EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is an a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries or, in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.
Elementary teachers have a lot of demands on our time, including after-school events, grading, and planning. Having a mandatory two-hour staff meeting every week is a hardship for us. Most of the time we feel that the meetings are filled with busyness just to fill the two hours, not actually helpful and worthwhile. We would like to see the meetings shortened or held less frequently.
Exhausted and Overworked Elementary Teachers
Thank you for writing, Exhausted and Overworked Elementary Teachers
I reached out to Karen Molinar, FWISD chief of Elementary Schools, and she had this to say on the matter: "Thank you for sharing your concern regarding two-hour faculty meetings. It is not a District expectation that a campus holds mandatory two-hour faculty meeting each week. The time is to be used for professional learning, mandated training for state testing, or planning for schoolwide initiatives. We have shared with principals that meetings should only be held when necessary or for the length to cover content. I am happy to review with principals the expectations of after-school requirements. I am also happy to work with individual campuses on this concern if a campus name is shared with me."
Thanks again for writing, and thank you to Ms. Molinar responding,
Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put the words “Ask Elsie” I 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.
Thank you, Essilor Foundation and the Kids Vision for Life program. On Friday, February 2, up to 700 eligible Fort Worth ISD students received free eye exams and glasses.
How to write a thank you letter to your donor?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Thank you to Executive Director Tracy Marshall and the Grants and Development, Management and Monitoring Department for this submission. The department recently launched a blog to share information and tips on project management and grant writing. The following submission is by Jeimie Rodriguez, a project development specialist in the department. She supports schools that receive Title I funds and makes sure the funds are used effectively and she advises schools on donations.
How to write a thank you note to your donor?
You recently received a donation from a donor and need help in drafting a thank you letter. Here are tips for preparing a thank you note and building the foundation for a long term relationship with your donor.
Be prompt – time your letter no more than two days after you receive a donation
Start by saying a simple “thank you” – A simple “thank you” can go a long way, this can set a tone of appreciation to your donor
Handwrite your letter – Donors are used to receiving lots of mail. Handwriting your letter adds a personal touch and makes your message more genuine
Share how their contribution will be used – Describe how the funding will be used and how it will make an impact on your program. Share stories. You want to make the gift feel meaningful and convince the donor their donation was important. Remember donors are people and want authentic appreciation
Be enthusiastic! Set a positive tone in your letter
Thank you letters are a great way to start a relationship with your donor but they shouldn’t be the only way to demonstrate thankfulness. The idea of the letter is to open a channel of communication with your donor. Follow up, sharing pictures, data reporting the success of your program, and even inviting donors to view your program are all great ways to make them feel involved and that their participation in your program is meaningful.
We hope our tips are helpful for the next time you receive a donation. Here is the first step to a long term relationship with your donor. Don’t forget to say “thank you”!
Castillo Lives Childhood Dream
Casondra Castillo, a math and science teacher at Dolores Huerta Elementary School, said she knew as a child that she wanted to be a teacher.
In this video, she discusses the support she's received for becoming an effective teacher. Fort Worth ISD provides new teachers with intensive and targeted support for thriving in their roles. That has resulted in an 87 percent retention rate, according to District officials.
"There is a lot to absorb as a first-year teacher. At first, it can kind of be overwhelming,"Ms. Castillo said. "I have a fantastic team. There's lots of opportunities to reach out to people whether it's a new teacher induction specialist or a campus mentor or even your teammates."
Ms. Castillo grew up in a small rural town outside Fort Worth. On Career Day as a child, she would dress up as a teacher, her dream job. She graduated in 2011 from Texas Women's University. Unable to land a teaching job right away she traveled to Kansas, China and other areas working for programs including HeadStart and Let's Start Talking.
Thank you, fwisd counselors
Thank you, FWISD school counselors. Your guidance and direction are appreciated throughout the District.
Driver: FWISD Opens Doors to Opportunity
Working for Fort Worth ISD has opened doors to opportunity for Joshua Duran.
He joined the District as a bus driver last May. When he’s not driving a bus, he said he’s being trained through FWISD to become a mechanic and he’s studying at Tarrant County College to obtain his associate degree. Mr. Duran said he aspires to become a teacher someday.
In this video, he talks about his job with the Fort Worth ISD.
“It’s a great place because the people you work with are amazing,” Mr. Duran said. “This has been a good decision. I mean, it’s blessed me a lot.
“I’m just going places. I feel like I’m making progress in my life.”
The Fort Worth ISD Operations Department is looking to hire hardworking, dedicated individuals to join its team as monitors, custodians and bus drivers.
Learn more about FWISD job opportunities today at www.fwisd.org/careers.
For more details on the hiring process and the necessary documents needed for background checks, call 817-814-2717.
FOUR FWISD TEAMS QUALIFY FOR REGION ROBOTICS CONTEST
Four Fort Worth ISD schools are headed to the North Texas FIRST Regional Championship, Saturday, February 10 in Wylie.
The latest school advancing to the competition is the Lorotech team from Polytechnic High School, which earned first-place alliance honors at a FIRST TECH Challenge qualifying contest, Saturday, January 27 at Bethesda Christian School.
In total, nine FWISD schools were represented in the January 27 qualifier.
The teams took home the following individual team awards:
Adamas Robotics, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School: second-place Motivator Award, third-place Design Award, first place Connect Award;
Mini Adamas, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School: second-place Alliance Recognition;
Steer Clear, North Side High School: first-place Design Award;
Toxic Geckos, Wedgwood Middle School: second-place Alliance Recognition.
Other teams qualifying for the North Texas FIRST Regional Championship after advancing from qualifying competitions earlier this month are the Toxic Geckos from Wedgwood Middle School, the “The Dork Side” robotics team from the Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the Trimble Tech High School Robotics team.