limit to the number of qualifying items you can buy.

For example, if you buy two shirts for $80 each, each shirt qualifies for the exemption because each is less than $100, even though the total purchase price is $160.

This is a partial list of clothing and footwear that qualify for tax exemption. Visit the Texas State Comptroller website for a complete list of eligible and non-eligible clothing and footwear.

Chef uniform



Pants, jeans, trousers


Shoes (generally exempt, with some exceptions)





During the sales tax holiday, student backpacks sold for less than $100 are exempt from tax.

The exemption includes backpacks with wheels and messenger bags. You can buy up to 10 backpacks tax free at one time without giving an exemption certificate to the seller.

School supplies

This is a partial list of qualifying school supplies. The Texas State Comptroller website has a complete list of school supplies that qualify for tax exemption.


Book bags


Composition books



Glue, paste, paste sticks


Lunch boxes





* For kits of school supplies that contain exempt items, as well as taxable ones, the taxability depends on the value of exempt or taxable items in it. There is no limit on the quantity of school supplies in a kit, but if the value of the exempt items is more than the taxable ones, the kit is exempt. If the value of the taxable items is more than the exempt ones, then the kit is taxable.

Visit the Texas State Comptroller website for complete lists of eligible and non-eligible items to get the most out of the sales tax holiday. This website also has information on making a layaway purchase or other special purchases.

Attendance Winners

Congratulations to the Fort Worth ISD elementary and secondary schools that were recently recognized by Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro for successfully increasing attendance during the 2017-2018 school year. Attendance Adds Up! winners at the elementary school level for 2017-18 are the Leadership Academy at Maude Logan, Seminary Hills Park, Daggett, Carter Park, M.H. Moore and Morningside elementary schools.

Secondary school winners for 2017-18 are: Glencrest 6th Grade, International Newcomers Academy, Meadowbrook and Jean McClung middle schools, Eastern Hills, South Hills and Success high schools.

UPDATE: Online Registration FAQ

More than 30,000 students have registered for the 2018-2019 school year through the District’s new online system.

That equates to nearly 40 percent of the student population. In July, a District-wide system was established for registering students online for the 2018-2019 year. In this inaugural year, both new and returning students must complete the online enrollment process.

Here’s some things for campus personnel to note in assisting the remaining Fort Worth ISD students and their families through the online registration process for the new school year:

What can campus personnel do to support families through the online registration process?

• Please respond to parent phone calls regarding online registration questions in a timely manner

• Ensure campus computers are available for parents to use for completing online registration for their child. Parents must log off the system once registration is completed before a new registration is initiated.

• Create and execute a plan for assisting families through the online registration process and Meet the Teacher and Open House events and the first week of school

How can campus personnel assist parents in locating the required Snapcode – identifying number – for enrolling their child online?

Campus data clerks and principals can access Snapcode information by visiting the Snapcode verification webpage and entering their active directory email and password.

What should campus personnel do if a Snapcode does not exist for a returning student?

If no Snapcode exists, a parent must complete the New Student Registration Form.

In completing the form, parents will be required to answer the year they’re enrolling their child for, whether this is the first time their child is enrolling with the District, whether the student was enrolled the 2017-2018 year and if the returning student has a Snapcode.

Parents should answer “no” when asked if the returning student has a Snapcode, which then prompts them to complete a New Student Registration Form.

How should school personnel respond if a parent contacts campus that no confirmation was received indicating that registration was submitted for their child?

Ask the parent to first attempt looking for confirmation in the junk folder of their email. If no confirmation is found, campus personnel should be able to look up a child’s registration status in the PowerSchools system.

What are some other online registration concerns that parents may contact their campus for assistance with correcting when enrolling their child?

• Incorrect birthdate

• Misspelled names

• Inability to select the desired school (i.e. child attends a special program not offered at their home campus) The data clerk at the campus the student’s registration was submitted to should be able modifications.

• Gold Seal online application

What documentation do campuses require for returning students?

Documentation varies by campus. Contact your campus principal for more details.

Whom do data clerks contact for support?

• Contact PowerSchool for PowerSchool- specific issues

• Reach out to Larry Sandoval at larry.sandoval@fwisd.org, to follow up on PowerSchool-related issues or to access the PowerSchool portal

• Call the FOCUS Help Desk at 817-814-3080 for help working through District process involving PowerSchool and FOCUS.

• Email Judy Menchaca (judy.menchaca@fwisd.org) or Rhonda Fields (rhonda.fields@fwisd.org) to resolve issues between FOCUS and PowerSchool.

To whom do campus principals submit online registration-related questions to?

Campus principals may submit questions here

Whom should campus personnel contact for details on future PowerSchool training sessions?

Campus personnel may enroll in a PowerSchool course via itslearning. PowerSchool resources are available by looking up “DoT PowerSchool Resources” in the itslearning course catalog.

Save the Date For website training Sessions

The Fort Worth ISD Communications Department is hosting website open lab and training sessions, beginning Friday, August 24.

Open lab and training sessions are open to campus Web managers appointed by school principals. All sessions will take place at the Board Conference Room, located at 2903 Shotts St. Attendees must bring their own laptop.

Web managers interested in attending a session must email Thomas Ketchersid, web communications coordinator, at thomas.ketchersid@fwisd.org, no later than one day prior to the event to reserve a seat.

For more details, visit www.fwisd.org/websitetraining.

Get To Know MyFWISD

Have you heard about Fort Worth ISD's MyFWISD online portal?

MyFWISD brings together " all ... District resources in one convenient place," said John Briese, an instructional technology learning coach.

Access the portal at my.fwisd.org using your active directory credentials.

"The MyFWISD portal is there for you and your students to make it easier to find what you need by putting all of your Fort Worth ISD-provided resources in one convenient place," Mr. Briese said. "We hope you find it useful so that you and your students can spend less time searching and more time learning."

Learn more about MyFWISD in this brief video.

first-day Celebrations

How is your campus preparing to celebrate the first day of school, August 20?

Email photos of the preparation process and first-day celebrations to Inside@fwisd.org or use the hashtag #InsideFWISD on Facebook and Twitter. Some photos will be included on the District's social media platforms and in a future Inside FWISD edition.

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

14th Annual Tarrant County Back to School Roundup

I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA Panther Camp: The inaugural class at I.M. Terrell received a private tour of the campus and facility. Teachers and students were excited to see classrooms built specifically for robotics, dance, and more

Jumpstart Teacher Academy

Elementary School Leadership 2018-2019 Kick-Off Meeting


Thank you, to Mark Feuling, president of Turnkey Construction and Development Group, who recently donated 30 neon yellow backpacks filled with school supplies to Fort Worth ISD’s Sunrise-McMillian Elementary School. Also, a special thank you to the Junior Women's Club who donated school supplies to M.L. Phillips Elementary School.

Thank you to Fidelity Investments, which recently partnered with Blue Zones Project for a garden cleanup at East Handley, H.V. Helbing and T.A. Sims elementary schools. More than 20 volunteers prepared garden beds to support planting and cultivating vegetables and native plants in an outdoor learning environment for the 2018-2019 school year. Fidelity Investments is working to become a Blue Zones Project-approved worksite.

Practice Bus Runs

Fort Worth ISD buses will conduct practice “dry runs” on Friday, August 17, 2018, in preparation for the start of school on Monday, August 20. Buses will run at the regularly scheduled times giving parents and students an opportunity to ride the bus together for familiarization.

“Our bus drivers will be practicing their normal routes on that day,” said Transportation Director Bill Ray. “This is something we do every year in preparation for the start of school.”

These “dry runs” are great opportunities for parents to help students understand the route in a less stressful environment, especially for students who may be riding a bus for the first time.

The routes are posted on the Transportation page of the District’s web site, www.fwisd.org or are available at your local school office.

Campus Back to School events, August 7- September 28

Movies that Matter: Teach Us All documentary, 7 p.m. Thursday, August 9, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Sherry Breed, Fort Worth ISD equity and excellence chief, and Ashley Paz, FWISD Board of Education trustee, are slated to participate in a discussion following the screening of the 2017 film. People interested in attending this free event are encouraged to make a reservation.

Teacher Prep/In-Service, August 13-17

Secondary Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities, Register in Eduphoria

Early College High School First Day of School, Thursday, August 16

Professional Learning Opportunities for Sixth-Grade Literacy, Social Studies and Music Teachers and Campus Librarians, Register in Eduphoria

Convocation 2018, Friday, August 17, Originating at Board Conference Room, 2903 Shotts St. and streamed to all schools and campuses

FWISD Summer School Graduation, 7 p.m. Friday, August 17, Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center

Buzz Back to School Event, Saturday, August 18, Hillside Community Center

Gear Up 4 School, Saturday, August 18, Location site is to be determined

First Day of School, Monday, August 20

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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