Inside FWISD August 8, 2019

In this edition:

Inspiring Panel Set for FWISD Convocation 2019 | FWISD Kicks Off Tax-Free Weekend With Back to School Event | FWISD’s New Back-to-School Commercials Are on TV! | Students, Teachers, and Staff Treated to Taste-Test of New School Cafeteria Concepts | Ask Elsie | FWISD Releases 2019-2020 Bulletin No. 1 Update | FWISD Monthly Policy Alert | 2019-2020 Benefits Open Enrollment Information | Success HS Educator Named Outstanding Humanities Teacher | Summer Scholars Collaborative: Elite Institute Continues To Shine | Summer Scholars Collaborative: Putting Out a Different Kind of Fire | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | How Are You Spending Your Summer Vacation? | We Can Help: A Stress-Free Back-To-School Season | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

Inspiring Panel Set for FWISD Convocation 2019

What: Fort Worth ISD Convocation 2019

When: Friday, August 16, 2019

Where: The virtual, pre-taped event will be made available to all Fort Worth ISD campuses so that it can be shared on Friday, August 16 –details will follow

Who: Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and Board President Jacinto Ramos Jr. and principals Myrna Blanchard of North Hi Mount Elementary School; Whitney Scott of Eastern Hills Elementary School; Jeff Bartolotta of Kirkpatrick Middle School; and Rodrigo Durbin of South Hills High School

Summary: Get motivated for the upcoming academic year with Fort Worth ISD Convocation 2019.

This “virtual” event will include District leaders and campus principals discussing a wide range of topics focused on preparing teachers and support staff for the 2019-2020 school year. The pre-recorded discussion is being made available to FWISD’s respective campuses to share with their staffs on Friday, August 16.

“Convocation is a celebration of the start of a new year. Again, this year, we don’t have to all be in the same room to celebrate our commitment to our vocation. In fact, we listened to you all and heard that it is more important to give you all the gift of time at your campuses as you prepare for the new school year," Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said.

Dr. Scribner and Board President Jacinto Ramos Jr. will host a panel discussion with principals Myrna Blanchard of North Hi Mount Elementary School; Whitney Scott of Eastern Hills Elementary School; Jeff Bartolotta of Kirkpatrick Middle School; and Rodrigo Durbin of South Hills High School.

About the panelists:

Ms. Blanchard joined the District four years ago

Ms. Scott is a 12-year District veteran

Mr. Bartolotta is a 22-year FWISD veteran

Mr. Durbin is a 15-year employee of the District

Information about the stream be made available to FWISD campuses prior to August 16. The discussion will also be available on the District YouTube channel.

Board of Education President Jacinto Ramos, Jr. speaks with Univision, Thursday, August 1, about the District's upcoming Creando Una Amistad slated for August 9.

FWISD Kicks Off Tax-Free Weekend With Back to School Event

Texas will observe its 2019 sales tax holiday, August 9-11.

Join the Fort Worth ISD on the first day of tax-free weekend for its fifth Creando Una Amistad, a back-to-school event for families – with resources to help everyone get ready for the 2019-20 school year!

Meet Fort Worth ISD Board President Jacinto Ramos, Jr. and Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent from 5-7 p.m. Friday, August 9 at La Gran Plaza, for Creando Una Amistad or Creating a Friendship, FWISD’s commitment to listen to and talk directly with Spanish-speaking families as well as inform them about support and opportunities in the District. Parents will also be able to participate in a discussion with District leaders about the importance of welcoming environments for students and other issues.

Creando Una Amistad is being held in partnership with Univision and La Gran Plaza, 4200 South Freeway.

Join us for this fun, family-friendly event – including:

  • Online registration assistance
  • Back to school/book giveaways
  • Resources for families
  • Fashion Show
  • Student performances
  • Merchant coupons

During the annual tax-free holiday, clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks sold for less than $100 at Texas stores or from an online or catalog seller doing business in the state is tax-free. Texas has observed tax-free weekend since 1999.

“As Texas families begin the process of replacing their beach towels with lunch boxes, the sales tax holiday is the perfect opportunity to save some money on supplies families need before the school bell rings,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar in a recent media release about the upcoming holiday.

For a complete list of eligible tax-free items, click here.

Contact the Fort Worth ISD Family Communications Department at 817-814-2970 for more Creando Una Amistad details.

FWISD’s New Back-to-School Commercials Are on TV!

Have you seen them yet? Fort Worth ISD’s back-to-school TV commercials began airing this week on NBC5, Telemundo, and Univision. Watch the video now in English and Spanish.

The theme of the commercials is Rise and Shine on 8-1-9! We want to make sure students are in school on Monday, August 19, the first day of school.

Fort Worth ISD students are the stars of the commercials: Jordan Mendez (Arlington Heights High School), Kameron Sanders (Young Men’s Leadership Academy), Davis Raines (Benbrook Middle-High School), sister and brother Elena and Antonio Rodriguez (Stripling Middle School), and sister and brother Morgan and Jack Evans (North Hi Mount Elementary School).

The television commercials will run for two weeks, leading up to the first day of school on Monday, August 19. And, beginning, next week, 30-second radio commercials will begin airing on several local stations.

Help us spread the word: Rise and Shine on 8-1-9!

Students, Teachers, and Staff Treated to Taste-Test of New School Cafeteria Concepts

What: Taste-test of new food items presented by the Child Nutrition Services Department

When: Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

Where: Cafeteria of Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School, 1411 Maydell, Fort Worth

Summary: Just a few days before the start of the new school year, students, teachers and staff from Fort Worth ISD’s Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School will be treated to a sampling of the types of new food items they can expect in the cafeteria in the coming months.

In addition to traditional lunch fare such as hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and crispy chicken sandwiches, there will also be options such as beefy taco salad, spicy chorizo pizza, and pesto Italian wraps just to name a few of the new meal choices.

The District’s new food service provider, SodexoMAGIC, plans a wide-variety of innovative and nutritious “crowd pleasing” food concepts aimed at engaging and satisfying students and staff who patronize school cafeterias across the District on a daily basis.

The Fort Worth ISD operates 129 kitchens, employing well over 900 workers. Last school year the District served 5.4 million breakfast meals and 9.8 million lunch meals. Across the District 96 schools qualify for the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) which results in all students in those schools, regardless of financial background, being eligible for meals at no cost.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them. The following question has been edited for clarity.

Dear Elsie,

We have heard several times in the last board meeting presentations, that Business and Finance is working diligently to see which way HB3 will affect the raises for employees this coming fiscal year.

Would it be possible to let all employees know what their new salary amounts will be no later than August 15, 2019? This will allow employees to make informed decisions about benefits, as the open enrollment period will end on August 22.

Also, I was disappointed to see that the recommendation for a raise was only "a 2% at mid-point, or 2% whichever is greater". Yet for the last four years running, insurance costs have increased by 8-9% a year. It would be nice if the raises offered would at least off-set some of that cost.


Seeking information please

Dear Seeking information please,

Thank you for your question.

The Budget Department will present the HB3 "Compensation Allotment" to the Board of Education at its regularly called Board meeting on Tuesday, August 13th. If approved by the Board, information will be available to employees the next day.

The HB3 "Compensation Allotment" requires each District to budget dollars for compensation to be paid to full time teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians, with additional compensation to teachers with over 5 years of experience. It also provides the District to budget dollars to be paid to all other employees, except administrators. Therefore, all employees, except administrators, will receive an overall pay increase in 2019-2020 above the initial amount of 2% of mid-point or 2% whichever is greater. However, full time teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians will receive a greater increase than other employees as required by HB3.

Thank you again Seeking information please for your question.


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.

FWISD Releases 2019-2020 Bulletin No. 1 Update

The 2019-2020 “Bulletin No. 1: School Policies and Procedures” update is now available for viewing online.

The 127-page living document offers employees a comprehensive look at District policies, procedures and best practices, according to Superintendent Kent P. Scribner.

Among the topics covered are staff responsibilities prior to school opening, student attendance and records, entrance and health requirements, school hours, instructional details, emergency preparedness and much more.

Click here to view the document.

FWISD Monthly Policy Alert

The following content is from the Policy and Planning Department:

The FWISD Board Policy manual contains policies governing the operation of this District. Periodically the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) provides updates to various policies based on changes in the law and Texas Education Agency (TEA) requirements. Occasionally, revisions may be needed to meet the needs of the District as well.

As a courtesy and in an effort to keep employees informed, a policy alert will be provided monthly so that you may be aware of changes specific to our District. Each employee is still expected to be aware of and follow all policies of the District.

The District policy manual consists of four (4) different components:

  • LEGAL policies compile federal law, state law, and court decisions, providing the statutory context in which all other policies should be read; these cannot be changed by District administration or the Board
  • LOCAL policies reflect decisions made by the Fort Worth ISD board of trustees and are specific to our District
  • REGULATION documents are administrative procedures that implement board policies
  • EXHIBIT documents may contain forms, charts, and other kinds of supporting information

The following policies have been revised:

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Amanda Coleman, director/ elections officer in the Policy and Planning Department, at amanda.coleman@fwisd.org or 817-814-1956.

Dr. Yassmin Lee (left), executive director of talent acquisition and development in the human Capital Management Department, gets questions answered at a benefits open enrollment session, hosted Monday, August 6, at the Central Administration Building.

2019-2020 Benefits Open Enrollment Information

The following documents are from the Benefits office regarding the 2019-2020 Benefits Open Enrollment Period:

Success HS Educator Named Outstanding Humanities Teacher

Congratulations to Success High School teacher Karen Galley, recipient of the James F. Veninga Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.

Presented earlier this summer, the award named for Humanities Texas’ executive director emeritus, recognizes the top candidate for the organization’s Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Awards, which honors exemplary K-12 humanities teachers.

Award honorees receive a $5,000 cash award and $500 to support humanities-based instructional materials for their respective school.

Click here to learn more about Ms. Galley and the honor.

Summer Scholars Collaborative: ELITE Institute Continues To Shine

The following content is from Read Fort Worth:

Another year, another step in the right direction for the ELITE Institute at Texas Wesleyan University.

The second-year program from Fort Worth SPARC is a proud partner of Read Fort Worth’s Summer Scholars Collaborative. Over the course of the summer, 12 programs in the Collaborative operated at more than 60 sites around the city for more than 3,000 kids. Every program contained a purposeful literacy component designed to help prevent “summer slide,” the loss of literacy levels over the summer.

Read more here.

Summer Scholars Collaborative: Putting Out A Different Kind Of Fire

The following content is from Read Fort Worth:

Responding to crisis is in a firefighter’s DNA. Not every crisis is built the same.

There’s a critical need in Fort Worth – and around the country – in the space of early childhood literacy and preventing learning loss over the summer. Developing strategies and collecting data to create system change is an ongoing process that requires cross-sectional approach of community partners, school districts, government agencies and beyond.

And while those processes are well underway in Fort Worth, boots on the ground are just as important. At the Valley at Cobb Park apartments in the Morningside area of East Fort Worth, those boots happened to belong to the Fort Worth Fire Department.

Under the direction of Captain William T. Hackley from Community Risk Reduction department, the Fire Department launched a trail six-week program at Cobb Park, a low-income complex feeding primarily into Fort Worth ISD’s Edward J. Briscoe Elementary.

Read more here.

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

Tarrant County Back to School Roundup: The 15th annual Back to School Roundup, hosted today, is a one-stop event that offers approximately 10,000 underserved Tarrant County school-aged children, ages 3-18, free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts, health, dental and vision screenings, immunizations, health and social resources, activities and games. The roundup is a collaborative effort of the county, 20 area public school districts, the City of Fort Worth, public health department, state agencies, nonprofit organizations, corporations and volunteers.

Marching to the Beat: The Southwest High School Raider Marching Band prepares for the upcoming season with summer practice, Tuesday, August 6.

Fifth annual YES! Conference: Nearly 350 people registered for the annual one-day conference, which offers professional development training on payroll, budget, accounts payable, travel, health and physical education, maintenance and communications among other things. The YES! Conference is open to District secretary, clerical, and administrative associate employees and some counselors.

Secondary Leadership Kickoff: The kickoff event to the 2019-2020 academic year was hosted August 1 at Tarrant County College-South.

Elementary Leadership Kickoff: Approximately 200 principals, assistant principals and District leaders took part in the event, which focused on curriculum framework, Elementary Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction support.

The Accelerating Board Capacity (ABC) Institute at Harvard University: Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner, Board President Jacinto Ramos, Jr., and Trustees Ashley Paz, Norman Robbins, and Anael Luebanos traveled to Harvard Business School in Boston, July 28-31, to participate in a professional development program focused on strong and effective school board governance. The Accelerating Board Capacity (ABC) Institute has been custom-designed for the Council of the Great City Schools by a team of Harvard University faculty members. Fort Worth ISD is one of only 18 school districts across the nation that attended.

Tarrant County Commissioners Court Recognition: The Benbrook Middle-High School Baseball teams was recently recognized for its 2019 stellar season that included a 28-7-2 record, an appearance in the regional playoffs and the team becoming runner-up in Region 2 Class 4-A. According to the resolution recognizing the squad, the BMHS team has advanced to playoffs each of its three years of varsity play, and the program is ranked No. 8 in Texas Class 4-A baseball teams. The team was presented with a congratulatory resolution in commissioners court on July 30.

Dr. Dona S. Gower Memorial Teacher-Scholar Award: Leo Vaughns Jr., an English language arts teacher at Kirkpatrick Middle School, was recognized this summer as the Dr. Dona S. Gower Teacher-Scholar. The scholarship allows an educator to complete a second summer of study at the Teacher Academy at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

From July 8-26, Mr. Vaughns participated in the Sue Rose Summer Institute for Tragedy and Comedy. One participating educator is presented as the Dr. Dona S. Gower Teacher-Scholar, named for the former director of the academy "who believed in the transformative power of literature and the sacred nature of the teacher," according to Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture officials. "This year’s recipient of the Gower Teacher-Scholar award is Mr. Leo Vaughns, an extraordinary educator whose long-term commitment to the classroom and whose dedication to his own continued growth makes him an exemplar of spirit of the Cowan Center and the Teacher-Scholar," institute officials said in a statement.

91st Texas FFA State Convention: Arlington Heights High School rising senior Jimena Rodriguez earned the Lone Star Degree, the highest degree of membership awarded by the Texas FFA. Jimena, AHHS FFA chapter president and District VI FFA first vice president, was presented with the award at the 91st Texas FFA State Convention, July 17 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Linsey Shands, Philip Davenport and William Mitchell are the FFA advisers at Arlington Heights.

2019 Educators Rising National Conference: South Hills High School student Martha Wilson finished sixth in the Educators Rising Moment contest and seventh in Educators Rising Leadership, respectively, earlier this summer at the 2019 Educators Rising National Conference. For the Educators Rising Moment competition, Martha gave a speech on why she wants to become a teacher. Her volunteer work with special needs children was presented in the Educators Rising Leadership competition. More than 1,300 students and their advisers participated in the annual conference June 22-25 in Dallas.

Pictured from left is Martha Wilson with her TAFE adviser and teacher Victoria Jenson and Martha Wilson.


Rayna Glasser, a teacher at Dunbar High School, spent two weeks visiting Yellowstone National Park and loved ones in Helena, Montana. She said it was 75 degrees in the mountains.

Here's some photos her trip:

Let Inside FWISD know how you're spending your summer.

Throughout the summer break, don't forget to email us with photos of your travels, professional development activities and just simply how you're spending your vacation. We'd love to share some of those photos with your colleagues in future Inside FWISD editions throughout the summer.

We Can Help: A Stress-Free Back-to-School Season

The following information is from the District’s Employee Assistance Program provider, Alliance Work Partners:

Whether you’re actually going “back to school” or just anticipating the fall, you may feel a crunch during the change of season. If you tend to feel anxious during this time of year because of the upcoming holiday season, the shortened daylight hours, and your family's busy schedules, remind yourself that you don’t have to stress!

Your Employee Assistance Program is here to provide tips, tools and resources to help you settle back into your routine as well as take on new challenges.

And remember to follow these steps to help carry your carefree summer spirit into the upcoming fall season!

  • Plan Ahead. What is it that stresses you out about this time of year? Reflect on the stressors, then focus on preventing those ahead of time. Waiting until the last minute is sure to stress anyone out!
  • Share the Tasks. Look at all you have on your plate then consider where you can work with others or try new ways to do things.
  • Schedule in some SUN. Be sure to make time to enjoy the weather while it lasts! Stay active, eat well and sleep – these are key to keep your body feeling happy and healthy.
  • Find Some “Me” Time. Be sure to slow down and savor the moment. Practice “down-time”, remember to take deep breaths and really appreciate the moment you are in to help restore a sense of happiness and peace in your everyday life.

For more information, contact us at 800-343-3822 or visit www.awpnow.com/main/fwisd-eap-resource-room/.

FWISD is hiring nurses

FWISD is looking for Bilingual Teachers

FWISD is hiring bus drivers

Online Registration, Ongoing

Benefits Open Enrollment for employees, Ongoing through August 22

Gold Seal Late Application Window, Continues through September 6

Creando Una Amistad, August 9

Texas Tax-Free Weekend, August 9-11

Free Back to School physicals, August 12-24

Regular Board of Education meeting, August 13

FWISD CTE Professional Learning, August 13-14

Summer School Graduation, August 16

Convocation, August 16

First Day of School, August 19

Regular Board of Education meeting, August 27

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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