Inside FWISD June 7, 2018

Graduates Celebrate, Reflect in Superintendent’s June Message

“What I want to take from YMLA and what I want my brothers to take from YMLA is a strong work ethic,” said Kirk Preston II, valedictorian of his senior class at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy. The Fort Worth ISD Class of 2018 is taking that and more, as you will see in Superintendent Kent Scribner’s June message.

“Our students earned more than $90 million in merit scholarships and grant offers,” said Dr. Scribner. “This is a major accomplishment, especially compared to just three years ago when the total was $36 million.”

Watch Dr. Scribner’s message and be equally impressed by the gratitude our students show for their teachers and, above all, their families.

Sign Up Today For Educational technology summer courses

Fort Worth ISD’s Educational Technology Department is hosting courses throughout the summer focusing on digital integration, how it enhances student engagement and how it prepares students for the next generation.

The hands-on professional development opportunities got underway Wednesday, June 6 and include: “Google’s Anatomy,” a two-day course focusing on Google suite applications and the Chrome operating system, and “What Would Common Sense Media Do?,” an interactive course on tools and resources for guiding students to becoming good digital citizens.

Educators who complete the two courses are eligible for their own classroom Chromebook.

Courses are filling up quickly, so register today at Eduphoria.

Apply to become a 2018-2019 Chair for Teaching Excellence: Applications Due June 29

Are you interested in applying to become a Fort Worth ISD Chair for Teaching Excellence honoree but are not quite clear on what it is or where to start?

No worries. We've got you covered with this helpful FAQ (frequently asked questions) prepared by the Department of Community and Strategic Partnerships.

What is a Chair for Teaching Excellence?

The Chairs for Teaching Excellence is a prestigious FWISD awards program that recognizes outstanding classroom teachers by conferring upon them the honorary titles of Chairs for Teaching Excellence for one year and a $5,000 honorarium.

What Chair can I apply for?

There are 14 Teaching Chairs open to receive applications:

  • Acquisition of Language
  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary Reading
  • Humanities
  • Secondary Math
  • Middle School STEM
  • High School STEM
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Elementary Math and/or Science
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Secondary English
  • Secondary Science
  • Special Education
  • Visual Arts

What are the requirements?

A nominee must:

  • Be a full-time, certified, and highly-qualified FWISD teacher in good standing.
  • Have completed a minimum of three years teaching in FWISD with a minimum total of five years experience, and currently be a classroom teacher.
  • Be employed by FWISD during the entire school year served as the Chair.
  • Complete and submit the online application by the published deadline – no exceptions.
  • If selected for an interview, nominees must be prepared to be recorded teaching a lesson.
  • Have never been named for any previous Chair for Teaching Excellence.

Details regarding the requirements for each Chair can be found on our website.

What is the selection process?

A committee of community members will determine the finalists for each Chair. Finalists will then:

  • Participate in an in-person interview in the early fall
  • Be recorded giving a 20-minute mini-lesson in their classroom in the early fall

The selection committee chooses the Chair based upon the application, recommendations, interview and video recording of the 20-minute mini-lesson.

What is the reward?

  • A $5,000 honorarium
  • Honored at the awards luncheon in November
  • Confer the honorary title of Chair for Teaching Excellence in your discipline for one year
  • Teachers selected as Chairs are encouraged to pursue further education and training and share knowledge and expertise with colleagues.

What is the deadline?

  • All applications must be submitted through the online application form by 5 p.m., Friday, June 29.

Further Information:

-Eligibility Guidelines


-Principal Recommendation

-Colleague Recommendation

Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

Please contact Danielle Stenger at danielle.stenger@fwisd.org or 817-814-2977.

Please consider applying for this year’s 2018-2019 Chairs for Teaching Excellence! We look forward to reviewing your applications.


On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved Dr. Raul Peña for the position of Chief of Elementary Education. Dr. Peña succeeds Karen Molinar who will soon assume new responsibilities as the Chief of Policy and Planning.

Additionally, the Board approved SaJade Miller as the new Assistant Superintendent of Innovation. Mr. Miller has served as the principal at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School for the last three years.

Dr. Peña brings 18 years of educational experience to the Fort Worth ISD including time spent in Lewisville and Irving schools. For the last six years, Dr. Peña has led dynamic work in the Dallas ISD’s School Leadership division.

“Dr. Peña has a rich and varied background in public education,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “He has a proven track record of accelerating instruction for diverse student populations, and we are fortunate that he will be helping lead the way for the success of our younger students.”

The assistant superintendent of Innovation is a newly-created role that is funded by the Texas Education Agency. Mr. Miller has been in education for 12 years. Under his leadership, a Collegiate Academy was established at Dunbar High in collaboration with Texas Wesleyan University, allowing students to earn up to 60 college credit hours at no cost. In his new position he will be guiding and supporting the TEA transformation zone grant across the District.

“Mr. Miller will bring the same passion and leadership he has brought to Dunbar High School to our collaborative work with the TEA,” said Dr. Scribner. “He will be working with the TEA’s System of Great Schools and, most importantly, he will be leading the establishment of a school performance framework.”

FWISD Graduation Ceremonies Capture Inspirational, Feel-Good Moments

A simple request allowed a father more than 1,000 miles away to see his son up close on graduation day.

More than an hour and a half into a Facebook Live broadcast of the South Hills High School graduation ceremony, a comment appeared that read: “If there is any chance to view Juan Escobedo … his dad is watching from Guadalajara, Mexico. God bless you for making this possible for all the people who can’t be here.”

With a few details on where the graduating senior was seated, Social Media Coordinator Kiana King, who was filming the live broadcast, made her way to Juan.

“[Where] is Juan Escobedo,” she asks a row of students. “Your dad says hi from Mexico.”

Stunned, Juan smiles and waves hello to the camera and to his father watching on the other end.

It was just one of many special, feel-good moments captured at graduation ceremonies throughout Fort Worth ISD recently.

An estimated 4,600 students are receiving diplomas from Fort Worth ISD’s more than 20 high schools and alternative schools. The District’s graduating Class of 2018 has amassed more than $92 million in scholarship and grant offers.

FWISD hosted a majority of its 2018 graduation ceremonies, Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3. The Class of 2018 was a significant one for two District schools – Benbrook Middle-High School and Young Men’s Leadership Academy, who conferred diplomas to their very first graduates.

Graduation season will come to a close with the Jo Kelly School commencement exercise, slated for 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 in the school gymnasium.

Live Facebook broadcasts of five FWISD high school graduations garnered nearly 17,000 views.

Miss King, who filmed the five broadcasts, said it was eye-opening capturing milestones that some students’ loved ones were not physically able to witness.

“It was really beautiful that we were able to provide that important moment to parents no matter the distance or time,” Miss King said. “It was just really powerful for me at least.

“It really put everything in perspective for me about the work we’re doing.”

Also captured in broadcasts were moments of inspiration.

Kirk P. Preston II in his valedictory speech from the YMLA graduation quoted business titan Elon Musk: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

The odds were stacked against the inaugural 41-member graduating class at YMLA, Kirk said. Yet, they finished with a 100 percent passing rate and 100 percent of seniors receiving college acceptance letters. The seniors also traveled the world, visited various states, were a part of YMLA becoming a winner of the 2018 America’s Best Urban School Award and this year’s graduating class surpassing $8 million in scholarship offers, Kirk said.

“The odds were not in our favor … but we did [it],” he said. “Let’s continue in this spirit, taking the odds that were against [us] and continue to beat them. Pay no mind to the naysayers.”

Archived footage of the graduation ceremonies broadcast live are available on Facebook. For more stories about FWISD’s Class of 2018 and photos from each graduation ceremony, visit www.fwisd.org/graduation.

In this week's Fort Worth ISD Snapshot, we share images from each FWISD graduation so far.

Arlington heights

benbrook middle-high

Boulevard heights


diamond hill-jarvis


eastern hills

marine creek COLLEGIATE


north side

o.d. wyatt

R.L. paschal


south hills




transition center

trimble tech

western hills



congratulations, class of 2018!

View hundreds of photos from the Class of 2018 at www.fwisd.org/graduation.

Music, Food, and Speeches Highlight 2018 Retiree Event

The District recognized retiring employees with lively music and delicious student-prepared hors d’oeuvres at a reception on May 31. About 80 honorees attended the late-afternoon gathering at the North Side High School Culinary Arts Facility.

In all, more than 250 employees will retire this year from the District.

Dr. Ann Sutherland, Board of Education Second Vice President, and Superintendent Kent P. Scribner gave remarks and expressed the gratitude of the District for many years of service. Some in attendance have served Fort Worth ISD for more than 40 years.

Northside Mariachi Espuelas de Plata, under the direction of Ramon Nino and Corina Cantu, provided a pre-event concert, and Gold Seal Culinary Arts students from North Side High School made an array of light fare.

You can view images from the reception here.

And, you can see a complete list of the 2018 retirees here.

Four-Day Workweek Underway

The Fort Worth ISD is operating on a four-day workweek schedule for most of its employees throughout the summer months.

Four-day workweeks are currently underway, and employees will observe their first Friday off this week. The four-day workweek continues through Friday, August 3.

Standard work schedules resume Monday, August 6, 2018. Employees, not on a 240-day workweek, are scheduled to return the week of July 23 and work their normal days and hours.

There’s one exception to the four-day workweek. The week of Independence Day, employees will be off Wednesday and Thursday, July 4 and 5, but must work Monday, Tuesday, and Friday of that week.

Throughout the summer, operating hours from administrative offices are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Operating hours for the University Grill in the Administration Building are also modified for summer. Breakfast will be served from 6:30 a.m. to 9: 30 a.m., and lunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through the week of Monday, July 2. University Grill is closed July 9-27 and reopens, Monday, July 30.

Employees will report to work from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with a 30-minute lunch each day. If an hour lunch is desired, the employee’s workday will be extended by a half-hour. Each department manager/principal will determine the schedule.

Some pay dates for semi-monthly and monthly employees will fall one day earlier during this period (please see below). Employees are encouraged to review their checks via ESS before or on payday since all administrative offices will be closed on Fridays.

Original Pay Dates: Friday, June 15 and June 29 (Semi-Monthly); Friday, July 13 (Semi-Monthly) and Friday, July 27 (Monthly)

New Pay Dates: Thursday, June 14 and June 28 (Semi-Monthly); Thursday, July 12 (Semi-Monthly) and Thursday, July 26 (Monthly)

During the summer schedule, each absence reported (half-days or whole-days) will be multiplied by 1.25 and charged against employee absence balances as shown in the following chart:

Questions regarding absences or pay dates should be directed to the Payroll Department at 817-814-2180. Questions regarding the implementation of the four-day workweek should be directed to the Policy and Planning Department at 817-814-1950.


All Fort Worth ISD employees are required to complete 10 SafeSchools online courses for the 2018-2019 school year.

Employees have through Wednesday, October 31, to complete the mandatory courses. New hires must complete the courses within two months of their hire date.

The SafeSchools courses for the upcoming school year include:

  • Bullying Response and Recognition
  • Youth Suicide: Awareness and Prevention
  • Blood borne Pathogens
  • Child Abuse Mandatory Texas Course
  • CIPA: Compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act
  • Work Place Injury Prevention
  • Teen Dating Violence and Prevention
  • Sexual Harassment Student
  • Health Emergencies: Overview

Employees will be required to use their active directory and password to access the system. Google Chrome is the preferred browser for using SafeSchools.

This is the third year the District has successfully used SafeSchools for compliance training. Users will notice a new user interface with the ability to take additional training. There are 242 Courses in the SafeSchools Training Catalog with categories such as social and behavioral, special education, security, health and environmental protection. Employees can take any additional course of their choice for their own professional learning.

Contact the Help Desk at 817-814-4357 if you encounter any problems with your active directory or password.

For more details on the courses, contact Aracely Chavez, executive director of classified learning, at Aracely.chavez@fwisd.org or visit the Classified Learning webpage at www.fwisd.org/Page/2807.


Fort Worth ISD is offering free breakfasts and lunches to children 18 years of age or under through June 27, 2018, Mondays-Thursdays. The program is open to all children who wish to receive a free meal and does not require enrollment in any summer program.

The free meals are available at multiple sites throughout the District.

Serving dates and times for each campus may vary. For more information please visit www.summerfood.org or call the FWISD Child Nutrition Department at 817-814-3540 or 817-814-3500.


Thank you, Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, Byrne Construction Services and Fort Worth Nissan.

Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM and Byrne Construction Services partnered with Trimble Tech to present a student with the keys to a 2016 White Jeep Compass as a special attendance incentive award..

Fort Worth Nissan presented one Benbrook Middle-High School student and one student at Western Hills High School with a brand new car as part of its Strive to Drive program, also an attendance incentive program.

Welcome to FWISD

Congratulations to the newest employees of Fort Worth ISD, hired at today's Hiring Fair at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Welcome to the FWISD Family!

Teachers, please share this information with your students about the Summer Reading Incentive

2018 Graduation, Continues through Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ELITE (Excellent Literacy Instruction to Empower) Summer Institute, Session 1 is June 4-21, and Session 2 is July 9-25

Ram Readers Summer Reading Clinic for K-5 Students, Session 1 is June 4-21, and Session 2 is July 9-25

Educational Technology summer Professional Development classes

FWISD Summer Semester 2018

Early Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities

Secondary Literacy Professional Learning Opportunities, Register in Eduphoria

FWISD Summer Food Program, Wednesday, June 6-Wednesday, June 27

FWISD Board of Education regular meeting, Tuesday, June 12

College Application Bootcamp, Wednesday and Thursday, June 13 and 14

Professional Learning Opportunities for Sixth-Grade Literacy, Social Studies and Music Teachers and Campus Librarians

Elementary Math Summer Learning Opportunities

Fort Worth ISD’s 2018 Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence application deadline, Friday, June 29

AAIL Summer Academy, Monday, July 23-Thursday, July 26

The Advanced, Accelerated and Innovative Learning Department will be hosting its annual summer academy and renewal opportunities for gifted and talented certification July 23-26, 2018. The event will be held at the Applied learning Academy on Camp Bowie, and participants may register on Eduphoria.

Visit the Inside FWISD blog on Mondays for a look at The Week Ahead.

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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