Inside FWISD January 23, 2020

In this edition:

McLean Wins Middle School Whiz Quiz: High School Finals Thursday Night | Hands-On Tech Tools Plentiful At 15th Annual FWTC This Saturday | Over 100 Set to Square Off in FWISD Spelling Bee Jan. 27-29 | FWISD’s TCC South Collegiate Shines As P-TECH Showcase School | Tickets Available For PTA Founders Day Luncheon | Tanglewood ES Student Clinches FWISD Elementary Math Bee Crown | Vaughns Among LifeChanger Of The Year Award Nominees | 20 Middle School Teachers Receive Supplemental Classroom Libraries | Staff Waiver Day Set For February 3 | Classified Learning To Offer Raptor 6, Stop The Bleed Training | Flu Cases Steadily Increase in Tarrant County: Health Officials Say Shot Prevents Spread of Illness | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

McLean Wins Middle School Whiz Quiz

High School Finals Thursday Night

In an exciting finish Wednesday night, McLean Middle School took Fort Worth ISD’s Middle School Whiz Quiz Championship title by defeating Daggett Montessori. World Languages Institute (WLI) took the Fort Worth ISD Sixth-Grade Whiz Quiz Championship title after defeating McLean 6th Grade Center in the finals match Tuesday night.

Earlier Wednesday, Daggett Montessori beat Applied Learning Academy in the first semi-final. McLean topped Riverside Middle School in the second semi-final. Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy moderated the matches.

Other highlights of the evening included:

  • Culinary Arts students from South Hills High School served bruschetta tarts and caramel cheesecake bites to the audience. Kroger generously provided all the supplies.
  • The Southwest High School Jazz Ensemble entertained between matches.
  • Gold Seal Advanced Media Program students from Southwest High School took part in the live production of the contests.

Up next are the high school finals. Be part of the audience on Thursday, January 23, at 4:30 p.m.

  • Semi-final #1 Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences v. Arlington Heights High School
  • Semi-final #2 Paschal High School v. Young Men’s Leadership Academy
  • Finals match immediately after

It all takes place at the Fort Worth ISD boardroom at 2903 Shotts Street. If you can’t make it in person, play along by viewing the competition streamed live at www.fwisd.org or the District’s YouTube channel, or by watching Spectrum Cable channel 192 or AT&T U-verse 99.

Hands-On Tech Tools Plentiful At 15th Annual FWTC This Saturday

Test out the latest education apps at the 15th annual Fort Worth Technology Conference (FWTC).

The one-day event, which Fort Worth ISD’s Educational Technology Department is hosting this Saturday offers area educators nearly 100 presentations, sessions and workshops led by local, regional, and national digital-instruction innovators. Also available is an Escape Room that immerses attendees in classroom technologies and a Digital Playground where educators can test out tech tools for enhancing student comprehension. The conference gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday at Southwest High School, 4100 Altamesa Blvd.

“We strive to teach technology integration so that the technology is just a tool in the process of learning, not the end goal,” said Dr. Becky Navarre, assistant superintendent of technology for the Division of Academics.

Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google, will present “The Problem-Solving Generation,” a 45-minute keynote address focused on equipping students with skills for thriving in an ever-changing digital environment. A 45-minute question-and-answer session with Mr. Casap will follow the presentation.

FWTC admission is free to District employees. The FWISD schools with the most registered attendees will receive a campus prize. Drawings for individual door prizes will take place throughout the conference. On-site registration is $40 for out-of-district participants.

To date, more than 1,200 participants have registered for FWTC. Participants include educators from 19 other school districts, private schools and higher education institutions.

Twelve FWISD teachers are vying for the title of Tech Idol at FWTC. Attendees will participate in a poll that selects the District educator that’s exercised impactful technology integration in the classroom.

Attendance hit a record in 2019 at FWTC, with nearly 1,110 registrants, and conference organizers are anticipating larger crowds this year.

Rochelle Horton, principal at FWISD’s A.M. Pate Elementary school talks about how and why she encourages her staff to attend FWTC in a recent episode of FWEdCast, a monthly podcast produced by FWISD’s Educational Technology Department.

She said teachers are taking more risks presenting before their peers, students and others as a result of attending FWTC. Students are being prepared “for jobs that don’t even exist yet,” Ms. Horton said, and FWTC keeps educators of on the pulse of new technology for engaging students. Teachers leave the conference with knowledge of the new apps and updates that they can utilize on Monday when they’re back in the classroom, Ms. Horton said.

“The value of receiving free tech … there is an increase of student engagement in the classroom. When teachers go to the conference, they learn new things, they come back and they’re able to use it in the classroom, and you see students are more engaged in learning,” Ms. Horton said on the podcast. “Going to the tech conference gives teachers an opportunity to see it in practice, in application and then be able to come back to campus and replicate that.”

Register today and get the conference agenda, session catalog and map by visiting www.fwisd.org/FWTC. For additional details, contact the Educational Technology Department at 817-814-3100 or emailing edtech@fwisd.org.


More than 100 Fort Worth ISD elementary and middle school students are buzzing into the District’s annual Spelling Bee, January 27-29. Bee participants are hoping to land a chance at advancing to the 2020 Scripps Regional Spelling Bee this spring at Texas Christian University.

The District will host six area bee competitions over three days at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Lecture Hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

First-place winners and runners-up from each FWISD elementary and middle school have been invited to one of six area bees, which groups competing schools by geographic regions across FWISD. First-place winners will compete in the area bees and runners-up from campus bees are alternates.

Click here for a complete list of the area spelling bee contests set for next week and additional details.


In its first year as a P-TECH campus, the Tarrant County College (TCC) South/ Fort Worth ISD Collegiate High School is a campus other schools in the state are aspiring to one day become.

The school is a Texas Education Agency and Educate Texas P-TECH Showcase School, and recently students and staff at the campus opened its doors to industry partners and more than 60 educators interested in implementing their very own P-TECH programs. View photos from the tour here.

For about four hours on Wednesday, January 16, representatives at the TCC South/ FWISD Collegiate High School gave guests campus tours and panel discussions with students, industry partners and District leaders. A learning session focused on students taking full ownership of their academic futures and creating a self-empowerment culture using “Data Trackers,” a data management system. A networking luncheon, that included a question-and-answer session with TEA and campus leaders, discussed the College and Career Readiness School Model network and blueprint implementation strategies.

“It was exciting to see what the students and staff have accomplished and where they’re headed,” said Daphne Rickard, executive director of FWISD’s Career and Technical Education Department “It’s really exciting to see TEA come in Year One and see the vision that we have. We’re a leader in the state.”

The P-TECH program at TCC-South/FWISD Collegiate High School is a Gold Seal Program of Choice that offers students the opportunity to graduate high school with up to 60 college credit hours, a two-year, tuition-free associate degree, internships and apprenticeships with industry partners. Students may choose from four pathways – electrical technology, renewable energy resources, lineman program, and energy business related work—and earn work credentials such as licenses or certificates all while in high school.

“This type of school provides incredible opportunities for students and will really help build the future leaders of our community,” said Ms. Rickard.

Ms. Rickard said TCC-South/FWISD Collegiate High School is one of many P-TECH schools planned for the District. The goal is to offer the program in every Fort Worth neighborhood over the next few years, she said.

FWISD’s TCC-South campus is among three schools in Texas selected this year to represent the state’s College and Career Readiness School Models (CCRSM) and the only featured P-TECH campus.

About 370 schools in Texas have implemented one or more Career Readiness School Models or is in the planning phrase with goals to launch the program next school year. The Texas CCRSM Network includes Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) Academies, Early College High Schools (ECHS), and Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH).

Other campus showcases are taking place at Bryan ISD’s Bryan Collegiate High School and Ysleta ISD’s Parkland T-STEM Academy are hosting campus showcase events, January 15 and February 11, respectively.

For more details on FWISD’s TCC-South campus and its P-TECH program, visit https://www.fwisd.org/SouthCollegiate.

Tickets Available for PTA Founders Day Luncheon

Celebrate 100-plus years of child advocacy and family engagement at the Fort Worth ISD Council of PTAs annual Founders Day Luncheon.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will give the keynote address at the event, slated for 11:30 a.m. Thursday, February 13, 2020 at the Lena Pope Amon Carter Center. FWISD Superintendent Kent Scribner is also expected to give remarks.

Click here to purchase your tickets for $20 today.

The Founders Day Luncheon not only celebrates Parent Teacher Association (PTA) founders but the more than 100 years of dedication to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. Network with PTA members from across the District as well as school and community leaders. A brief delegate meeting will follow the luncheon.

Founded in 1897 at the National Congress of Mothers, the National PTA is a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the nation.


There could only be one champion, and after 17 “tension-filled” rounds Fort Worth ISD crowned its 2020 Elementary Math Bee winner recently.

A division problem clinched the 2020 title for Yashas Nallabothula, a fourth grader at Tanglewood Elementary School. Diego Andrade, a fifth grader at South Hills Elementary, finished runner up in the competition, hosted Saturday, January 18 at O.D. Wyatt High School.

The second annual FWISD Elementary Math Bee tested students’ math skills in solving number sense problems.

“The Elementary Math Bee was full of tension and cheers,” said Melvinia Robinson, a Math Bee organizer and coordinator for the District’s Elementary Mathematics division. “These students competing are the best and the brightest representing their home campus.”

Click here to read more about the 2020 Elementary Math Bee.

Vaughns Among LifeChanger of the Year Award Nominees

Leo Vaughns Jr., an English language arts teacher at Kirkpatrick Middle School, is in the running for the 2019-2020 national LifeChanger of the Year Award.

The award, sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, recognizes the best K-12 educators and school employees in the nation who are making a difference in students’ lives by “exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership,” according to a National Life Group statement.

Mr. Vaughns is eligible for one of 17 individual LifeChanger awards that will be announced later this spring including:

  • National Grand Prize Winner and a $10,000 award that’s split between the winner and his or her school
  • Four Grand Prize Finalists
  • 10 LifeChanger Award Winners
  • One Spirit Award Winner
  • One Spotlight Award Winner

Winners are selected by a committee of former LifeChanger winners and education professionals.

Mr. Vaughns joined the District about 30 years ago as a music teacher, which he taught for several years before transitioning into ELA. Throughout his career he’s participated with the after-school program, produced all the school plays, rewritten the school anthem and written curriculum, according to board documents. He also founded Wildcat Brothers. He is the 2018-2019 Chase Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary English.

Rich Claypool, a local resident, nominated Mr. Vaughns for the award.

“He is a pillar at Kirkpatrick and in the community,” Mr. Claypool said of Mr. Vaughns said in a recent statement issued by the National Life Group. “He is the poster child for what LifeChanger of the Year is all about.”

To view Mr. Vaughns’ nominee profile, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.

20 Middle School Teachers Receive Supplemental Classroom Libraries

Over 20 Fort Worth ISD middle school classrooms now have more literacy options for English Language Arts classrooms.

Recently, the District’s ESL Department provided 22 teachers with supplemental classroom libraries. The sets of books provides age appropriate books to support lower Lexile readers, according to officials with the ESL Department. Teachers applied for the classroom libraries last week, and they were delivered prior to the winter break.

The following middle school teachers received classroom libraries from the ESL Department:

Kenneth Weinert- Daggett Middle School

Jamie Jones and Karen Stringer- William James Middle School

Dana Miller, E. Hope Thakham and Leo Vaughns Jr. - Kirkpatrick Middle School

Billie Hainsey – Meadowbrook Middle School

Vanida Chanthaphone- Monnig Middle School

SaBrina Bone – Morningside Middle School

Rick Sikes, Neil Schwartz and Juan Buruato – Riverside Middle School

Amy McCaffrey- Rosemont Middle School

Tiffany Cromwell- Jacquet Middle School

Lolita Brenegan and Nady Khalil – Wedgwood Middle School

Martha Runnels – Rosemont 6th Grade Center

Deaundra Williams-Busby – Jean McClung Middle School

Orlando Blackburn, Michelle Klaustermeier, LaJuliet Cheeks and Tiffany Higgins - Benbrook Middle/ High School

Staff Waiver Day Set for February 3

There are no classes in the Fort Worth ISD Monday, February 3 because of a staff development waiver day.

Waiver day trainings will vary by campus and specialty. Employees should consult with their campus principal or direct supervisor for activities schedule for the day.

The District will resume normal business and class schedules on February 4, 2020.

Classified Learning to Offer Raptor 6, Stop the Bleed Training

Learn how to sign in a new visitor at your campus and more at “Raptor 6 Training and More,” a half-day course FWISD’s Classified Learning Department is offering this February.

Attendees will receive required training on Raptor 6, a new visitors management system used for signing in guests at a campus. Concurrently, Stop the Bleed, training that offers life-saving tips for how to control the bleeding of injured persons in an emergency event until first responders arrive, is also being offered. Both sessions are open to District personnel that manage Raptor for their campuses.

Training gets underway at 8:30 a.m. Monday, February 3 at the South Hills High School Auditorium, 6101 McCart Ave. Enroll in the course by visiting https://bit.ly/306m292 and logging in using your District username and password.

For more details, contact Aracely Chavez, Classified Learning executive director, at 817-814-3433 or email Aracely.chavez@fwisd.org.

Flu Cases Steadily Increase in Tarrant County

Health Officials Say Shot Prevents Spread of Illness

Hurry! There’s still time to protect yourself and your family from the flu with a simple vaccine!

According to MedStar, the ambulance service provider to Fort Worth, crews have treated a record number of patients this month with primary or secondary clinical impressions of influenza-like illnesses.

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that brings on sudden symptoms such as fever or feeling feverish/ chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuff nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and possible vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Serious complications can lead to hospitalization and death.

MedStar is currently responding to 11 related flu calls a day, nearly a 50% increase from last month and a 52.3% increase from the previous year.

Peak flu season generally runs through January and February. Getting a flu shot is the best protection against the illness, according to health officials.

The Fort Worth ISD has provided steps for flu prevention on its Health Services webpage. Click here for more details.

For information on where to get influenza shots in the county, reports and additional tips from preventing flu, visit the Tarrant County Public Health website.

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

Whiz Quiz: In this Sport of Knowledge, two five-member teams square off nightly to answer rapid-fire questions about science, literature, social studies, geography, grammar, math and pop culture in the Jeopardy-style academic competition. The top two teams square off for Whiz Quiz trophies in the categories of sixth grade, middle school and high school.

Second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: FWISD employees, Central Office Leadership, Board Trustees and community leaders will assembled 500 care packages including hats, gloves, blankets, toiletries and nonperishable foods that were distributed to the homeless along with lunch, Monday, January 20.

January is Board Appreciation Month

Whiz Quiz High School matches, January 23

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, January 23

Fort Worth Technology Conference, January 25

FWISD Spelling Bee, January 27-29

Board of Education meeting, January 28

Trauma Informed Classroom Management Training, February 1

S.S. Dillow ES Community Health Fair, February 1

Waiver Day (Student Holiday), February 3

Kid Vision Fest, February 3

National Signing Day, February 5

Save the date for the Racial Equity Summit

Save the date for Summer Professional Learning

Girls and Boys Basketball Schedules

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.