Inside FWISD February 8, 2018


The Fort Worth ISD has reached an agreement in principle with Congregation Ahavath Shalom to purchase a parcel of land as the future home of a new elementary school to provide overcrowding relief at nearby Tanglewood Elementary.

“From the very beginning we had hoped to arrive at a fair resolution that is amicable to all parties,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “We are pleased for our children that this agreement provides a path for us to move forward with our design and construction plans.”

The agreement is subject to the approval of the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education, the Board of the Congregation and the Congregation itself, as well as on platting approval from the City of Fort Worth.

This item is currently scheduled to be presented for school trustees as early as Tuesday, February 13, for their consideration and approval.

FWISD Announces Campus Teachers of the Year

This week, the FWISD Department of Community and Strategic Partnerships, announced the names of 132 Campus Teacher of the Year recipients.

Fort Worth ISD will recognize its 2017-2018 Campus Teachers of the Year at an April 5 reception.

An after-school reception honoring this year's recipients is being hosted by Central Market and other community partners from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the in the atrium of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), 1700 University Drive.

During the reception, the 10 semifinalists for FWISD's elementary and secondary District Teacher of the Year awards will be announced.

Campus Teacher of the Year winners are encouraged to apply for the District Teacher of the Year award. Two winners -- one elementary educator and a secondary teacher -- will be named District Teacher of the Year, and receive a $5,000 honorarium from Central Market. The grocer will also present the eight semifinalists with a $1,000 award.

Click here to apply for District Teacher of the Year award and to view eligibility requirements.

Community businesses and organizations have partnered with Fort Worth ISD since 1985 to recognize its most exceptional teachers. Campus Teacher of the Year recipients are selected by their peers.

The 2017-2018 Campus Teacher of the Year recipients are:

A.M. Pate, Cherrelle Tillis-White

Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center, Talor Garza

Alice D. Contreras Elementary, Rosa Quezada

Amon Carter-Riverside High, Walter Padgett

Applied Learning Center, Alexandra Checka

Arlington Heights High, Orion Smith

Atwood McDonald Elementary, Shawneequa Smith

Benbrook Elementary, Lisa Murray

Benbrook Middle/High, Mikki McCoy

Bill J. Elliot Elementary, Brooke Rhodes

Bonnie Brae Elementary, Lauren Ruth

Boulevard Heights, Sarah Mayfair

Briscoe Elementary, Sharla Chadwick

Bruce Shulkey Elementary, Greg Henahan

Burton Hill Elementary, Laurie Stillwell

C.C. Moss Elementary, Arlinda Brown

Carroll Peak Elementary, Donna Williams

Carter Park Elementary, Melissa Penrod

Cesar Chavez Elementary, Dianne Cochran

Charles E. Nash Elementary, Isabel Moore

Clifford Davis Elementary, Ramona Colbert

Como Montessori, Danielle Quijano

D. McRae Elementary, Eunice Granados

Daggett Elementary, Stacy Gordon

Daggett Montessori, Sandy Yeandle

Daggett Middle, Bobbie Addington

David K. Sellars Elementary, Gloria Palmer

De Zavala Elementary, Corey Steinberg

Diamond Hill Elementary, Elizabeth Kelz

Diamond Hill-Jarvis High, Liliana Hinojosa

Dolores Huerta Elementary, Maribel Aragon

Dunbar High, Charla Washington

East Handley Elementary, Sequoia Ford

Eastern Hills Elementary, Gregorey Thomas

Eastern Hills High, Rose Irungu

George C. Clarke Elementary, Taylor Wilson

Glen Park Elementary, Roxy Glass

Glencrest 6th Grade, Nettie Scott

Greenbriar Elementary, Charryse Law

H.V. Helbing Elementary, Luciano Orozco

Handley Middle, Toyin Okunade

Harlean Beal Elementary, Paula Pope

Hazel Harvey Peace Elementary, Misty Hollis

Hubbard Heights Elementary, Belinda Garcia

International Newcomer Academy, Blanca Olivo-Andrade

J. P. Elder Middle, Robyn Rasberry

J. T. Stevens Elementary, Bess Anderson

Jacquet Middle, Master Sergeant John Whitfield

Jean McClung Middle, Franchesca Parker

Jo Kelly School, Debbie Croschere

Kirkpatrick Elementary, Cynthia Flores

Kirkpatrick Middle, Jennifer Cruz

Leadership Academy at Como, Cara Lightner

Leadership Academy at Forest Oak Middle, Cer'Princeton Harden

Leadership Academy at John T. White, Letha Gaines

Leadership Academy at Maude Logan, Safiyyah Omar

Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard, Julie Rowe

Leonard Middle, Sara Tipton

Lily B. Clayton Elementary, Ellen Ruthart

Lowery Road Elementary, Yolanda Collins

Luella Merrett Elementary, Hannah Stinson

M. M. Walton Elementary, Kristi York

M.G. Ellis Primary, Catherine Adkinson

M.H. Moore Elementary, Jose Ramirez

M.L. Phillips Elementary, Kerry Boatright

Manuel Jara Elementary, Vanessa Silvas

Marine Creek Collegiate, Jennifer Pate

McLean 6th Grade, Michael O'Brien

McLean Middle, Megan Ngo

Meacham Middle, Kelsy Daniels

Meadowbrook Elementary, Pablo Orozco

Meadowbrook Middle, Renisha Payne

Metro Opportunity High, Abel Calderon

Middle Level Learning Center, Lela Anderson

Morningside Elementary, Nona Landers

Morningside Middle, Floyd Slay

Natha Howell Elementary, Gregory Gallimore

North Hi Mount Elementary, Andrew McKenzie

North Side High, Ramon Nino

O.D. Wyatt High, Montana Hopkins

Oakhurst Elementary, Cristina Sigala Szmigiel

Oaklawn Elementary, Lily Salas

Paschal High, Debbie Reimer

Polytechnic High, Zach Reimer

Richard J. Wilson Elementary, Nidia Escobar

Ridglea Hills Elementary, Jennifer Dutton

Riverside ALC, Cynthia Kohn

Riverside Middle, Leon Ybarra

Rosemont 6th Grade, Juan Escamilla

Rosemont Elementary, Marquise Taylor

Rosemont Middle, Robyn Leonardi

Rufino Mendoza Elementary, Leslie Miller-Garcia

S.S. Dillow Elementary, Denise Zwald

Sagamore Hill Elementary, Alfredo Ornelas

Sam Rosen Elementary, Marcia Bender

Seminary Hills Park Elementary, Emily Mason

South Hi Mount Elementary, Amy Hernandez

South Hills Elementary, Jacob Austin

South Hills High, Brent Schooley

Southwest High, Samuel Wilson

Springdale Elementary, Maria Esther Rodriguez

Stripling Middle, Nathan Henderson

Success High, Abdolreza Darigan

Sunrise-McMillan Elementary, Jennifer Adams

T.A. Sims Elementary, Diana Herrera

Tanglewood Elementary, Louann Walton

TCC South -Collegiate, Donna Cole

Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences, Lucas Tucker

Transition Center, Matthew Bostick

Trimble Tech High, Corri Brosius

Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary, Francine Shelton

Versia L. Williams Elementary, Teresita Salinas

W. M. Green Elementary, Mario Mateo

W.J. Turner Elementary, Carlos Batista

Washington Heights Elementary, Nicolas A. Neria

Waverly Park Elementary, Martha Alvarez

Wedgwood 6th Grade, Moniqueca Long

Wedgwood Middle, Brent Kaether

West Handley Elementary, Katherine Campbell

Westcliff Elementary, Ebony McDonald

Westcreek Elementary, Cherika White

Western Hills Elementary, Agueda Medina-TorrEs

Western Hills High, Vincent Gil

Western Hills Primary, Stacey Barringer

Westpark Elementary, Isabel Shirley

William James Middle, Marie Boodhna

William Monnig Middle, Effie Hallman

Woodway Elementary, Ellen Eilerts

World Languages Institute, Maria de los Reyes Frederickson

Worth Heights Elementary, Edward Evans

Young Men's Leadership Academy, Sarah Voelker

Young Women's Leadership Academy, Amber Bailey

Save the Date For the Second Annual Literacy Conference

What is so difficult about teaching kids to read that we seem to struggle with it constantly? Is there any evidence that the class time we are sacrificing for Achieve 3000 work is actually improving our students' achievement levels?

These questions and more will be answered at the second annual FWISD Literacy Conference: Engineering the Love of Learning Through Literacy. The conference will take place Saturday, February 24 at Southwest High School and is open to all Fort Worth ISD teachers and administrators.

Participants can earn trade-off credit for attending.

Click here to register for this year's Literacy Conference.

FWISD Students Commit to Playing Collegiate Sports

Fort Worth ISD congratulates one of its largest ever classes of student athletes signing to play sports on scholarship at colleges and universities across the country.

On Wednesday morning, February 7, 2018, the District conducted its National Signing Day ceremony before more than 150 guests at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. Approximately 40 students were recognized for signing to play collegiate sports.

Parents, families, loved ones and friends looked on with pride as their student athlete made their decisions formal. Among those signing were two sets of twins: Da'Lontay and Da'Vontay Stevens of Southwest High School, who will play football at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma and Kaleb and Kylen Gaiters of O.D. Wyatt High School have decided to play football at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas.

Dr. Cherie Washington, FWISD chief of Secondary Schools, told student athletes that signing is the next step toward their futures. She encouraged the student athletes to continue focusing on their academic studies, be determined, work hard and make the most of the experiences ahead.

"They call you student athletes for a reason, because athletics and academics go hand in hand," Dr. Washington said. "You are on your way, but you're not where you're supposed to be yet. You have so much left inside of you, and I look forward to hearing about the wonderful things you do at the next level in athletics.

"Enjoy today. Enjoy college but put in the work and continue to strive. Make us proud, make your parents proud and more importantly, make yourself proud."

Troy Bell, assistant athletic director, encouraged the student-athletes to be persistent. It's persistence that will be the student's transportation to graduating college, he said.

A separate ceremony was held for student-athletes at the Young Men's Leadership Academy Wednesday afternoon.

View the full photo gallery from the ceremony here.

The following student-athletes were recognized at the morning signing ceremony:

Arlington Heights High School:

Melinda Martinez, Softball, Grayson County College (Denison, TX). Her coach is Mike Townsend.

Jaquez Battley, Football Rice, University (Houston, TX). His coach is Phil Young.

Ares Fritzenwallner, Football, Southwest Missouri Baptist University (Bolivar,MO). His coach is Phil Young.

Brian Gonzales, Football, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Alva, OK). His coach is Phil Young.

Kevin Nelson, Football, University of Texas at San Antonio. His coach is Phil Young.

Jaden Wynn, Football, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Alva, OK). His coach is Phil Young.

Charles Lee, Football, East Texas Baptist University (Marshall, TX). His coach is Phil Young.

Benbrook High School:

Ron Brown, Football, East Texas Baptist University (Marshall, TX). His coach is Cody Slater.

Matt Perry, Football, Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, TX). His coach is Cody Slater.

Dunbar High School:

Paris Jackson, Football, Missouri State University (Springfield, MO). His coach is Todd Lawson.

Eastern Hills High School:

Byron Hobbs, Football, University of Texas (Austin, TX). His coach is Tracy Simien.

Jeremiah Garner, Football, Tyler Junior College (Tyler, TX). His coach is Tracy Simien.

De'Shaun Thompson, Football, Dupage College (Chicago, IL). His coach is Tracy Simien.

Courtland Walton, Football Trinity Valley College (Athens, TX). His coach is Tracy Simien.

North Side High School:

Rafael Carbajal, Football, Texas A&M University at Commerce. His coach is Joseph Turner.

Paschal High School:

Gabby Drago, Acrobatics and Tumbling, Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA). Her coach is Alex Saenz.

Andrew Hinkle, Baseball, Cisco College (Cisco, TX). His coach is Darrell Preston.

Arely Jimenez, Soccer, Lubbock Christian University. His coach is Eric Rohani.

Micah Garnett, Soccer, St. Edwards University (Austin, TX). His coach is Mark Townsend.

South Hills High School:

Axel Robles, Soccer Southwestern Assemblies of God University (Waxahachie, TX). His coach is Steve Andrews.

Courtlon Allen, Football, Trinity Valley College (Athens, TX). His coach is J.J. Resendez.

Omuiri Garcih, Football, West Texas A&M University. His coach is J.J. Resendez.

Trey Jones, Football, Tyler Junior College (Tyler, TX). His coach is J.J. Resendez.

Bianca Builtron, Softball, Vernon College (Vernon, TX). Her coach is Laura Woerner.

Southwest High School:

Marc Gonzales, Cross Country, Cowley College (Ark City, KS). His coaches are Victor Boyd, Alejandro Banda and John Church.

Jason Bailey-Day, Football, Texas A&M University at Commerce. His coach is Robert Goebel.

Antonio Collins, Football, Carroll University (Helena, MT). His coach is Robert Goebel.

Koran "KC" Cooper, Football, Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Weatherford, OK). His coach is Robert Goebel.

Zechariah Crosby, Football, TBA. His coach is Robert Goebel.

Donny Keeling, Football, TBA. His coach is Robert Goebel.

Sami Sanni, Football, Oklahoma Panhandle State University (Goodwell, OK). His coach is Robert Goebel.

Da'Lontay Stevens, Football, Oklahoma Panhandle State University (Goodwell, OK). His coach is Robert Goebel.

Da'Vontay Stevens, Football, Oklahoma Panhandle State University (Goodwell, OK). His coach is Robert Goebel.

O.D. Wyatt High School:

Corjuan Cooper, Football, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Alva, OK). His coach is Zachary Criss.

Kilshon Jackson, Football, Southwestern College (Winfield, KS). His coach is Zachary Criss.

Kaleb Gaiters, Football, University of Mary Hardin Baylor (Belton, TX). His coach is Zachary Criss.

Kylen Gaiters, Football, University of Mary Hardin Baylor (Belton, TX). His coach is Zachary Criss.


“Ready to read, ready to lead!”

That’s the motto of the Fort Worth ISD’s 100X25FWTX – supported by Read Fort Worth, the city’s community-wide collective impact initiative. It was also the theme of a presentation made by FWISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and Read Fort Worth Executive Director Kristin Sullivan on Friday, January 26, to the Downtown Rotary Club.

The 100X25FWTX initiative sets a goal of 100% of third-graders reading on grade level or above by the year 2025. Dr. Scribner is partnering with Mayor Betsy Price, BNSF Executive Chairman Matt Rose to lead Read Fort Worth. 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.

In their presentation, Dr. Scribner and Ms. Sullivan stressed the importance of early literacy on student success, college preparedness, and a vibrant workforce. They showed the District’s recent gains in third-grade literacy, and mapped for the audience the neighborhood schools where more literacy volunteers are needed.

FWISD Observes Black History Month

Fort Worth ISD is observing Black History Month by recognizing our Wall of Fame honorees. Throughout February, the District will highlight FWISD heroes.

Today, we celebrate Tuskegee Airman Robert McDaniel (highlighted in red) for his extraordinary service to his country in WWII, including challenging segregation in the military. Mr. McDaniel, a former FWISD principal, attended Gay Street and I.M. Terrell schools. He is part of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame and received the Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal from President George W. Bush in 2007. See more FWISD Wall of Fame honorees here.


Approximately 400 people attended Fort Worth ISD’s fourth annual Back in School event, Saturday, February 3, at the Seaquest Interactive Aquarium.

The family-friendly event included free access to the aquarium, which opened in November at Ridgmar Mall, and many other activities. Attendees also received tokens that they could use to purchase snacks for themselves or to feed the sea animals.

District staff were on hand to answer questions about prekindergarten, and the Parent Portal. Families also received a gift bag with tools for finishing the school year strong.

View photos from the Back in School event here.

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.

Dear Elsie,

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 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.

Pictured, from left, are the teams from Polytechnic High School, Trimble Tech High School and YWLA. Not pictured is the team from Wedgwood Middle School.

Region winners will advance to Super Regionals, March 8-11 in Atlanta, Georgia. Super Regional competing teams are vying for the chance at advancing to the World Championships in Houston.

February is Career and Technical Education Month

Professional Learning opportunities for the month of February

Learning model sessions, Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave.

4 to 5 p.m.: Friday, February 16; Monday, March 5 and Friday, March 9

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Monday, February 12; Monday, February 26; Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 27

Fort Worth ISD Board of Education meeting, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 13

2018 FWISD Council of PTAs Founders Day Lunch, Thursday, February 15

Early voting for the March 6 Primary, Tuesday, February 20-Friday, March 2

Billy W. Sills Lecture Series, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, February 24

The Cowtown, Saturday, February 24-Sunday, February 25

Primary Election, Tuesday, March 6

Vital Link Summer Program teaching supervisor application deadline, Friday, March 23

Chair for Teaching Excellence in the Performing Arts application deadline, Tuesday, March 27. Application window to open soon.

Campus Teacher of the Year reception, Thursday, April 5 at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)

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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