Inside FWISD January 25, 2018

FWISD Addresses Makeup Work Hours for January 16 Delay

Fort Worth Independent School District non-exempt employees are not required to make up hours related to late arrivals on January 16, 2018.

The District delayed school start times two hours, January 16 because of expected inclement weather.

Employees may receive up to two hours credit for late arrivals based on their schedule.

"This credit will prevent any dock in pay due to the two-hour delay," said Elsie Schiro, chief financial officer in a District memorandum. "If an employee is granted credit for any amount of time, it should be for the time missed up to two hours prior to his/her scheduled work day on January 16, 2018. These hours should in no way place the employee into overtime status in KRONOS for the week of January 13-19, 2018."

Compensatory time is being allowed for up to two hours to the following non-exempt employees:

  • Arrived at normal scheduled time;
  • Arrived between normal scheduled time and before delayed start time;
  • Already made up the missed time

Supervisors are required to monitor all compensatory time earned and used because of the January 16 delay.

FWISD Seeks Input on 2018-2019 School Calendar Options

Fort Worth ISD is seeking stakeholder feedback on options for the 2018-2019 school calendar.

Through a survey, students, parents and employees are being asked to select one of two calendar options for the 2018-2019 school year.

The difference in the two calendars are teacher waiver days in which there are no classes for students.

  • Under Option 1, waiver dates are slated for October 8, January 8 and February 1
  • Under Option 2, waiver dates would be scheduled for October 8, November 2 and February 1

Both calendars have an August 20 school start date, with the last day of school slated for May 31. The two calendar options also include Friday, April 19, Good Friday, as a day off for teachers and students. Previously, this was a teacher waiver day. The last teacher prep day is slated for Monday, June 3, 2019. Previous school calendars scheduled the prep day on a Saturday.

The survey to select an option for the 2018-2019 calendar is available online through January 31.

Based on survey responses, a recommendation for the 2018-2019 calendar will be presented to the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education for consideration at its next board meeting, Tuesday, February 13.

The FWISD Calendar Committee considered input from the District's Advisory Committee and Employee Relations Council on the proposed calendars. The District plans to build a two-year calendar for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years utilizing the flexibility of school minutes.

More than 6,500 students, parents and employees participated in an online survey to select calendar options for the 2016-2017 and the 2017-2018 school years. This was the first time the District invited calendar input from students, parents and teachers.


Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner calls our Whiz Quiz Championship a microcosm of Fort Worth ISD teamwork. Consequently, the matches inspired this video – his January message to teachers and staff.

In the video, Dr. Scribner focuses not only on teachers involved in the many facets of the Whiz Quiz semi-finals and finals, but also on teachers throughout the District whose extra help prepares students to shine at contests, performances and other events.

And remember to watch the video to the very end!


Mikayla Wilson, a senior at Trimble Technical High School, is the winner of the Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award.

The award announcement, which includes a $30,000 college scholarship, was made at the 32nd annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Luncheon Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at the Fort Worth Club.

Mikayla will be recognized at the 41st annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner, along with the National Quarterback Award winner and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield from the University of Oklahoma.

She becomes the first student from Trimble Tech High School to receive the honor and the sixth student from FWISD to earn the recognition in the award’s 32-year history, according to officials with the Davey O’Brien Foundation.

“We are excited to announce that Mikayla Wilson has been selected as this year’s Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship winner,” said David O’Brien Jr., chairman of the scholarship selection committee in a statement. “Mikayla is a truly impressive young woman, and we know she will continue the strong legacy established by all the previous recipients.

Trimble Tech Counselor My Jones nominated Mikayla for the scholarship. Mikayla was was interviewed and was chosen one of the five finalists from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Mikayla ranks No. 1 in her 361-student senior class with a 4.49 GPA on a 4.0 scale. She is the oldest of three girls of parents Michael and Zulema Wilson.

Since her freshman year, Mikayla has been part of the Bulldog Varsity Softball team, and in 2017 picked up two all-district honors.

She is an audio/visual production student at Trimble Tech who has published videos online, including short films and a PSA on texting and driving.

Mikayla has aspirations to major in astronomy and astrophysics and one day work as a research scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Since 1986, the Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship has recognized extraordinary high school seniors and student athletes in the North Texas area. Annually, the award winner receives a $30,000 scholarship, and the four finalists each receive a $2,500 scholarship. Since the inception of the Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship, nearly $600,000 in scholarships have been awarded through the Davey O’Brien Foundation.

Click here to learn more about Mikayla and the Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship .

View photos from the awards luncheon here.

Baldwin Brown Talks with Fort Worth Business Press about I.M. Terrell Rebirth, Future

In just seven months, the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA will open for its inaugural year.

Recently, Principal Baldwin Brown was featured in a question-and-answer piece with the Fort Worth Business Press about the rebirth of the historic campus. He also shared his plans and excitement for leading the new school.

"Our goal is to bring in first-class instructors so that they can share their knowledge and real-world expertise with our students," Mr. Brown told the Fort Worth Business Press. "Our instructors will have the flexibility to develop their own curriculum so that it is relevant to students' need and up to date with what the industry is looking for in the workplace."

Learn more about the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA here.

Mouton Aids Westcliff ES Second-Graders

Marion Mouton, a FWISD elementary schools leadership executive director, came to the rescue of second-graders stranded at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo this week.

Approximately 90 students, from Westcliff Elementary School, were on a field trip, but because of all the buses required to take children home, the earliest a driver could return to the Stockshow was 6 p.m.

Upon learning of the dilemma from Principal Sara Gillaspie, Dr. Mouton jumped to action and hopped on a bus to pick up the students and transport them safely back to school earlier.

Dr. Mouton, who once had his child left on a school field trip, said he understands what it's like when students have to wait and he wanted to ease the concerns of the students and their parents.

"It just had to get done. My biggest concern was the students that had to sit out there until 6 p.m.," he said. "That was the biggest thing just making sure those students got home, bottom line."

Dr. Mouton is a former truck driver who received his certified driver's license about 30 years ago and has maintained it since.


During the regularly scheduled Fort Worth ISD Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 trustees approved two campus principal appointments.

Vernal Elliott is the interim principal at Glencrest 6th Grade Center. She replaces Angele Hodges who is leaving the District.

Karelyn A. Foley will be the new principal at Luella Merrett Elementary School. She is currently the assistant principal at Luella Merrett and will replace Anitra Perry who is retiring after 27 years of service.

FWISD Dedicates to Educator Success

The Fort Worth Independent School District is dedicated to ensuring new teachers become success stories.

To address teacher turnover the District adopted a program with intensive and targeted support -- including a New Teachers' Academy-- coaching and mentoring for new teachers and individualized professional learning.

Teacher turnover costs Texas an estimated $329 million annually and sometimes upwards of $2.1 billion a year, according to officials with the Professional Learning and Innovation Department. Fort Worth ISD's efforts supporting new teachers is resulting in an 87 percent retention rate.

In this video, Cara Earnest talks about the support she's received as a new teacher.

"If you have the right personality, and you're in it for the right reasons, you can impact not just the students, but the generations to come after that," she said. "That's what's most important, and then you'll just be able to get the help and support you need along the way."

Ms. Earnest, a mother of two boys, joined FWISD midyear as an English, Pre-Advanced Placement teacher at South Hills High School. She's living out a dream to become an educator who helps students become better informed about their options following high school graduation. Previously, she worked as an admissions counselor at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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:

I heard on NPR that all of the new formulas will need to be adjusted under the new tax plan. How will that affect us? What do we need to know or what should we expect?


Dear Erica,

Thank you for your question. I’d be glad to offer an explanation that I hope you find helpful.

While there are many changes in the law that will affect each individual based upon their personal circumstances, the withholding amounts are the only changes employees will see through the Fort Worth ISD payroll. Other changes include, but are not limited to, changes in standard deduction amounts, personal exemptions, child tax credit, education provisions, and itemized deductions. Fort Worth ISD encourages you to consult with your personal financial adviser regarding all changes in the tax law.

Every employee completes a Form W-4 upon employment. Employees may review and update their personal Form W-4 as their personal circumstances change (i.e. financial status, adding or subtracting dependents, marriage, divorce, etc.). This form is used to compute the income tax that is taken from the employee’s check in conjunction with the annual withholding tax tables. It is not necessary to complete a new Form W-4 each year, but it is a good idea for every employee to review their Form W-4 annually. Although it is not complete, the IRS stated that they are in the process of revising the Form W-4 to more accurately reflect the new laws and determine if withholding adjustments are needed. By the end of February, the IRS hopes to release a revised withholding tax calculator to assist employees who wish to update their withholding.

Fort Worth ISD employees will not see any differences in the tax tables until the payroll checks are issued in February 2018. The new tax tables were released last week, however, it was too late to implement the changes for the January 2018 payroll checks. For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions Page on the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-withholding-tables-frequently-asked-questions

Thanks again,


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.

Discover the FWISD Learning Model

Join Khechara Bradford, FWISD assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, for a series of one-hour conversations about the District's Learning Model and goals for engaging students in all classes.

The model, developed with assistance of community members, is created for all students from prekindergarten to the 12th grade level.

According to Ms. Bradford, the model has three key components:

  • Shared ownership;
  • Leadership;
  • Collaboration.

The model's overarching theme is "the idea of student engagement."

"Our learning model really defines for us what we think learning should look like in every classroom, across every grade level, for every student in Fort Worth ISD," Ms. Bradford shares in a video about the Learning Model.

The following are scheduled Learning Model sessions at the Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave., throughout the semester:

4 to 5 p.m.: Friday, February 2; Monday, February 5; Friday, February 16; Monday, March 5 and Friday, March 9

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

FWISD Is Hiring Campus Monitors, Custodians, Bus Drivers

Know someone is in need of a job?

The Fort Worth ISD is looking for hardworking, dedicated individuals to join the team as campus monitors, custodians and bus drivers.

In this video, two campus monitors explain why their job is important.

"You get to spend a lot of quality time with a lot of good students," said Kenneth Doubrava, a campus monitor at Arlington Heights High School. "This job is important because of the changing world we live in today. We need people around to watch these schools, to protect the kids."

Apply today and learn about other available FWISD job opportunities by visiting www.fwisd.org/careers.

Vital Link Seeks Certified Teachers

Spend the summer helping Fort Worth ISD students discover a future career and earn some extra money in the process.

If you're a certified FWISD teacher, the Vital Link Program, now in its 27th year, wants you to join its team this summer.

The program, which will operate June 11-15 and June 18-22, offers rising seventh-graders an opportunity like none other.

Students are connected with local businesses for half-day, weeklong unpaid summer internships where they see how what they're taught in the classroom is exercised in an actual workplace setting. The students are placed in law, banking, health care, municipal government, construction and college work spaces among many others.

Certified teachers accompany the students to the internships and supervise their work. They are responsible for assisting students in discovering how skills learned in school, including oral and written communication, reading, mathematics, technology, problem-solving and teamwork are beneficial in the workplace.

Vital Link teaching supervisors receive a $525 stipend each week of the program, a $21 stipend for the program's mandatory training and a $200 stipend for the time spent calling students prior to the Vital Link start date, June 11. The total compensation for teaching supervisors is $1,271.

Teaching supervisors are required to:

  • Plan the week with Vital Link host businesses/organizations before the internship;
  • Verify student attendance in their assigned groups;
  • Meet students at designated bus stops, escort them to the internship, supervise them and accompany them to their original pick-up site;
  • Facilitate the internship for students and host partners;
  • Assist students with their journal writing and making academic-workplace connections.

The FWISD Department of Community and Strategic Partnerships is accepting applications from prospective Vital Link teaching supervisors through March 23, 2018 here. Principals will be required to complete a recommendation form for potential teaching supervisors. Teachers selected to participate with Vital Link are required to attend a mandatory training this May prior to the program start date and will be required to work both weeks of the program.

For more details, contact Marsha Waters in the Community and Strategic Partnerships office at 817-814-2969 or marsha.waters@fwisd.org.


Thank you, Cowtown Fort Worth for providing free shoes to students at Daggett Montessori for the Cowtown Run. Students who signed up for the Cowtown shoe grant received a free pair of shoes.

Health Advisory

With widespread flu reported across the country, and a reported measles outbreak just southeast of Tarrant County, it's important to take preventative measures to stay healthy.

There are no reported measles cases in Tarrant County. Consult your health care provider for more information.

It's not too late to get a flu shot, according to health officials. The vaccine could reduce the number of people contracting flu and reduce symptoms for those diagnosed with the virus. Details for obtaining a flu shot in Tarrant County as well as tips for preventing flu are available on the Tarrant County Public Health website.

People experiencing symptoms are encouraged to see a physician or health care provider.

Share your Valentine's Day memories

Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away, and we want to know how do you celebrate this special day?

Do you have a sweet Valentine’s Day memory that you just can’t forget? Share your story with us, and photos if you have them, via email at Inside@fwisd.org. We will select a few submissions and feature them in our February 8 newsletter.

Transforming Family Involvement through Improved Communications, 5:30 to 8 pm Thursday, January 25 at the MLK Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Technology Conference, Saturday, January 27

Campus Teacher of the Year Award selection deadline, Wednesday, January 31

Professional Learning opportunities for the month of January

February is Black History Month

New Teacher Academy for Late Hires, Saturday, February 3

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo continues through Saturday, February 3

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

FWISD Second Annual Literacy Conference, Saturday, February 24, Southwest High School

The Cowtown, Saturday, February 24- Sunday, February 25, 2018

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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