Inside FWISD May 14, 2020


The Fort Worth ISD is preparing to celebrate the Class of 2020 with virtual graduations on Saturday, June 20. The following week students may also choose to participate in outdoor ‘in-person’ celebrations, following recently-issued TEA guidelines for such ceremonies.

“After speaking last week with student leaders, we decided to add the option of an additional celebration,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “This second event will follow newly-released TEA directives and social distancing protocols for these outdoor celebrations.”

Almost 5,000 seniors are expected to participate in the online ceremonies; the outdoor events are voluntary and will have limited audience members.

The outdoor celebrations will also be contingent on public health conditions and will take place at either Farrington Field or Clark Stadium, the District’s two largest outdoor athletic venues from June 23-26. The District will follow CDC guidelines for social distancing.

Click here for the virtual graduation schedule and additional details.


Fort Worth — Fort Worth ISD joined forces with Dallas ISD and Univision this week to launch Unidos Para Aprender (Together to Learn), 58-minutes of daily instruction in Spanish for students in grades pre-K through five. The segment will air Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., on KSTR UniMas 49, Univision’s local sister station.

The three-way partnership seeks to support student academic progress by supplementing the at-home learning resources Fort Worth and Dallas ISDs are providing to Spanish-speaking families during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programming will feature instructional content created and hosted by teachers from both school districts. In addition to instruction designed for early childhood learners, the classes will include lessons in science, physical education, social studies, art, music, math, social and emotional learning.

“Every crisis brings an opportunity – to learn, to grow, and to work together in finding new ways of fulfilling our mission,” said Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Paredes Scribner. “We are so grateful to Univision for this opportunity to engage our Spanish-speaking students and families. We are also excited to work with our colleagues at Dallas ISD in producing this exciting work.”

“While there has been a need to stay apart for safety’s sake during COVID-19, the pandemic has also brought the community together,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “Individuals and the business community have reached out with an impressive level of generosity, and educators and students have felt that love and support. Thanks to Univision for helping us continue to serve our Spanish-speaking families. This partnership between Univision, Fort Worth ISD and Dallas ISD is proof that despite the pandemic, working together we can make a difference.”

Unidos Para Aprender will feature several students from each school district. The segment began airing Monday, May 11, and will air through the remaining of the school year.

Fort Worth ISD Board Approves Sale of Inefficient And Underused Properties

At the regularly scheduled Fort Worth ISD Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, trustees approved the first sales of surplus property identified after a year-and-a-half-long strategic study of inefficient and underused District facilities.

The three properties will net a total $11,514,180 and include:

  • The Fort Worth ISD Professional Development Center at 3150 McCart Avenue ($9,000,000)
  • 840 Cooks Lane ($750,000)
  • 3 acres at 168 Northwest Corner of Wichita Street and I-20 ($1,764,180)

“This is the initial phase of the sale of outdated, inefficient facilities that no longer serve the needs of our children or educators,” saidSuperintendent Kent P. Scribner. “Their sale can and will support a brighter future for public education in Fort Worth. Our goal is to do the right thing for both our students and our taxpayers.”

A fourth property sale was also approved by the Board. The Thomas Place Community Center, a District property operated by the City of Fort Worth, will be purchased by the City. It will continue to function as a community center. The District will realize an additional $1.4 million from that transaction.

Read more about the property sales here.

T-Mobile Donates Funds to FWISD Virtual Learning

A $20,000 donation from community partner T-Mobile will support Fort Worth ISD’s Learning At Home efforts. The funds fund online teaching and learning, devices, Internet connectivity for students and professional learning opportunities for teachers.

“School districts nationwide have had to completely reinvent the learning environment on the fly, without any time to prepare,” said Brigitta Witt, T-Mobile Vice President of Social Impact and Sustainability. “The Fort Worth Independent School District really stepped up to address the issue, putting curricula online and training all their teachers to instruct virtually. We’re proud that our T-Mobile teams in Fort Worth identified the opportunity to serve and had the means to quickly help make online learning a reality.”

Ashley Tyler, a T-Mobile regional marketing manager, worked with FWISD’s Department of Strategic Partnerships to assess District needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and time away from traditional teaching and learning.

The Fort Worth ISD is grateful for T-Mobile’s generosity and support.

YWLA Ranks Among Nation’s Best High Schools

Fort Worth ISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy is listed among the nation’s top high schools according to two national-ranking systems recently announced.

The U.S. News and World Report ranked the campus No. 82 in national rankings, No. 8 in Texas High Schools and No. 4 in the D-FW Metroplex. YWLA jumped in rank from No. 761 to No. 82 nationally and from No.100 to No. 8 in the state within the last year, Principal Tamara Albury said.

The Jay Mathews Challenge Index, which is noted on its website as the “oldest high school ranking system in the country, beginning in 1998 in both Newsweek and The Washington Post,” ranked YWLA No. 32 among the nation’s top high schools. In 2019, the school ranked No. 249 on the list.

The U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools rankings are based on an evaluation of high school student performance on state math and reading exams, test performance of minority and economically disadvantaged students, graduation rates and how well a school prepared its students for college based on performance on advanced academic exams in which students can earn college credit, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate.

The Jay Mathews Challenge Index “ranks high schools by a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. Schools ranked no. 220 or above are in the top 1 percent of America’s 22,000 high schools,” according to its website.

Food Distribution to Families at Four Mobile Pantry Sites this Saturday

The Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) is working with local partner organizations and Fort Worth ISD to provide boxes of food to families this Saturday, May 16 at four mobile pantry sites.

TAFB and its partner agencies will distribute 25-pound boxes of non-perishable food to families at the following mobile pantry sites:

Carroll Peak Elementary

1201 Jefferson Ave., Fort Worth, 76104

Food distribution - 9 am – 11 am

Riverside Middle School

1600 Bolton St., Fort Worth, 76111

Food distribution - 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Versia Williams Elementary

901 Baurline St., Fort Worth, 76111

Food distribution - 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary

600 S. Kentucky Ave., Fort Worth, 76104

Food distribution - 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Over the last seven weekends, TAFB has distributed 8,400, 25-pound non-perishable food boxes to families. 

Volunteers are with TAFB partner agencies and will take all necessary safety precautions and employ social distancing during food distribution.

Food boxes will be provided to families on a first come, first served basis. TAFB hopes to continue this effort with more food distribution mobile pantry sites on future Saturdays.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Inside FWISD Briefs are quick-hit stories of activities and events happening around the District.

Superintendent Discusses Plans for 2020-2021 Academic Year

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner and Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa discussed plans for the 2020-2021 academic year for the two districts, Monday on Good Morning Texas. View the discussion here.

NBC 5 Segment Features YWLA Senior Class

The senior class at Fort Worth ISD's Young Women's Leadership Academy was recently featured in NBC 5's Brag About Your Grad segment. View the segment here.

Magazine Article Features TABS Teacher, Students

Patrick Crawford, a World History (Dual Credit) teacher at FWISD's Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences (TABS) and two students were recently featured in a Tarrant County College Reach Magazine article about oral history. Read the article here.

Paschal HS Teacher Shares COVID-19 Story

Paschal High School choir director Nathan Benavides shares his story of becoming ill with coronavirus with the Texas Standard. Check out the story here.

Join The FWISD SPED Chat

Families with children in the special education program (SPED) are encouraged to join the FWISD SPED Chat during May on Thursdays evenings or on Fridays during lunchtime. The virtual chats will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursdays (May 7, 14 and 21) and noon on Fridays (May 8, 15 and 22). Learn more here.

Texas Wesleyan University Profile Features WJ Turner Elementary Teacher

Veronica Martinez, a special education resource teacher for WJ Turner Elementary School, was recently recognized by a Mover and Shaker by Texas Wesleyan University. Check out the profile on Ms. Martinez here.

FWISD’s 2020 College Fair Goes Virtual

The Fort Worth ISD Academic Advisement Department is encouraging FWISD middle and high school students to take online college tours to promote higher education and achievement the week of May 25. Learn more about the virtual tours here.

FWISD Distributes Thousands of Chromebooks Purchased by Board of Education

The Fort Worth ISD is completing the task of distributing thousands of Chromebooks acquired through an emergency purchase by the Board of Education last month.

The 3,160 Chromebooks, costing just over $1,194,000, were urgently needed to provide elementary school families with at least one device per household to support Learning at Home instruction. Read more here.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are recent photos from across the Fort Worth ISD of events and ways schools are connecting with families and the community during the District closure.

Board of Education meeting: The FWISD Board of Education met virtually for its regular board meeting Tuesday. Watch this week's meeting in this video.

Chromebook Distribution: Families recently picked up Chromebooks at Dolores Huerta and W.J. Turner elementary schools. Last month, the Board of Education approved an emergency purchase of 3,160 Chromebooks, costing just over $1,194,000, to provide elementary school families with at least one device per household to support Learning at Home instruction.

Principals Go Red: Rufino Mendoza Elementary Principal Jennifer Sanchez and Assistant Principal Tequita M. Porter-Azantilow recently dyed their hair red after the students at the school reached their goal of 85% or more being successful and active at online learning. The two administrators intend to take a pie to the face when students reach 90%, a water balloon attack at 95% and complete a Tik Tok dance challenge at 100%.


FWISD's J.P. Elder MS Serves As Free COVID-19 Testing Site

The Fort Worth ISD is partnering with Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. and the City of Fort Worth to offer a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on Fort Worth’s North Side.

Testing will be offered at Fort Worth ISD’s J.P. Elder Middle School from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each Tuesday through Saturday. People needing a test will use a virtual screening tool based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to see if they are eligible.

Click here for more details.

FWISD Partners With Virtual Care For Kids To Offer Students Telehealth Services

In efforts to reduce COVID-19 spread, the Fort Worth ISD has partnered with Virtual Care for Kids to offer students and their families telehealth services.

Students can see a Texas-based pediatrician within minutes from home virtually via computer, smartphone or tablet for urgent care services including minor colds, the flu, sore throat, cough, ear concerns, headaches, sinus or allergy issues or pink eye. Additionally, Virtual Care for Kids is offering coronavirus screening and testing in English and Spanish. Visit https://urgentcarekids.com/fwisd/ to register for services.

FWISD Racial Equity Committee News and Updates

Technology Assistance

LinkedIn Learning Resources

In light of the current public health crisis, so many have made the shift from company office to home office for the first time. Balancing meetings and emails while still making time for necessary breaks and taking care of your family can be challenging. Check out these quick tips from LinkedIn Learning to help make this adjustment a little easier to navigate:

Create a productive workspace (5 mins)

Keep work hours in balance (6 mins)

Plan meaningful breaks (5 mins)

Communication tools (3 mins)

Use virtual meetings productively (5 mins)

Building boundaries with loved ones (4 mins)

Manage interruptions and emergencies (5 mins)

Succeeding as a remote worker (3 mins)

Don’t forget to schedule some fun into your breaks!

Whether it's drawing, reading or something else, make sure you have breaks in your schedule.


Contact Aracely Chavez, executive director of Classified Learning, at aracely.chavez@fwisd.org.

More LinkedIn Learning Opportunities

Get access to online training in a variety of subjects with LinkedIn Learning!

Course examples:

  • Microsoft Teams Essential Training
  • Working Remotely
  • Learning to Teach Online
  • Teaching Techniques: Blended Learning
  • Managing Stress for Positive Change
  • Team Collaboration in G (Google) Suite
  • Time Management: Working From Home

and over 13,000 videos more...

A certificate of completion is given for each finished course.

Interested? Go to the link https://bit.ly/2K7c685 to request access to LinkedIn Learning. It may ask you to log in to active directory when clicking on the link.

A limited number of LinkedIn Learning licenses available; licenses will be given on a first come, first serve basis.

Questions? Email Classified Learning at aracely.chavez@fwisd.org

Take Care This Mental Health Awareness Month

In the spirit of helping you live your best life, especially during these trying times, we’ve rounded up some LinkedIn Learning courses that can help you prioritize your mental health:

Employee Assistance Program Resources for FWISD Employees

FinPath Offers FWISD Employees Tips For Managing Finances During Pandemic

FinPath, an employer-paid workplace benefit, is offering Fort Worth ISD employees financial wellness tips, coaching and resources for weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.finpath

Launched by the District last fall, FinPath offers employees tips for managing finances and much more. Recent webinars and courses offered by the service have included “Dealing with the Financial Shock of COVID-19” and “Breaking Down the CARES Act and What It Means To You.”

Not using FinPath yet? Click here to activate your account.

For more details on FinPath, visit the FWISD Employee Benefits Portal and click on the Financial Wellness tab.

Equity and Excellence, Restorative Practices Offer Social, Emotional Wellness Resources

Take care of your social and emotional wellness during this pandemic. Log onto the FWISD Restorative Practices Community Facebook page weekly for self-care lessons. Tune in Monday, Wednesday and Friday for live check-in sessions.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Tarrant Area Food Bank offers Grab and Go Dinners for Children

Fort Worth YMCA Grab & Go Meals- Schedule & Locations For Families Impacted By COVID-19

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following content is from the The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth is continuing to serve the growing needs of the community with free Grab & Go meals with updated service locations and times. Pick up times are Mondays and Wednesdays from 4pm – 6pm at the following locations.

  • Airport Area YMCA - 3524 Central Drive Bedford, TX 76021
  • Amon G. Carter, Jr. Downtown YMCA - 512 Lamar St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
  • Benbrook Community Center YMCA - 1899 Winscott Rd, Benbrook, TX 76126
  • Eastside YMCA - 1500 Sandy Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76112
  • Hood County YMCA - 1475 James Road, Granbury, TX 76049
  • Joshua Community YMCA - 1009 Joshua Station Blvd, Joshua, TX 76058
  • William M. McDonald YMCA - 2701 Moresby Street, Fort Worth, TX 76105
  • YMCA Sports Complex - 4320 Altamesa Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76133

Pick up times changed to support the City of Fort Worth requests to limit food distribution to only 3 days/week or less and to comply with “stay-at-home” recommendations on social distancing. It is important to note that families will still receive up to 5 days of food when they go to pick-up their Grab & Go Meals.

Mondays, families will be able to pick up meals for 2 days (Mon-Tue)

Wednesdays, families will be able to pick up meals for 3 days (Wed - Fri)

This change reducing the number of times people are asked to leave their homes and risk exposure, thus helping to support “flattening the curve.”

“By providing these meals to children who need them most, Fort Worth area Y’s are truly fulfilling their mission of healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. I’m proud of their continued community outreach despite their temporary facility closures.” Julie Wilson, Chair, Board of Directors at YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.

Meals are provided by local vendors including Purple Hearts, Inc. and Tarrant Area Food Bank and they come complete with protein, fruit or vegetable, snacks and more. Together with the support of community leaders, volunteers, staff and donors, the Y wants to ensure that every child is safe, healthy and fed.

“For over 130 years, the YMCA has served the ever-changing needs of our local community. Today is no different as we continue to find ways to support Fort Worth, Benbrook and surrounding counties by partnering with local organizations to provide grab-and-go meals at our branches.” Tony Shuman, President and CEO of YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.

In addition to the Grab & Go initiative, the Y is continuing to support the community by providing pre-schools and childcare to the families of essential employees and first responders and connecting with seniors to check on their wellbeing to help avoid isolation.

For questions or additional information or visit www.ymcafw.org

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth branches have been temporarily closed for traditional health and wellness activities due to the COVID-19 public health mandates by city, county and state authorities. Staff and volunteers have continue to be vigilante in continuing to serve the community outside of the walls of the Y.

May is Asian Pacific AmericanHeritage Month

Check www.fwisd.org/COVID-19 regularly for District updates

FWISD “Meals To Go,” Available from Noon-1:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday

Join the mayor for live virtual updates on the city's COVID-19 response

Online Pre-K/ Kindergarten Registration Currently Underway

Gold Seal Programs and Schools of Choice Late Applications being accepted

Unidos Para Aprender, 7 to 8 a.m. Monday- Friday the remainder of the school year on UniMas 49

FWISD SPED Chat, Every Thursday and Friday in May

Professional Learning Opportunities with Educational Technology, Register in Eduphoria

Virtual Career Fairs, May 18-27

Memorial Day, May 25

FWISD 2020 Virtual College Fair, Week of May 25

Board of Education meeting, May 26

Last Day of School, May 28

Teacher Prep Day, May 29

Board of Education meeting, June 9

FWISD Virtual Graduation Ceremonies, June 20

FWISD In-Person Graduation Celebrations, June 19-26

Board of Education meeting, June 23

FWISD Chair for Teaching Excellence Application Deadline, June 25

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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