Inside FWISD February 13, 2020

In this edition:

FWISD Students, Teachers Get Day Off February 17 | TABS Selected A National Blue Ribbon School Nominee | Fort Worth Independent School District 2017 Bond – HUB Participation Stats – Data As Of 01/31/2020 | FWISD Unveils Website Enhancements | Museum Project Celebrating Black History Opens For 30th Year At Dolores Huerta ES | North Side HS JV Mariachi Ensemble Wins State Title | 2020 Dance Showcase To Display Talent, Technique Of 7 FWISD Programs | Get To Know FWISD’s Newest Board Trustee In This Texas Wesleyan Feature | Art Contest Celebrates Black History Month, Key Voting Anniversaries | Buzz Worthy: Coffee and Conversations | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

FWISD Students, Teachers Get Day Off February 17

Fort Worth ISD students and classroom teachers have the day off, Monday February 17.

Other District employees with Monday off include:

  • 202- workday personnel
  • 183-day personnel (including teacher and nurse assistants, nutrition service workers and bus drivers)

Monday is a workday for all other District employees. Employees with questions are encouraged to contact their direct supervisor and refer to the 2019-2020 Reporting and Ending Date Calendar.

Originally noted on the District’s traditional calendar as a bad weather day, classroom teachers, 202 and 183-workday personnel and students will observe a holiday Monday because the District has not needed make up days because of inclement weather this school year.

Teachers in need of FLEX credit will have opportunities to register for and complete professional development course offerings on February 17 via Eduphoria.

The District will resume normal business and class schedules on February 18, 2020.


Fort Worth ISD’s Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences (TABS) is a nominee for the 2020 National Blue Ribbon School designation.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, established in 1982, recognizes public and private schools for overall academic excellence and progress in closing achievement gaps among students. In its nearly 40-year history, the prestigious designation has been presented to 9,000 elementary, middle and high schools in the United States, according to the Department of Education.

The school is among 26 state nominees announced by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on Monday, February 10. The state agency nominates public schools for the award based on student performance on the first administration of last year’s STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) assessments, and each nominated school has an economically disadvantaged population of 25% or more.

“TABS is very excited. We have excellent, motivated students that really make the job at TABS very rewarding,” said Principal Jack Henson. “I credit the Blue Ribbon nomination not only with highly-motivated students but the highest quality instructors both at TABS high school and Tarrant County College- Trinity River campus. We have wonderful students that work really hard.”

Mr. Henson said school staff intend to share the news of the nomination with students during advisory periods, Thursday, February 13.

Other Fort Worth ISD schools awarded the Blue Ribbon recognition have include the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2016), Charles Nash Elementary School (2014), Glen Park Elementary School (2004), Rufino Mendoza Elementary School (2003), Tanglewood Elementary School (1991-92).

“Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels,” the U.S. Department of Education notes on its website. “The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.”

TABS currently has 357 students enrolled.

Located on the Tarrant County College- Trinity River Campus, the campus offers its students a rigorous curriculum in an early college environment that prepares them for the demands of a career in biomedical and health sciences. Students enrolled at TABS have the opportunity to complete high school earning up to 60 college credit hours, a two-year, tuition-free associate degree, internships and apprenticeships with industry partners.

To learn more about TABS, visit www.fwisd.org/tabs.

Fort Worth Independent School District 2017 Bond – HUB Participation Stats – Data as of 01/31/2020

February, a month we celebrate black history, is an opportune moment for us to also celebrate the great accomplishments of the Fort Worth Independent School District Capital Improvement Program’s Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) program. As of January, 2020, the District’s 2017 Bond Program, under the management of PROCEDEO, has more than 42% of all committed costs going to a certified Minority-Owned, Woman-Owned, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (M/W/S/DBE).

PROCEDEO was hired by FWISD as the Owner Representative to manage the execution of the $750 million Bond Program for capital improvement projects across the District. The District’s Board approved policy requests a HUB participation expectation of 25%; however, FWISD has tasked PROCEDEO to achieve 45% HUB participation for the entire program. PROCEDEO understood that in order to set and achieve these standards, they would have to lead by example in encouraging joint ventures at the prime level as well as maximizing subcontracting opportunities with HUB firms. For this, PROCEDEO, a Joint Venture between a Non-HUB and Foster CM Group, a certified MBE, SBE, and DBE owned firm, engaged with other HUB certified consultants at sub-tier level, including a consultant dedicated to bringing HUB maximization strategies to the team.

PROCEDEO is encouraging all vendors wanting to do business with Fort Worth ISD’s Capital Improvement Program to pursue high HUB accomplishments. To date, 12 out of 28 awarded construction projects are Joint Ventures, a great boost in building capacity of M/W/S/DBE businesses.

Current Joint Ventures working on the program are:

  • Byrne-Potere JV→ Joint Venture between a Hispanic MBE and Black WBE
  • CZOT-MGS, LLC→ Joint Venture between two Caucasian HUB firms
  • JE Dunn- Phillips/May JV→ Joint Venture between a non-HUB and Hispanic MBE
  • Phillips/May-Basecom JV→ Joint Venture between two Hispanic MBE firms
  • Reeder/Summit JV→ Joint Venture between a non-HUB and Black MBE
  • S&P and Post L, A Joint Venture→ Joint Venture between a non-HUB and Black MBE
  • Sedalco-SMR JV→ Joint Venture between a non-HUB and an Asian MBE
  • SFP² JV, LLC→ Joint Venture between a non-HUB and Black MBE
  • Steele & Freeman/Post L JV→ Joint Venture between a non-HUB and Black MBE
  • Turner|Source Joint Venture→ Joint Venture between a non-HUB and Black MBE

FWISD and PROCEDEO are working diligently with all firms seeking to do business with the District to learn about the importance of HUB engagement to the Program, the District and the entire Fort Worth community through community outreach efforts. These efforts include assisting firms with certification and other services; working with the community through educational seminars, workshops, and networking events; collaborating with advocacy groups with similar goals to reach a broader network of certified firms.

FWISD and PROCEDEO will continue to focus on programs that will grow HUB firms' long-term capacity; increasing the pool of qualified HUB firms bidding for work at FWISD; as well as advocating the benefits and importance of HUB utilization within the District’s procurement activities.


The Fort Worth ISD has hired Mike Ball as the District’s new Chief Financial Officer. The hiring was announced at the February 11, 2020 Board of Education meeting. Ball replaces Elsie Schiro who retired from the Fort Worth ISD in January.

Mike Ball has served as Chief Financial Officer in Lewisville ISD since 2015. He has over 35 years of experience in Texas public school finance and numerous certifications. Prior to working at LISD, he served as Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Human Resources for Rockwall ISD. He was the Chief Financial Officer at Galena Park ISD. He was the Deputy Superintendent for Business and Operations at College Station ISD. Ball was the Chief Financial Officer at Sulphur Springs ISD. Ball also served as a partner and shareholder at an accounting firm in northeast Texas, where he conducted Texas public school district audits.

Ball received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University-Commerce, his Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Sam Houston State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

In addition, he holds memberships with many professional organizations including: Texas Association of School Business Officials, Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Association of School Business Officials International. In 2019, Ball was appointed to serve as a member of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees.

Ball has been married to his wife, Janet, for 40 years, and they have two grown daughters.

FWISD Unveils Website Enhancements

The Fort Worth ISD’s website, FWISD.org, debuted a new look this week.

Users will notice a fresh look to homepage banner stories, a consolidated main menu that remains at the top of the page as a user scrolls down and an “I Would like To” tab, linking website visitors to the most searched for topics on the site. Emphasized news and photo galleries and an updated upcoming events section allow users to efficiently scroll through content.

This is the first major enhancement to the District website since 2016.

“We updated the Fort Worth ISD website to address some of the concerns we have received over the past year. We hope the enhancements make it easier to find important content and navigate the website more efficiently,” said John Cope, FWISD creative communications director.

Mr. Cope said the District website updates make it more user friendly and easy to read and view.

Check out FWISD.org and let the District know what you think by visiting at www.fwisd.org/feedback.

“We value your input and hope you like these website enhancements,” Mr. Cope said.

Museum Project Celebrating Black History Opens for 30th Year At Dolores Huerta ES

About 30 classroom projects make up the African American Heritage School Museum Project, which opened Wednesday at Fort Worth ISD’s Dolores Huerta Elementary School.

The school museum, open during school hours through February 28, celebrates family traditions in the United States, the life and work of black authors and illustrators in children’s literature; role models; leaders and heroes in science, history and the arts. All attendees will receive a museum guide, and students at Huerta Elementary will serve as museum docents talking about their classroom projects for museum visitors.

Dolores Huerta Elementary is located at 3309 Long Ave. in Fort Worth.

Museum founder and coordinator Eddie Arellano said that the museum, now in its 30 year, promotes literacy, research and leadership skills for students and celebrates diversity.

“Created in 1990, this project gives FWISD elementary grade classroom teachers and their students the opportunity to research the many contributions made by African Americans in children’s literature, science, history, and the arts; and to encourage students to value diversity and family traditions,” he said. “After researching a topic, teachers plan their project with their students and create a bulletin board project/exhibit to display what they learned in our school museum.”

To schedule a tour, contact Mr. Arellano at 817-205-2595.

North Side HS JV Mariachi Ensemble Wins State Title

Fort Worth ISD’s North Side Mariachi Espuelas de Cobre earned the state title in the all-level junior varsity division at last weekend’s Texas Association of Mariachi Educators (TAME) State Mariachi Finals.

The junior varsity ensemble qualified for state after earning a Division 1 rating in the TAME Area Mariachi Contest last month. Joining them at the state finals was the varsity ensemble from North Side High School, Mariachi Espuelas de Plata, which finished fourth in the Class 5A division state finals.

The 2020 state mariachi finals took place, February 7 and 8 in Seguin.

“Both groups played well and represented north Texas with pride,” said Imelda Martinez, a director for the North Side mariachi program.

The mariachi programs at North Side are also led by Ramon Niño and Alondra Morales.

2020 Dance Showcase To Display Talent, Technique of 7 FWISD Programs

Dance programs from seven Fort Worth ISD middle and high schools will light up the stage at the 2020 Dance Showcase, Tuesday, February 18.

Performances begin at 7 p.m. at the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA and are free to attend. Participating dance programs in this year’s showcase include Arlington Heights, Carter-Riverside, Diamond Hill-Jarvis, South Hills and Wyatt high schools, I.M. Terrell and Monnig Middle School. Talent and technique will be on display along with individual program performances and a grand finale featuring all participating dancers.

Movers Unlimited Dance Company will give a featured dance performance at this year’s showcase. The company, under the direction of Dr. Kihyoung Choi, will host master classes for FWISD dance students earlier in the day.

“Performing Arts activities, such as Dance, play a powerful role in developing creativity, emotions, movement, and skill that support other areas that are crucial to student success such as communication, social skills, and teamwork,” said Christina Walk, executive director of FWISD’s Visual and Performing Arts Department. “Our students experience this daily and display a tremendous amount of talent. We have a fabulous Dance faculty that has assisted their students’ growth as individual Dancers and as members of an ensemble.”

The showcase is sponsored by the FWISD Visual and Performing Arts Department.

I.M. Terrell is located at 1900IM Terrell Way in Fort Worth.

For more details, contact Ms. Walk at 817-814-2620.

Get to Know FWISD’s Newest Board Trustee In This Texas Wesleyan Feature

Fort Worth ISD Board of Education Trustee Daphne Brookins was recently honored by her alma mater, Texas Wesleyan University, in a feature published in the school’s newspaper The Rambler.

Ms. Brookins, a Youth Administrator at Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, was elected to the FWISD District 4 seat on November 5, 2019. She succeeded Dr. T.A. Sims, the District’s longest-serving board member with more than 35 years as a trustee who resigned July 16, 2019.

Ms. Brookins’ term runs through May 2021.

She is a 2001 graduate of Texas Wesleyan University. Ms. Brookins remains an active alumna of the university serving on several university advisory boards.

To learn more about Ms. Brookins, click here.

Art Contest Celebrates Black History Month, Key Voting Anniversaries

Students from Fort Worth ISD’s Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary School were recently recognized for their artwork depicting the right to vote.

The seventh annual Juried Art Show, hosted by the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, encouraged 100 third, fourth and fifth grade students to create art based on the theme “Getting Out the Vote.” The theme aligns with the nation’s 2020 black History Month theme, “African American and the Vote,” which celebrates the 150th commemoration of the Fifteenth Amendment ratification, passed in 1870, giving men of color the right to vote and the centennial to the nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote.

Staff from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art brought pieces from the museum’s collection as examples for students to look to for inspiration as they decided on what their own art pieces would depict.

The students and their art were celebrated at a ceremony, Thursday February 6 at Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary that included certificate and ribbon presentations, distribution of educational activity books, the opportunity for students to ask questions about voting and the civil rights movement and refreshments.

First place winners were invited by the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society to the Lenora Rolla Heritage Center Museum.

The following students earned top prizes in each respective grade level:

Third Grade

Josiah Morales, first place

Caylee Smith, second place

Maurquis Milton, third place

Fourth Grade

Zhinia Bevels, first place

Tyler Thoms, second place

Naomi Alexander, third place

Fifth Grade

Kameron Brown, first place

Cristal Aguinaga, second place

Tatum Walker-Jones, third place

View more photos from the event here.

Buzz Worthy: Coffee and Conversations

Need best school practices? Check out this week's Buzzy Worthy tip!

Our Edward J. Briscoe Elementary School team has several ways to engage parents and teachers. Principal Octavia Gray provided some great tips on how you can start the Coffee and Conversations at your campus! If you need additional guidance email her at Octavia.Gray@fwisd.org or call 817-814-0300.

"Coffee and Conversations started as a way to encourage parents (and all stakeholders) to come and allow their voices to be heard. Campus communication typically flows one way (from school to home) and we only hear from parents if there is a pressing concern," Ms. Gray said. "The traditional ways of collecting parent input (surveys, meetings, Parent Portal, etc.) can be intimidating to many due to language, technology access, and lack of efficacy to navigate school systems. The very first event last school year, NO PARENTS showed up, but teachers were dropping in during their planning periods to get hugs, say hello, ask their own questions, and give feedback on district/campus initiatives. As it progressed, we received parents, teachers, and community members."

How it works:

A flyer is sent home announcing the “drop-in” event. Ms. Gray prepares for general topics of discussion, but does not limit it to just that. The morning of the event the Briscoe Elementary team sets up a small area for coffee and tea. As parents enter the building they check in at the office and make their way down to the library.


  1. Try to find a partner who can donate the coffee.
  2. Host it in a neutral space.
  3. "I do not provide an agenda, as I want it to be an authentic exchange based on their needs."
  4. "Observe these meetings because additional ideas could sprout from them. We've had several events for parents and staff that have stemmed from Coffee and Conversations. For example, our educators stopping by these meetings really surprised me due to all of the PLCs, staff meetings, and other interactions that we have on a weekly basis. Another 'aha' moment ensued. I knew I had to carve out a different kind of time for faculty and staff and make myself available to engage less formally as well."


"We have an extensive number of parent classes and other events on our campus and I now work with our Family Communications Liaison to add a “Coffee and Conversations” component to those meetings at least once each semester. The one in the fall is typically comprised of lots of questions regarding the new school year; and, the one in the spring is typical consists of questions related to state testing and student support."

What a great idea! And, the campus posts the students on social media with a great caption.

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

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

Excellent Educator: Congratulations to South Hills High School Teacher Tran Nguyen, who was presented with the Excellent Educator Award and a $1,000 check from Southern Methodist University for her campus. Look for Ms. Nguyen's story February 19 on NBC 5 (KXAS-TV).

The C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) Program: Students at multiple FWISD schools were recently gifted with free running shoes in preparation for the upcoming Cowtown Marathon. Read more about the C.A.L.F. Program here.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Tarrant County Panel: Superintendent Kent Scribner participated in a panel about  the obstacles faced by teens in Tarrant County, February 6. 

“Raptor 6 Training and More”: Approximately 200 District personnel who manage Raptor for their campuses attended Classified Learning's “Raptor 6 Training and More,” a half-day course offered February 3 at South Hills high School. Attendees received required training on Raptor 6, a new visitors management system used for signing in guests at a campus and 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.

Regional Chess Match: Wedgwood Middle School hosted the Regional Chess Match, Saturday, February 1.

Presenting the Colors: Cadets from the Western Hills High School Air Force JROTC presented the colors at a ceremony for veterans luncheon hosted by a veterans support group, Friday, January 31 at Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth. In attendance were U.S. Congressional medal of Honor recipients and veterans who fought in wars dating back to 1941. Cadets who participated in presenting the colors included Lt. Col. Chase Diluilio, Maj. Eric Bowie, Maj. Dulce Martinez and Capt. Nate Martinez.

TELPAS/STAAR informational Parent Meeting: More than 80 parents attended Student Placement Center's TELPAS/STAAR Informational Parent Meeting, Thursday, January 30. In the session, parents learned the importance of the assessments and how they impact their child's education. Target gift cards and bilingual dictionaries were offered as door prizes at the event.

January 2020 Secondary School Principal Celebrations:

Click to enlarge

January 2020 Elementary School Principal Celebrations: Elementary School Leadership executive directors recognized principals from Charles Nash Elementary, Hubbard Heights, Harlean Beal, East Handley, Oaklawn and E.J. Briscoe elementary schools for displays of effective instruction and effective, well supported teachers, January 27. Principals from Charles Nash and Waverly Park Elementary were recognized as Golden Apple Schools for 100% of their staffs joining the campus PTA.

Professional Development Opportunity

National Hispanic College Fair, February 14

End of Fourth Six Weeks, February 14

Bad Weather Make-up Day (Student Holiday), February 17

Dance Showcase, February 18

Start of Fifth Six Weeks, February 18

Cowtown Marathon, February 22-24

Youth Mental Health First Aid Course, February 22

Billy W. Sills Lecture Series: A Dallas Native Looks at Fort Worth Fondly, February 22

Board Meeting, February 25

Fort Worth ISD Council of PTAs will live stream the first-ever Straight Talk at the Capitol: A Matter of Life and Breath, a discussion on vaping from Austin, February 25

Southwest Classic Unified Basketball Tournament, February 26

Report Cards Issued, February 26

District Teacher of the Year applications are due, February 28

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.