Read Fort Worth Donates 1,000 Books to De Zavala ES
A group of students at De Zavala Elementary School were back “at school” nearly a week early to help teachers with a special delivery received just in time for the 2018-2019 year.
The students and their parents joined Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Superintendent Dr. Kent Scribner and local donor TXU Energy at De Zavala Elementary on Tuesday, August 14 to unpack and sort more than 1,000 books donated through the efforts of Read Fort Worth. This back-to-school project supports the District’s community-wide 100x25 FWTX initiative.
Read Fort Worth is donating the books through its Classroom Library Campaign designed to support 100x25 FWTX, which sets a goal of 100 percent of Fort Worth third-graders reading on grade level or above by 2025.
Benefits Open Enrollment Closes August 24
More than 3,100 Fort Worth Independent School District employees have completed the open enrollment process for 2018-2019 benefits, according to the Benefits Department.
District staff have one week to either enroll or decline health coverage for the 2018-2019 year. Open enrollment closes Friday, August 24, and 2019 benefits take effect September 1.
“We would like to stress the importance of logging into the enrollment system and completing the benefits enrollment. Every employee should take the time to complete their enrollment,” said Max Ates, Senior Officer of Payroll, Benefits and Risk Management. “By visiting an enrollment session, employees can learn more about the benefits and how to utilize those benefits they are enrolled in. If an employee currently does not need coverage with the plans offered through the District, a declination must be on file if enrollment is requested during the plan year due to a special enrollment event.”
Because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) ALL employees must either enroll, opt to keep the same coverage or decline health coverage.
Fort Worth ISD 2018-2019 insurance benefit details were released in English and Spanish to employees, July 26 via email. A slight increase to health premiums only and new benefit offerings for accidental injury and emergency transportation are among this year’s benefit changes.
The District scheduled 25 open enrollment sessions from August 7-24 where employees could ask benefit questions and enroll for coverage onsite. Benefits officials say they’re pleased with the turnout at recent sessions.
“Turnout this year has been very good,” Mr. Ates said. “Overall feedback at the enrollment sessions has been very positive, and the employees of FWISD appreciate the opportunity to sit down with someone and go over their benefit options in detail.”
Two open enrollment sessions remain – August 17 and 24 at the Professional Development Center. Employees planning to attend an enrollment session and enroll onsite will need their active directory username and password to access the online benefits portal. District personnel are also encouraged to bring information for any dependents they’re intending to enroll for coverage such as name, birthdate and Social Security number.
Visit www.mybenefitshub.com/fortworthisd or call Benefits at 817-814-2240 for additional details about open enrollment sessions and available health, dental, vision and other insurance plans. The Benefits office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
voly training for Family Communications Liaison This FRIDAY
The Fort Worth ISD Family Communications Department is offering training to its liaisons and select reading partners on VOLY, the District’s new online volunteer portal.
Training sessions are slated for Friday, August 17 at the Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave. Those invited to participate will receive more details via email.
The two-hour session walks trainees through checking volunteers in and out at campuses, managing campus volunteer accounts and posting volunteer opportunities. It equips them with skills for answering questions about the system and providing troubleshooting assistance such as changing a volunteer’s password or where a person would like to help.
VOLY, an online volunteer management system, offers people a variety of options for assisting FWISD students including supporting an individual campus, helping with a community initiative such as 100X25FWTX or joining a parent organization.
Here’s how it works:
• Volunteers create an account via fwisd.voly.org
• The person then completes an application and list the campuses where they want to volunteer and select from among six causes they’re interested in supporting – (college and career, education, enrichment, mentoring, special
• Volunteers consent to orientation and a background check conducted by the District’s Office of Professional Standards.
• Once approved, volunteers receive a welcome letter via email or by phone and weekly updates regarding volunteer opportunities based on their interests and specified campus to which they can respond. The system sends out reminders of the opportunity the volunteer has signed up for prior to the event. The system also sends a thank you message to volunteers after their volunteer assignment is complete.
Campus staff and District partners trained in how to use the system will be able to view volunteers who’ve signed up for an event. The system also tracks volunteer hours.
More than 2,100 people have already created VOLY accounts.
“The cool thing about the new system, or one of the biggest functions of VOLY, is it allows multiple users to post volunteer opportunities,” said Jennifer Perez, director of the Family Communications Department. “We want to open it up to as many organizations as possible.”
VOLY training sessions are ongoing for both campus staff and District partners throughout the fall.
For additional details, call 817-814-2070 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are recent photos from across the Fort Worth ISD.
Kirkpatrick ES Back to School Roundup: Staff hit the pavement to round up parents and students for #FWISDFirstDay. Staff and faculty handed out information about online registration, Meet the Teacher night and more.
Career and Technical Eeducation Department members tour Amazon Fulfillment Center in Fort Worth, August 9: This fall, Amazon will pilot a lunch table program at Benbrook Middle-High School and Young Women’s Leadership Academy. The lunch tables will provide an opportunity for students to learn about employment opportunities and tuition reimbursement programs offered by Amazon. Seven high school STEM classes toured the Amazon facility in spring 2018, and the opportunity will be available to high schools in Spring 2019.
School Everywhere 3 video shoot: Fort Worth ISD students, administrators, educators and trustees recently participated in the music video for School Everywhere 3 at Jean McClung Middle School
Secondary Back to School Kickoff
How is your campus preparing to celebrate the first day of school, August 20?
Email photos of the preparation process and first-day celebrations to Inside@fwisd.org or use the hashtag #InsideFWISD on Facebook and Twitter. Some photos will be included on the District's social media platforms and in a future Inside FWISD edition.
Thank you to our multiple donors who’ve contributed supplies and monetary gifts within recent weeks to prepare Fort Worth ISD students for the start of a new school year.
On Monday, August 13, Prosperity Bank presented Manuel Jara Elementary School with boxes of pens, pencils and many other school supplies.
Over at the Leadership Academy at John T. White Elementary, Pattonair, an aircraft supply store, made its own school supply donation which included pencils, markers, crayons, glue, notebooks and much more.
Friday, August 10, Fort Worth ISD was among 12 school districts that Kroger announced its donating $642,777 to this school year. The District intends to use its portion of the funds to purchase school supplies for area campuses. Last year, Kroger supported nearly 50 Fort Worth ISD schools with supplies.
Dunbar High School recently received two special deliveries. Loreane Tomlinson, mother of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, recently visited the school to donate school supplies for students. Fidelity Investments donated multiple backpacks filled with supplies that were distributed to students who registered for classes, August 9 and 10.
Summertime fun: Across the globe With Mr. Valdez
We asked Fort Worth ISD employees how they spent their summer vacation.
Gabriel Valdez, social studies department chair at Rosemont 6th Grade Center, spent his summer participating in a study tour to China and Taiwan hosted by the University of Southern California U.S.-China Institute and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. Teachers taking part in the study tour visited historical sites, schools, government offices and businesses.
Participants in the program will develop curriculum based off their travels that will be presented as professional development at various conferences, Mr. Valdez said.
“My lesson plan is essentially a virtual tour along the ancient and modern Silk Road,” he said.
He added that the curriculum will examine the “political, geographical, socio-cultural and historical interdependence” of the two nations.
Featured are some of Mr. Valdez’s photos from stops along the trip and as well as images from his vacation to Mexico afterward.
Thank you to the Fort Worth ISD employees who submitted photos to our Summertime Fun segment. We hope to present a similar Inside FWISD segment in the months to come.