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Inside FWISD August 12, 2021

In this edition:

Revised FWISD COVID Safety Protocols Are Announced | FWISD Board Of Education Calls For $1.490 Billion Bond Issue: Proposal Will Not Result in a Property Tax Rate Increase | Superintendent And Trustees Welcome FWISD Teachers And All Employees Back To School: Video Message Includes Two Young Students with Their Own Tips for Teachers! | Sink Your Teeth Into Aramark’s Food Offerings at FWISD Schools This Fall Classified Learning Announces Programming UpdatesView more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

Revised FWISD COVID Safety Protocols Are Announced

Update Posted at 4 p.m. Friday, August 13, 2021

Editor's Note: The Fort Worth ISD issued the following statement at the conclusion of a hearing in the 141st District Court in Fort Worth on Friday, August 13, 2021. 

We believe Tuesday’s announcement regarding masks for students, employees, and visitors to our campuses was the right thing to do.

However, we will certainly honor today’s court order blocking the mask requirement.

Nevertheless, FWISD strongly recommends that all students, parents, employees and visitors, please, consider the importance of wearing a face mask while we are still in the midst of the pandemic and COVID cases remain high.

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During the August 10, 2021 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner announced that a mask mandate for all students, employees and visitors is in place effective immediately for all indoor instruction and activities.

The Fort Worth ISD is scheduled to reopen to 100% in-person instruction on Monday, August 16. As per the superintendent’s instructions, all employees, students and visitors to campuses and District facilities will be required to wear face masks indoors. Masks will also be mandated at all District-related indoor activities and on all school buses.

The District will continually monitor the impact of this protocol and will revisit the requirement to wear masks as appropriate.

Additionally, Fort Worth ISD will perform contact tracing and notification of COVID cases as appropriate. This is beyond the Texas Education Agency requirements.

The District will also continue to recommend that all eligible persons receive COVID vaccinations. Social distancing (as much as possible), hand hygiene, and cleaning of facilities are also being stressed throughout the Fort Worth ISD.

View the District’s updated 14-page Safe Return and Continuity of Services Plan for additional details on how the District intends to ensure campuses are as safe as possible for students and staff.

In other Board action on August 10, trustees:

  • Adopted a resolution granting eligible District employees with a one-time stipend this December. Look for additional details about the stipends on the Inside FWISD blog and in next week’s newsletter
  • Authorized the continuation of paid COVID-19 leave for eligible employees who are unable to work due to their own illness with the virus or the need to quarantine after having direct exposure with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Effective August 16- December 31, 2021, employees will receive up to 80 hours paid leave. Trustees will evaluate the need for the continuation of the leave into spring semester at a later date
  • Adopted a resolution, effective August 16-December 31, 2021, that authorizes Superintendent Kent Scribner purchasing authority at $1 million to address emergency expenditures. “The authorization does not absolve the Superintendent from following all procurement requirements for purchases over $50,000,” according to Board documents. “The Board finds that it is in the interest of the District to delegate to the Superintendent of Schools the authority to make any single purchase for goods or services in an amount not to exceed [$1 million] in anticipation of, and preparation for any declared emergency,” the resolution states.

The next Board of Education meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 24, at its new meeting location, the District’s Professional Development Center (PDC), at 3150 McCart Ave., in Fort Worth.

FWISD Board of Education Calls For $1.490 Billion Bond Issue

Proposal Will Not Result in a Property Tax Rate Increase

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved a resolution on Tuesday, August 10 calling for a bond election of $1,490,400,000. The election will be held November 2, 2021, and will not result in a property tax rate increase. The proposal will, among other things, address renovations at the District’s middle schools and a new elementary school in Benbrook.

Specifically, voters will consider four propositions:

  • Proposition A would provide $1,211,000,000 for the construction, renovation, acquisition, and equipment of school buildings in the District. This includes upgrades to middle schools as well as the construction of a new elementary school.
  • Proposition B allocates $98,300,000 for the construction, acquisition and equipment of existing Fine Arts facilities. This includes upgrades to auditoriums.
  • Proposition C would provide $104,900,000 for the construction, acquisition and equipment of stadiums in the District.
  • Proposition D would provide $76,200,000 for the construction, renovation and equipment of recreational facilities in the District. This includes the replacement of turf at existing athletic stadiums.

The last major bond election in the Fort Worth ISD was in 2017 for $750 million and was passed by voters with a more than 70% approval rating.

The District leadership will undertake an educational campaign explaining to voters how and why this newest bond proposal is needed and supports the District mission of ensuring the success of all students in college, career, community and military leadership.

Superintendent and Trustees Welcome FWISD Teachers and all Employees Back to School

Video Message Includes Two Young Students with Their Own Tips for Teachers!

Editor's Note: The "Welcome Back" video message was produced prior to Tuesday's announcement that the District will require masks for all students, employees and visitors for all indoor instruction and activities.

One week before the first day of school, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and the Board of Education sent a celebratory and inspiring “Welcome Back” video message to teachers, principals and all employees gathered on their campuses.

Watch the video here – and keep watching to the very end for a big smile.

The 2021-2022 school year starts all in-person Monday, August 16. This week, every campus in the District is humming with activity in preparation for the return of students and all in-person learning.

Sink Your Teeth Into Aramark’s Food Offerings at FWISD Schools This Fall

Aramark, Fort Worth ISD’s Food Service Management provider, is cooking up some fresh menu options for students and staff in school cafeterias this 2021-22 academic year.

Kick off the new academic year with prepared from scratch lunch offerings, tasty and healthy grab-and-go food options. The first week, students and staff can look forward to lunch items including chicken penne pasta with tomato alfredo sauce and beef enchiladas with rice, a regionally inspired dish. The breakfast menu includes a bacon, egg, and cheese flatbread sandwich with fresh cantaloupe. Find school menus and more first-day information at www.fwisd.org/backtoschool.

Aramark chefs and dietitians have created a series of limited time offer (LTO) menu items featuring globally inspired flavors from Italian, Indian, East Asian and Thai cuisines that will debut at all FWISD schools starting this September. September’s featured dish is a meatball pomodoro bowl. Upcoming featured dishes include a chicken tikka masala bowl featuring an Indian flavor profile and spices, and the lo mein edamame tofu bowl, an East-Asian inspired vegetarian dish. A new LTO will be introduced each month of the school year and will be available for that month only.

All Fort Worth ISD students are eligible for free meals the entire 21-22 academic year.

Here’s just a few more Aramark offerings FWISD students and staff can look forward to this school year:

  • Fresh produce including daily options such as watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber and celery sticks
  • Special events throughout the school year celebrating national food days and seasonal flavors
  • Aramark’s Feed Your Soul 365 program offers families delicious recipes, nutrition news and health insights to support wellness at school and home
  • Elementary students can expect new adventures with the Aramark mascot, Ace, promoting healthy habits, nutrition and exercise
  • Look for new a la carte snacks and beverages with big flavors including Crunch and Crave Churro flavored crackers; Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Limón Cheese Flavored Snacks; Munchies Flamin’ Hot and Sweet flavored snack mix; Gatorade and IZZE Sparkling Juice options for an additional charge

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education unanimously approved the District’s one-year partnership with Aramark for child nutrition services for the 21-22 school year in the spring.

For more than 60 years, Aramark has managed and operated food service programs globally, with operations currently in 19 countries. It serves multiple school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex including Lewisville, Crowley, McKinney, Prosper, Northwest and DeSoto.

Classified Learning Announces Programming Updates

As the Classified Learning Department works to finalize online SafeSchools courses for the 2021-22 school year, Fort Worth ISD employees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with how to access the classes once they go live.

An email notification will be sent to District employees when the 2021-2022 courses become active. District staff is encouraged to follow the link in the email notification sent to their inbox or visit the My FWISD Portal to access SafeSchools. To log on to SafeSchools, employees will be required to use their active directory and password to access the system. Google Chrome is the preferred browser for using SafeSchools.

Online SafeSchools courses are state and federal mandatory compliance training each District employee must complete annually. Courses generally cover topics including Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Prevention, Password Security, FERPA, identifying warning signs of child abuse, bullying, sexual harassment, youth suicide and much more.

Make Campus Employee Handbooks Accessible Through Safe Schools

Campus principals, did you know you could upload your school handbook to SafeSchools for your staff to view electronically?

Aracely Chavez, Classified Learning executive director, said that uploading a PDF of your school handbook to SafeSchools for campus staff viewing saves trees and printing costs. Join other District campuses like Paschal High School and Daggett Elementary who’ve previously adopted this process.

Campus leadership interested in uploading their school handbooks to SafeSchools is encouraged to submit a request via this online form.

LinkedIn Learning

Classified Learning is making LinkedIn Learning licenses available to District employees on a first come, first serve basis.

LinkedIn Learning offers more than 15,000 online video courses from industry experts in business, technology and creative fields. Employees will have access to LinkedIn Learning 24/7 via desktop and mobile devices and opportunities to learn on their own at their personal pace. When activating the accounts, District staff will have the option to link it with their LinkedIn profiles, which identifies learning trends to help employees stay ahead of the curve and also offers course recommendations based on a staffer’s job or skillset.

District employees are encouraged to submit a request for the license via this online form.

For additional details on Classified Learning programming and services, contact Ms. Chavez at Aracely.chavez@fwisd.org.

Share your story ideas, successes, calendar items, photos, questions and feedback with us at Inside@FWISD.org. Content submissions are due no later than 10 a.m. Fridays for the next edition. Check the Inside FWISD blog, www.fwisd.org/insidefwisd, regularly updated throughout the week with additional content and features.