Loading

Inside FWISD April 9, 2020

FWISD Superintendent Commends Teachers, Announces Grading Decision, and Encourages Self-Care

In a special report to teachers and staff, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner thanks teachers for jumping in to launch online Learning at Home. He also tells viewers why the District has decided to grade students on a Pass/Fail system for the last two reporting periods of the school year.

The video, in English and Spanish, wraps up with a request to spread the word about online registration for Pre-K and Kindergarten and a self-care reminder everyone needs to hear.

Important Updates Regarding Fort Worth ISD Employee Work Days and Student Meal Distribution

This is a reminder that Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13, are holidays for students, teachers, and anyone who is not a 240-day or 245-day employee. However, all 240-day and 245-day employees will work those days. See the attached Fort Worth ISD Employee calendar.

Also, there will be no student “Meals to Go” distribution on Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13. This Thursday, April 9, students who visit the “Meals to Go” sites will receive two lunches and two breakfasts.

FWISD REARRANGES “MEALS TO GO” SCHEDULE FOR THE SAFETY OF ALL INVOLVED

The Fort Worth ISD is implementing a major change in its student “Meals To Go” program aimed at improving the safety of all involved.

Beginning the week of April 13, the meal distribution will be adjusted from daily (Monday through Friday) to a two-day a week schedule (Monday and Thursday). The District will provide six meals per child on each distribution day. This will improve the efficiency of providing more meals to children, while better practicing CDC guidelines of social distancing.

The first distribution day under this new format will actually be on Tuesday, April 14 because Monday, April 13 is a student holiday. The second meal distribution day will be Thursday, April 16. The regular Monday and Thursday distribution cycle will begin the week of April 20.

The Fort Worth ISD has decided to implement this change because it:

Provides an increase in the recommended social distancing guidelines and reduces gatherings for parents and students from five days a week to two days per week,

Promotes more parent and student engagement in online instruction daily versus the time required to pick up meals daily,

Reduces employee interaction from five days to two days per week,

Supports the City of Fort Worth’s Safer at Home resolution,

And, follows Texas Department of Agriculture revised regulations.

The “Meals To Go’ Program has been a successful partnership between the District and its food service vendor Sodexo MAGIC.

Important Update To FWISD’s “Meals To Go” Program

Identification Required if Children Not Present

The Fort Worth ISD is making some important changes to the daily “Meals To Go” program that provides children with lunch and breakfast.

As of this week all “Meals To Go” sites will:

  • Feed between the hours of 12 and 1:30 p.m.
  • Require one of a variety of forms of identification for each child’s meal, only IF the child does not accompany the adult.
  • Acceptable forms of identification include –

a. Student ID Badge

b. Birth certificate

c. Old student report card

d. FWISD letter/email listing children enrolled

e. Meal application approval letter listing children enrolled

f. Government benefit letter listing children (SNAP), TANF, Medicaid, etc.)

Additionally, the “Meals To Go” site at Southwest High School will permanently relocate to Woodway Elementary School, 6701 Woodway, Fort Worth.

For additional information please visit. www.fwisd.org/COVID-19.

FWISD Issues Modified Pay Stubs to Employees

Proof of Employment, W-2 and Benefits Assistance Available to Staff

Modified pay stubs detailing earnings and deductions for the month of March are being emailed to Fort Worth ISD employees by the Payroll Department this week. Employees will receive the modified pay stubs in their inboxes each payroll – semi-monthly or monthly depending on when employees are paid – until the Employee Self Service system is restored, said Max Ates, FWISD senior officer of Payroll, Benefits and Risk Management.

In early March, the District experienced a malware attack to its domain controller server. The District is in the process of restoring multiple student and employee network programs and services that have been offline since.

Employees with payroll-related questions throughout the duration of the District closure due to COVID-19 are encouraged to email them to Payroll@fwisd.org.

Proof of Employment, Income

Services for verification of employment or income for purposes such as purchasing a home, a home refinance, apartment application or completing applications for federal programs is available to FWISD employees through the Work Number Client Service Center.

Employees may log onto www.theworknumber.com/employee or call 1-800-367-2884 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday to obtain the Year To Date information. Employees must submit the District employer code, 10603, their Social Security number and a pin (the last four digits of their Social Security number). To obtain employment and income verification that can be shared with a lender, employees must request a salary key.

The Payroll Department is available to available to assist with valid questions and or concerns received through the Work Number Client Service Center via email at Payroll@fwisd.org.

Obtaining W-2 Documents

For questions regarding W-2 documents employees are also encouraged to email the Payroll Department. Recently, the Internal Revenue Service extended this year’s federal tax filing deadline until July 15, 2020.

FWISD employees who did not receive their W-2 via mail or failed to print a copy from the Employee Self Service system in January may request the document by emailing the Payroll Department from their FWISD-issued email account.

In the message, employees must include the following information:

  • FWISD employee number
  • Last four digits of the Social Security number
  • Full legal name
  • Address on file with FWISD
  • Current Address

Because Social Security numbers are printed on W-2 documents, they will not be emailed to employees.

Mr. Ates said that the Payroll Department has fielded a high volume of questions from employees and asks for patience as staffers respond to inquiries.

“We’re striving to provide responses within three to five business days, but because of the high volume, it may take longer,” he said.

Direct Deposit Update

The Payroll Department has created an online form for employees requesting direct deposit additions, changes or deletions. When filling out the form, employees will be prompted to upload a photocopy of their FWISD employee badge and a voided check (or documentation from a banking institution with their routing and account numbers).

Employees wanting to make direct deposit changes this month must do so before the following deadlines:

  • 5 p.m. April 20, 2020 for employees paid monthly
  • 5 p.m. April 21, 2020 for employees who receive a semi-monthly check on April 30

Changes after the deadline will take effect on pay checks distributed in May.

Employees are asked not to submit direct deposit information or documents via email.

Changes to Benefits

Employees with a qualifying special enrollment event to their benefits during the District closure are encouraged to email Benefits@fwisd.org for assistance. A complete list of the qualifying changes to benefits is available here.

Colleagues Remember FWISD Educator Tim Hood

Colleagues and former students are remembering Fort Worth ISD’s Tim Hood this week as a stern, passionate and selfless educator and mentor.

Mr. Hood died Tuesday at his home after a long, hard-fought cancer battle. He was 62.

A Celebration of Life service honoring Mr. Hood is being planned for this summer.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Hood was a FWISD teacher. He joined the District in 1983 as a math teacher at Southwest High School and he spent a bulk of his career there. He’s credited with creating the high school’s state recognized Gold Seal Advanced Media Program (AMP), also known as SHS Productions.

“Mr. Hood was passionate about his craft. He built the broadcast and journalism department (literally) from the ground up,” Southwest Principal John Engel said. “He had a tireless work ethic, commitment to excellence, love for children and great smile. He related to all children and staff and mentored many teachers. His homecoming creations are Legendary. He was a true Southwest ICON.”

Most recently, Mr. Hood was the facilities coordinator at the I.M. Terrell Academy of STEM and VPA, his “dream job,” according to his obituary. At Terrell, he scheduled, staffed and oversaw events at the Performing Arts Center.

His obituary recalls Mr. Hood sharing the following with his daughters about the position: “It is like my entire life and everything I learned was all leading up to me having this job.”

“Mr. Hood was as committed as they came. He always made sure to put our kids and staff first before anything else,” said Terrell Academy Principal Baldwin Brown. “He was a staunch advocate for kids and was a great mentor to have. He was passionate about his work and made sure that anything that he was involved in was of the highest quality.

“Mr. Hood was not only our Facility Manager, he was also instrumental in the planning of the new performing arts center. In the short time he was with us, he left an immeasurable mark on the kids, staff, and individuals that worked with him. He will be missed by the entire Terrell community.”

Following news of Mr. Hood’s death, multiple colleagues shared fond memories of him and the indelible impact he leaves on the FWISD community.

“Tim was an incredible human being -- a teacher and mentor to so many over the years,” a FWISD Visual and Performing Arts Department statement reads on Facebook. “ His contributions are immeasurable, and his absence will be deeply felt. Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

‘Unlike Most Educators’

Passionate; funny; quick-witted, challenging but a heart of gold are all characteristics that come to mind for Southwest High’s Television Instructor for AMP, Darcy Deupree McCready, as she reflects on her colleague, friend and mentor. Mrs. McCready met Mr. Hood 15 years ago while she was a student teacher at Texas Christian University. The two became colleagues three years later.

She said that he taught her the ropes when it came to Southwest’s media technology program, professional development and classroom management. Mrs. McCready had a front-row seat as he educated thousands and gave them real-world experience shooting and producing live events. He played the role of a “tough boss,” with his students, preparing them for life outside his classroom and the school production truck.

“He told them ‘if you can make it with me as a boss, you can make it with anyone,’” she said.

Despite his sometimes-tough demeanor, Mr. Hood had a softer side, always opening his doors to students who fell on hard times, offering food when needed, and the extra nudge to get them over the hump.

He’s also known for building some of the school’s most elaborate homecoming sets, alongside his wife, that many in the Southwest High community looked forward to annually.

“He was unlike most educators,” Mrs. McCready said.

The Southwest AMP program started as a club and was born out of a hobby of Mr. Hood’s, Mrs. McCready said. It evolved into a program that transformed multiple lives and became state recognized. Mrs. McCready said that she intends to remember her colleague by continuing the tradition he started and keeping his legacy alive for future students entering the program.

Behind the scenes guy

Mr. Hood was not one to trumpet his own horn about accolades or successes, said Scott Juvette, FWISD Marketing and Multimedia Strategies Director, and Hood’s friend of 14 years.

“Tim was definitely a behind the scenes guy who impacted so many but so few know about it,” Mr. Juvette said.

Outside of work, Mr. Hood assisted with relief efforts in Louisiana and Galveston following hurricanes Katrina and Ike, according to his obituary. He installed radio stations in backwoods Alaska so that people could communicate. He led mission trips, once the media team lead at Westwood Baptist Church and later operated the sound board at Glenview Baptist Church.

Thinking and Look Out For Others

Joey McReynolds came to know Mr. Hood first as a student and later a friend.

The Tarleton State University Manager of Multimedia Productions met Mr. Hood his freshman year at Southwest High and remembers his first impression of the teacher as someone who was extremely stern. Though he never had Mr. Hood as a teacher, Mr. McReynolds came to know him when he volunteered for more than 100 live shoots for basketball, plays and other extra curricular events. It was there, he came to know Mr. Hood’s softer side.

When he lost his father junior year, Mr. McReynolds said that Mr. Hood became a male role model in his life, who offered guidance and looked out for him without ever giving a second thought to helping him anyway he could.

Mr. McReynolds said that his story is not unique and was one that played out for several students at Southwest High. Mr. Hood taking students along on live shoots was a refuge for many, and it also showed them someone was looking out for them, he said.

“There was always something to do. I needed that,” Mr. McReynolds said.

As Mr. McReynolds prepared for college, it was Mr. Hood who helped him with FAFSA and college applications. He was there for Mr. McReynolds’ big milestones -- high school and college graduations and his recent wedding.

In college, McReynolds recalls how Mr. Hood would often check in on him and offer advice. As he prepared to enter the work field, he said he would often get calls from employers for jobs he had not even applied for because of Mr. Hood’s recommendation.

“He was always thinking and looking out for that kind of stuff,” Mr. McReynolds recalls. “I don’t think there was a thing he wouldn’t have done to try to help someone.”

Fort Worth ISD extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Hood’s wife of nearly 15 years, Julie, his two daughters, two stepchildren and six grandchildren. Share condolences and stories of Mr. Hood’s life and legacy with his family by emailing hoodslegacy@gmail.com.

BOBBY BRAGAN SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS ANNOUNCED

College Scholarships for Eighth Graders

Fort Worth, Texas – Twenty-five North Texas eighth graders have been selected to receive Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation scholarships this year. They have been selected from countless finalists who submitted applications and essays. This scholarship is valued at $2,500.

Fort Worth ISD has three students selected as 2020 Bobby Bragan recipients.

2020 Bobby Bragan Recipients:

  • Ava Stubblefield, Daggett Montessori
  • Margaret Kerr, McLean Middle School
  • Tatiana Bourgon, Como Montessori

Bobby Bragan, a former major league baseball player, manager and coach, established the Youth Foundation in 1991 to encourage children to stay in school and pursue their educational and career dreams.

The scholarships awarded by the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation are presented to deserving students while they are in the 8th grade, just prior to their entrance into high school, at a critical juncture in their academic career. By focusing attention on the availability of aid for merit at the middle school level the foundation hopes to inspire students to plan for higher education, dedicate themselves to work hard to reach that goal, and push them to seek out additional aid at an earlier stage in their lives.

The Fort Worth ISD is now in its 30th year of encouraging students to participate in this generous program.

INSIDE FWISD BRIEFS

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

Board Of Education Meeting Set For April 14

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education will convene in a virtual meeting, starting at 5:30 p.m. April 14. Read more here.

Fort Worth extends Stay at Home Declaration Through April 30

(From the City of Fort Worth): On April 7, the Fort Worth City Council extended the emergency declaration that was originally signed by Mayor Betsy Price on Monday, April 6, 2020 to implement stay home, work safe restrictions to help combat the spread and impact of COVID-19 on the City of Fort Worth.

This action extends the declaration through April 30, 2020. Read more here.

WFAA Story Features Aspiring Journalists from Tanglewood Elementary

Two intrepid Tanglewood Elementary fourth graders are documenting how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their Overton Park community and spreading joy in the process. Read more in this WFAA report.

TEA Announces No Accountability Ratings For Schools, Districts This Academic Year

No Texas schools will receive accountability ratings for the 2019-2020 academic cycle because of extended statewide school closures, the Texas Education Agency has announced. The closures are due to a state of disaster designation declared because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

All Texas schools and districts will receive the label “Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster Designation for the 2019-20 Academic Accountability Cycle,” according to the TEA. Read more here.

The Goodfellow Fund Joins FWISD's Meals to Go Efforts

The Goodfellow Fund charity is lending a helping hand to the Fort Worth ISD's Child Nutrition Fund. Click here to learn how.

Click to enlarge

Buzz Worthy: Celebrating Milestones

Need best school practices? Check out this week’s Buzz Worthy tip!

With uncertainty of when school will resume, many students may feel disconnected and worried about the major milestones they’re missing in their academic careers. Recently, staff at Fort Worth ISD’s Western Hills High School created reoccurring Senior Spotlight posts on the campus social media pages celebrating its Class of 2020. Principal Keri Flores offers tips for high schools looking to recognize the seniors on their campus. If you need additional guidance, email her at keri.flores@fwisd.org.

“We have all been so worried about all our students feeling disconnected, but especially our seniors,” Ms. Flores said. “ We wanted to create a way for them to know we are still thinking of them and we are proud of their accomplishments.

How It Works

Western Hills High School created a tab on its campus Weebly page just for seniors. There, seniors can complete a form. On the form seniors are asked to include their post graduation plans, favorite teacher, best high school memory, advice for underclassmen and submit photos of themselves.

Tips

1. Create a form for seniors to fill out

2. Share that form via social media and email to your graduating seniors

Impact

“We have received very positive feedback,” Ms. Flores said. “Parents and students are excited and proud to see their senior spotlighted. They deserve it!”

What a great idea!

Want to be featured on Buzz Worthy? Follow these easy steps:

1. Post it on your campus social media page or email inside.fwisd@fwisd.org

2. Provide photos of the impact

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Employee Assistance Program Resources for FWISD Employees

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Tarrant Area Food Bank offers Grab and Go Dinners for Children

FORT WORTH YMCA GRAB & GO MEALS-NEW 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 will change to 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

Last week, the Y provided over 3,000 meals to families with children 18 years or younger in Tarrant, Hood and Johnson Counties while schools are closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

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.

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

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

Online Pre-K/ Kindergarten Registration Currently Underway

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.

Credits:

Created with an image by AbsolutVision - "Business newspaper pages"