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Inside FWISD April 22, 2021

In this edition:

FWISD Superintendent Urges Parents To Take Family Survey FWISD Announces A New Path To Increase Teachers’ EarningsFWISD To Debut New Learning Management System This Fall | Fort Worth ISD Sends A Message Of Gratitude To Volunteers And Partners | FWISD HCM Seeks Pre-K Teachers, Teacher's Assistant At April 27 Career Fair | Care Solace Helps With Behavioral And Mental Healthcare Referrals | FWISD Mourns Death Of Former Educator Lester Beene | Paschal Baseball Goes After First Place In District Play | DH-J Senior Named Star-Telegram Boys Soccer Player Of The Week | Bookmobile On Road Again Promoting Full-Day Pre-K, Kindergarten In Fort Worth ISD | Texas A&M AgrLife Tarrant County Recognizes Educator For Volunteer Work | Texas Sales Tax Holiday For Emergency Supplies | FWISD Announces Recent Retirees | Food Available At Multiple Sites For FWISD Families, Community | Inside FWISD News Briefs | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | Community Resources | Calendar | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

FWISD SUPERINTENDENT URGES PARENTS TO TAKE FAMILY SURVEY

Parents, have you taken a moment to complete the Fort Worth ISD Forward Family Survey?

In this short video, FWISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner asks parents to let their voices be heard on a very important and timely topic: the schedule of the District’s extended summer learning opportunities and the 2021-2022 school year.

Please watch the video and then complete the survey at www.fwisd.org/familysurvey.

We need your input!

FWISD Announces a New Path to Increase Teachers’ Earnings

Fort Worth ISD is excited to offer our teachers a realistic pathway to earning substantially more money for their best work. It’s the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA), passed by – and funded by – the Texas Legislature as part of House Bill 3. FWISD is making sure our teachers have the opportunity to reap the benefits of the money made available by the state.

“We are truly excited to share details of this plan which will result in monetary recognition for teachers who are making an impact on student achievement,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “It is long overdue that we reward excellence in the profession of education. This will be a phased-in process but the importance of this beginning step cannot be overstated.”

Watch This Video for More Information

As seen in this short introductory video, the TIA will help Fort Worth ISD and other school systems in Texas recruit, retain and reward highly effective teachers. Teachers will have the opportunity to be awarded on one of three levels: Recognized, Exemplary, and Master. Depending on the designation earned, teachers can increase their yearly compensation from $3,000 to $32,000.

Fort Worth ISD is in the early stages of the implementation process. After watching the video, visit www.fwisd.org/tia for more information on this unprecedented opportunity.

FWISD To Debut New Learning Management System This Fall

Canvas is coming to the Fort Worth ISD this fall.

This new Learning Management System (LMS), which will be utilized by District employees, students and parents, is an application that allows for uploading and sharing of course materials, grades, tracking student participation, conducting virtual learning and communication. The online learning application also links with features FWISD already utilizes including Microsoft, Google and some textbook material. Canvas is used by more than 3,000 school districts including more than 250 districts, colleges and universities in Texas.

Beginning this May, the District will share additional Canvas updates and summer training opportunities with employees via Inside FWISD and fwisd.org.

“Canvas will offer more interactive features, increase design options, and integrate better with technology resources used in Fort Worth ISD. Teachers will be able to recycle the Google resources they created this school year, next school year, within Canvas,” said Dr. Karla Lester, Education Technology director. “Canvas will empower teachers to continue to use tools like Google and Microsoft because these tools are well integrated with the Canvas platform.”

FWISD currently manages first through 12th-grade instruction through Google Classroom and pre-kindergarten and kindergarten instruction through Seesaw.

In January, a group was created to explore a new LMS for FWISD. In February, District staff -- including teachers -- were surveyed on the LMS features they valued most. Two stakeholder groups -- one comprising teachers and principals, and another made up of District personnel from Academics and departments supporting instruction and professional learning – began meeting to offer additional insight into LMS needs at the campus level. Through the discussions, 37 LMS features were identified that District staff valued, and two LMS providers were invited to demonstrate their platforms. The platforms were evaluated with a focus on classroom instruction and technical infrastructure, according to FWISD Education Technology officials, and ultimately Canvas was selected.

Don’t’ forget to look for additional Canvas updates and summer training opportunities beginning next month.

FORT WORTH ISD SENDS A MESSAGE OF GRATITUDE TO VOLUNTEERS AND PARTNERS

This week, April 18-24, we honor the volunteers and partners who contribute in so many ways to the education of all children in Fort Worth ISD.

These women and men from all walks of life are a hugely important part of the work we do in our District every week of the year. And, as Superintendent Kent P. Scribner says to them in this thank you video, “…this past year, when the health crisis hit, you outdid yourselves!”

Please take a look.

FWISD HCM SEEKS PRE-K TEACHERS, Teacher's ASsistants AT APRIL 27 CAREER FAIR

Editor’s Note: In an effort to equip FWISD employees with essential information for a successful registration process, Inside FWISD will run “What You Need To Know” segments throughout the month of April. The following information provides details about the upcoming career fair for pre-K teachers and teacher's assistants.

Fort Worth ISD employees—Do you know someone ready to spring into a new career? Success Starts Here!

Tell a friend. The Fort Worth ISD is seeking energetic candidates with a desire to help our youngest learners achieve success.

Human Capital Management is hosting a virtual career fair event for prospective pre-kindergarten teachers and teacher’s assistants from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 27.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to register here to be considered for an interview.

Fort Worth ISD is looking to hire talented, dedicated, and experienced teachers who believe that all students can learn! We seek teachers who understand the urban culture and diverse student populations; and teachers who make building relationships with students and their parents a priority. If you know a candidate who possesses diverse skills and expertise along with a cooperative, collaborative spirit, this job fair is for them!

The District provides its educators with:

  • Professional development
  • Pre-K guidelines in Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
  • Research-based learning strategies

FWISD offers many career paths for springing into success. Encourage a friend to grow their career with FWISD today.

CARE SOLACE HELPS WITH BEHAVIORAL AND MENTAL HEALTHCARE REFERRALS

Care Solace, an organization determined to calm the chaos of mental healthcare coordination, has been selected to partner with the Fort Worth ISD (FWISD) to support behavioral and mental healthcare referrals for its nearly 80,000 students, their families and staff members. Care Solace equips school districts with a web-based tool that makes it easier for students, families and staff to connect with mental healthcare resources and providers in their communities.

“School is more than a place to learn, it’s a place where students come to feel embraced, included and supported,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner.

The partnership between the FWISD and Care Solace helps to quickly connect students and their families with providers that treat mental health and substance use disorders.

Help is available through:

  • Therapy
  • Online therapy
  • Hospitalization
  • Residential inpatient training
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Detox Centers
  • Family Counseling

“We chose to expand our continuum of support with Care Solace because of their unique ability to further our commitment to finding solutions that strengthen the health and safety of our learning community,” said associate superintendent of Student Support Services, Michael Steinert.

According to Child Trends, quick and easy access to evidence-based intervention offers the best opportunity to reduce the burden of economic and health costs associated with mental health disorders. Care Solace’s care navigation system uses proprietary technology and the largest database of behavioral and mental healthcare resources in California to find carefully vetted local therapists and programs in minutes.

Families of Fort Worth ISD will also have access to an around-the-clock Care Concierge team, where experts guide families through processes related to insurance, provider availability, wait times and scheduling.

The Care Concierge team is standing by 24/7/365 by phone – 888-515-0595; by email – www.caresolace.com/fortworth.

“By partnering with a mission-driven school district like FWISD, we’re paving a new path forward to connect students to verified community-based resources in times of need. There are many barriers that make it difficult for schools and families to get mental healthcare. We want to lift that burden so they can focus on what’s most important – getting well,” said Chad Castruita, founder of Care Solace.

Please note, Care Solace is not an emergency response service or mental health services provider. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

FWISD MOURNS DEATH OF FORMER EDUCATOR LESTER BEENE

The Fort Worth ISD is saddened by the recent death of retired Fort Worth ISD educator Lester Beene.

Mr. Beene, also known as “Big Coach,” died April 10. He was 86.

He was remembered at a celebration of life service last weekend in Fort Worth.

Throughout his career with FWISD, he taught and coached at Kirkpatrick, Dunbar and Glencrest Middle School.

Read more about Mr. Beene's life and legacy in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Fort Worth ISD extends its deepest sympathy to Mr. Beene’s family and all who were impacted by his life.

Paschal Baseball Goes After First Place In District Play

Fresh off a win in the Star-Telegram Game of the Week, Paschal looks for a series sweep and first place in District 3-6A at Boswell on Friday night.

The Panthers (8-3 district) pulled within a game of first by taking the series opener 5-4 on Tuesday in walk-off fashion over Boswell (9-2) at home. The series shifts to Boswell for the finale, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.

DH-J Senior Named Star-Telegram Boys Soccer Player of the Week

Diamond Hill-Jarvis senior Andres Montes was named the Star-Telegram boys soccer player of the week Wednesday on the strength of his performance in the UIL state tournament. The defender anchored the back line in the semifinal win over Celina and scored the first-ever goal by a Fort Worth ISD player in the 4A state final against Boerne.

“Andre is fully deserved on his honor,” Eagles coach Kyle Reopelle said. “He embodies what it means to be a Diamond Hill-Jarvis soccer player. He works really hard and went above and beyond this year in preparation for his senior season.

“He’s an excellent leader and showed great character in the state championship game. He kept battling until the final whistle and got rewarded with a goal on a header by out-jumping the defender.”

Montes, a team captain, and Eagles become the first FWISD soccer team to reach the state championship game. Diamond Hill-Jarvis fell 3-1 in the title match to conclude a storybook 26-5-2 season.

View photos of the Diamond Hill-Jarvis historic trip to state in Fort Worth ISD Snapshot below.

Bookmobile On Road Again Promoting Full-Day Pre-K, Kindergarten in Fort Worth ISD

Easy Online Registration Underway

The Fort Worth ISD Bookmobile is on the road again highlighting full-day Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten – this time at area schools, select voting precincts, and the Meadowbrook community.

In an effort to help parents navigate their own unique FWISD success plan for the upcoming school year, the Bookmobile has traveled over 250 miles throughout the months of March and April.

Below are upcoming dates and locations for the remainder of this week:

  • April 22: 2- 4 p.m. East Handley Elementary School 2617 Mims St., 76112
  • April 23: 1:45- 4 p.m. Glen Park Elementary School 3601 Pecos St., 76119

During these “pop-up” events, families will receive free resources on District early childhood programs, books for toddlers and young readers, and other community resources.

“Sometimes a friendly face can help create that sense of normalcy we all need in these uncertain times. It has been great interacting with our families and being that friendly face during these “pop-up” events” said Richard Johnson, Family Communications specialist.

Pre-K and Kindergarten in the Fort Worth ISD provide safe spaces that inspire discovery, learning, and there’s enough room for every child.

Our District Kindergarten teachers are state certified. They receive an extra 30 hours training annually. This additional training equips our educators with the latest tools to give young students the right balance of structure and play in their education.

Remember, registration is underway. To learn more about our early childhood programs, visit www.fwisd.org/prek.

Texas A&M AgriLife Tarrant County Recognizes Educator for Volunteer Work

Coach Jeanette Vazquez, an educator at Fort Worth ISD’s Glen Park Elementary, is being recognized this month as an outstanding partner volunteer.

Recently, Texas A&M AgriLife Tarrant County recognized the physical education teacher for inviting the county extension to deliver the Texas A&M AgriLife Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) at Glen Park Elementary. April is National Volunteer Month.

“Without folks like Jeanette, who give of their time and talents to help Texas A&M AgriLife educate Texans on living healthier lifestyles, our program would not have near the vast reach across our great state that we do,” said Christa Malik-Betz, extension assistant for the EFNEP Youth program. “We strongly believe in our motto of ‘Texans Helping Texans,’ and Coach Vazquez has exemplified that tremendously in her work by inviting us to deliver the EFNEP curriculum to [her] students during her PE classes at Glen Park."

Other FWISD employees highlighted earlier this month by Texas A&M AgriLife Tarrant County included Equity and Excellence Family Action Center director Carlos Walker, a Tarrant County 4-H volunteer, and Pamela Bennett, a Family Communications liaison at Edward J. Briscoe Elementary School, who was recognized for her work as a volunteer with the EFNEP Youth program.

To view all the volunteers recognized by Texas A&M AgriLife Tarrant County this month, visit http://facebook.com/agrilife.tarrant.

Texas Sales Tax Holiday for Emergency Supplies

As the potential for severe weather approaches, Texans can purchase certain items tax-free during the state’s sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies. The sales tax holiday runs from Saturday, April 24 through Monday, April 26.

There’s no limit on the number of qualifying items that can purchased including:

  • Household batteries
  • Fuel containers
  • Flashlights priced at less than $75
  • Hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300
  • Portable generators priced at less than $3,000

This weekend’s event begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 24, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 26. For purchases made online, note that delivery, shipping, handling, and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable.

For more information and a list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax-free, visit the website of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Note: The Comptroller will share a variety of topics on social media leading up to the weekend so check their accounts daily for updated content.

FWISD ANNOUNCES RECENT RETIREES

The following Fort Worth ISD employee recently retired, according to Human Capital Management:

  • Martina Gonzalez, elementary school Nutrition Services Manager, S.S. Dillow- 21 years

FOOD AVAILABLE AT MULTIPLE SITES FOR FWISD FAMILIES, COMMUNITY

Multiple organizations across Fort Worth are offering food to help families through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, the Fort Worth ISD has partnered with multiple organizations to share information and organize food distribution events for families.

Curbside Meals To Go breakfast and lunch service is available at more than 20 designated FWISD locations for FWISD virtual learners. Meals To Go is available three times weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. FWISD students participating in virtual learning may pick up a combination of breakfast and lunch meals for the week and weekend at any of the designated meal pickup sites. For more information, contact the FWISD Child Nutrition Department at 817-814-3500.

The Fort Worth ISD has compiled a list of locations to find free and nutritious food here.

Food is available at these locations:

Food Distribution

1. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon

LVTRISE

8201 Calmont Ave.

Every Tuesday and Thursday LVTRise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living in the Las Vegas Trail area, distributes nonperishable food items to the community.

2. Every Tuesday, 3:45-5:30 p.m.

South Hills High School

6101 McCart Ave.

South Hills High School is offering free curbside, ready-made meals for children while supplies last. Meals are provided to families that show proof of children under age 18 in the household or if a child is present at pickup. Children do not have to be enrolled at South Hills High or a Fort Worth ISD school to obtain food.

3. Every Friday, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Eastside YMCA – Centralized Youth & Family Programs

1500 Sandy Lane

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth is offering Grab and Go Meals at the Eastside YMCA until the end of the 2020-2021 school year. It is open to all youth ages 18 years and under ─ no qualifications required. For additional details, call 817-571-3371

4. Thursday, April 22, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Metro Opportunity High School

2723 Cullen St.

Food Boxes will be available for Metro Opportunity and Middle Level Learning Center families. The boxes include meat, produce, grains, beans and other groceries.

5. Friday, April 23, 9 a.m.- Noon

Herman Clark Stadium

5201 CA Roberson Blvd.

Fort Worth ISD is partnering with Tarrant Area Food Bank to host a Mega Mobile Market food distribution event. Approximately 1,000 boxes of nonperishable food will be provided to families on a first-come, first-served basis. Each family will receive 100 pounds of fresh produce, meat dairy and groceries. For additional information, visit https://tafb.org/megamobilemarkets/

6. Wednesday, April 28, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (every Wednesday)

Bethlehem Baptist Church

1188 W. Broad St., Mansfield

Free, drive-thru food distribution open to everyone. For additional information, call 817-473-1236 or visit https://www.bethlehemmansfield.org/events/

7. Thursday, April 29, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Metro Opportunity High School

2723 Cullen St.

Food Boxes will be available for Metro Opportunity and Middle Level Learning Center families. The boxes include meat, produce, grains, beans and other groceries.

8. Friday, April 30, 9 a.m.- Noon

Herman Clark Stadium

5201 CA Roberson Blvd.

Fort Worth ISD is partnering with Tarrant Area Food Bank to host a Mega Mobile Market food distribution event. Approximately 1,000 boxes of nonperishable food will be provided to families on a first-come, first-served basis. Each family will receive 100 pounds of fresh produce, meat dairy and groceries. For additional information, visit https://tafb.org/megamobilemarkets/

For the complete Tarrant Area Mobile Food Pantry Schedule, visit https://www.tafb.org/wp-content/uploads/mobile/mobile-pantry-schedule.pdf. Need food delivered? Call 817-857-7100 to speak with a live representative about how to access nutritious food.

Other food resources are also available:

https://www.facebook.com/tafoodbank

INSIDE FWISD NEWS BRIEFS

Editor's Note: Inside FWISD Briefs are quick-hit stories of activities and events happening locally and nationally.

The following content is from the Internal Revenue Service

Tax Day Extended For Individuals

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced March 17 that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

Earlier this year, following the disaster declarations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. These states have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This extension to May 17 does not affect the June deadline.

"This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to."

Learn more here.

FWISD Launches COVID Vaccination Resource Page For Employees

As a service to our employees, the Fort Worth ISD is consolidating information about COVID-19 vaccine opportunities.

Visit https://www.fwisd.org/covidvaccine to view the COVID-19 vaccination opportunities available to District employees. The site is continually updated as more opportunities for employees become available.

Tarrant County Public Health also offers local vaccine clinics on a regular basis. Learn more by visiting its website.

Administrative Assistant Day: Multiple schools and departments across the District observed Happy Administrative Assistant Day on Wednesday. Here's a sampling of how FWISD's administrative assistants were celebrated. 

DH-J Finishes Runner-Up at 4A UIL State Soccer Tournament: The Diamond Hill-Jarvis boys soccer team made school and District history with 24 wins and an advancement to the 4A Boys state title game on April 17. The team finished runner-up after a 3-1 match against Boerne. Five players were named to the all-tournament team -- Eduardo Lopez, senior, midfield; Edward Zuniga, sophomore, midfield; Jonathan Lopez, senior, defense; Ricardo Gonzalez, sophomore, forward; Andres Montes, senior, defense. Below are pictures of their road to the state finals.

Showdown in Cowtown: Multiple Fort Worth ISD cadets participated in the Showdown in Cowtown JROTC competition April 10.

National Assistant Principal Week: The country observed National Assistant Principal Week, April 5-9. Here's a few photos of how some FWISD schools celebrated their assistant principals during the week.

National Library Week: The country observed National Library Week, April 4-10, 2021. Also during the weeklong observance was National School Librarian Day. Some Fort Worth ISD shared photos of how they celebrated their librarians during this special week.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

April Is Financial Literacy Month

April is National Financial Literacy Month. It’s a great opportunity to review and upgrade your knowledge of how to manage your money. In partnership with our Financial Wellness Program provider, FinPath, we have a few activities designed to improve your financial literacy throughout the entire month.

The Challenge: improve your financial confidence with simple and engaging content

  • Explore easy money management tips
  • Learn helpful financial life hacks
  • Unlock program features each week

On April 30, we will announce the winner for the Financial Literacy Month Challenge GRAND PRIZE. To enter, login each week to your FinPath account and unlock a program feature. Each week you unlock a new feature that will get you one ticket for the drawing, with the last week worth double points!

Register for your FREE account now at www.finpathwellness.com

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County Expanded Basic Needs Program for Families

Wear A Mask

CDC Tips on Properly Wearing A Cloth Mask

For more details, visit https://bit.ly/3aWGUVW.

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. Free COVID-19 testing is also available for select FWISD employees by visiting www.virtualcarefamilies.com/fwisd-abbott.

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 is partnering with Virtual Care for Families to offer select employees with free Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 testing. All eligible employees must preregister to receive the test.

The following employees/departments are eligible for testing:

  • Teachers
  • Transportation
  • Maintenance and Operations
  • Custodians
  • Child Nutrition Services
  • Special Education personnel

District employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are advised not to arrive at a designated FWISD testing location and to contact their doctor or visit www.virtualcarefamilies.com to be connected with a provider.

Employees are encouraged to follow the instructions below to register for the free COVID-19 testing.

Employee Assistance Program Resources for FWISD Employees

Follow COVID-19 updates from the City of Fort Worth at fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19/

National and Public School Volunteer Week, Continues through April 24

Early voting for May 1 election, Continues through April 27

Self Care Café, April 21

HCM Pre-K Teacher and Teacher’s Assistant Hiring Event, April 27

Board of Education Meeting, April 27

District Math Bee, April 29

HCM Networking Event, April 29

Joint Elections, May 1

STAAR Testing, May 4-7

End of Fifth Six Weeks, May 7

Share your story ideas, successes, calendar items, photos, questions and feedback with us at Inside@FWISD.org. Content submissions are due no later than 10 a.m. Fridays for the next edition. Check the Inside FWISD blog, www.fwisd.org/insidefwisd, regularly updated throughout the week with additional content and features.