Inside FWISD August 29, 2019

In this edition:

FWISD Closed For Labor Day | CBS This Morning Features Leadership Academy At Como Elementary School | FWISD District 4 Trustee Candidate Filing Ends September 4 | Fort Worth ISD Football Preview: Lights Switch On | FWISD Slates College Colors Day For Friday | Blackboard/ParentLink: FWISD's Official Mass Communications System | State Of Education Luncheon Set For September 12 | South Hills SROs Provide More Than Just A Ride | 7,300 Complete FWISD Insurance Open Enrollment | FWISD Print Shop Officially Closes | Communications Offers Campus Web, Social Media Training | UV4C Slates Suicide Prevention Week September 9-14 | Coming Soon: A New District Benefit Heading Your Way! | Ask Elsie | Munis System Offline August 29- September 3 | FWISD District-Wide Online Registration Is Ongoing | Fort Worth ISD Snapshot | View more stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD Blog

FWISD Closed for Labor Day

All Fort Worth ISD schools and offices are closed Monday, September 2, for the Labor Day holiday.

Classes and District offices will resume normal operating hours, Tuesday, September 3.

Observed nationally the first Monday in September, Labor Day celebrates the American worker and their achievements.

CBS This Morning Features Leadership Academy at Como Elementary School

Did you see FWISD's Leadership Academy at Como Elementary School featured in the CBS This Morning School Matters segment Wednesday?

See how this campus and its staff is encouraging student success in this video.

FWISD District 4 Trustee Candidate Filing Ends September 4

People wanting to run for the vacant Fort Worth ISD Board of Education District 4 seat have until 5 p.m. Wednesday September 4 to file as a candidate.

The Fort Worth ISD has scheduled a Special Election for Tuesday, November 5, 2019, to fill the District 4 seat vacated by the retirement of long-time member Dr. T.A. Sims in July. The candidate elected to the seat will represent District 4 until the term expires in May 2021.

District 4 candidates will draw for a place on the November 5 ballot, at 5:30 p.m. Monday, September 9 in the Fort Worth ISD Board Room at 2903 Shotts St.

In-person early voting will take place at designated polling locations October 21-November 1. Unregistered voters who want to cast a ballot in the November 5 election have until Monday, October 21 to register.

Important candidate documents and additional information regarding this election can be found on the Board of Education Election Page on the District’s website.


By Art Garcia

Inside FWISD Contributor

There’s no show quite like Texas high school football and the curtain goes up this week.

Each of the District’s 14 teams take to the turf, starting with four games Thursday evening. The holy day of schoolboy football follows with nine contests basking under those Friday Night Lights before the Fort Worth ISD’s opening week ends with a lone Saturday morning tilt.

If it sounds like a lot, it is. The prep work for the District has been an ongoing affair for months.

“We spent the whole summer preparing for the year,” said Todd Vesely, Athletics Department executive director. “It’s really our busiest time in the office. It’s really exciting to see to that period of time for us coming to a close, and we’re about to turn on the lights for the most exciting football athletic season that there is anywhere in the country.”vesely

Each new season brings renewed hope and optimism, as the lessons for the previous year and all the hard work in between takes shape with squads in control of their destinies. Preseason predictions don’t mean a thing once the ball flies off the tee.

“Everybody’s starting over. Everybody’s undefeated right now,” said Dean Pritchett, assistant director of athletics. “The excitement of all the work they’ve put in, last offseason, over the summer and since we’ve been back for conditioning and fall camps. It’s very exciting. And having 14 teams, I’m always on the phone during games checking scores of games around town and our teams traveling.”

Several District programs made the playoffs last season, including Southwest, Eastern Hills, O.D. Wyatt, Benbrook and Dunbar. Getting into the postseason is a goal all teams share.

“It’s the anticipation that anything can happen,” Vesely said. “You really don’t know what can happen with grades and injuries and kids moving and transferring. We have so much hope and anticipation for every one of our programs. That’s the thing about Texas high school football, everybody is good.”

The Thursday slate features all 7 p.m. starts: South Hills-Cleburne (Clark Stadium), Arlington Heights-Springtown (Farrington Field), Diamond Hill-Jarvis vs. Dallas Conrad (Forester Field) and Western Hills-Dallas Molina (Sprague Field).

Friday night’s schedule: Southwest- Frisco Lebanon Trail (7 p.m. Clark), North Side-Lake Worth (7 p.m. Farrington), O.D. Wyatt- Seagoville (7 p.m. Scarborough-Handley Field), Trimble Technical-Carrollton R.L. Turner (7 p.m. Standridge Stadium), Polytechnical-Dallas Hillcrest (7:30 p.m. Franklin Field) Dunbar-Dallas Kimball (7:30 p.m. Sprague) Paschal-Irving (7 p.m. Ellis Stadium) Benbrook-Nevada Community ( 7:30 p.m. Braves Field) Carter-Riverside vs. Castleberry (7:30 p.m. Barnes Memorial Stadium).

Eastern Hills travels to Carrollton Standridge Stadium to face Newman Smith at 10 a.m. Saturday to conclude what promises to be an eventful Week 1.

“There’s nothing like it,” Vesely said. “Those football games are community events with lots of students involved. We’re looking forward to watching all those students in action, with the band, the cheerleaders, the drill teams, all the support organizations. There will be lots of recognizing of other athletes and other organizations at our football games.”

Among the festivities throughout the fall is a forthcoming celebration of Farrington Field, which is entering its 80th season. The iconic stadium, with a seating capacity of 18,500, is a true Fort Worth landmark, complete with a stunning view of the city’s downtown skyline at night.

Farrington’s venerable bones are dripping with moments that have stood the test of time.

“When you walk up the ramp, you can almost hear and feel the history that comes from being inside that stadium,” Vesely said. “It’s an incredibly special place and a special experience to get to go to games or participate in games in some capacity there. We’re going to try to honor one of the great facilities that we have in the city.”

Farrington and fields across the state will host a new set of memories soon enough. Vesely, for one, hopes to share those originating in Cowtown.

“For those that have never attended a Texas high school football game,” he said. “For those who have in the past, for those who have never been to a game in Fort Worth, I would challenge them to come be a part of the greatest sports season that there is anywhere in United State or anywhere on Earth, as a matter of fact.”

Volleyball building on success

District volleyball teams have moved on past the tournament part of the schedule to nondistrict games. After an unprecedented amount a success last year, with eight teams reaching the playoffs and five advancing past the first round, this season’s outlook is soaring.

“It was a very successful volleyball season last year,” Vesely said. “We played some close matches with some top teams. We think we’re off to a strong start.”

The complete District volleyball schedule is available here.


Teachers and staff at Fort Worth ISD schools are being encouraged to dress in their college colors on Friday, August 30, 2019 as a way to further encourage students to consider the goal of a college education.

Schools may be creative. While some may have everyone dressing in gear from his or her favorite institution, others may have a locker decorating contest or classroom door decorating contest. Still, other campuses may play the fight song of nearby or popular universities or bring in a speaker to promote the benefits of higher education.

“I know that many of our counselors are doing great and exciting things with their students, parents and staff to celebrate College Colors Day,” said Dr. Anita Perry, executive director of collegiate programming and advisement. “It is important for us to continue to foster the culture that expects students to become life-long learners.”

Share on social media by tagging your photos and videos #FWISDCollegeColors –and we will repost and retweet the best!

Blackboard/Parentlink: FWISD's Official Mass Communications System

The following memorandum from Clint Bond, FWISD executive director of external and emergency communications, is regarding the District's official mass communications system:

State of Education Luncheon Set for September 12

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce will host the 19th Annual State of Public Education luncheon on September 12 – this time at a new location, PalmWood at the Frost Tower in downtown Fort Worth.

Superintendent Kent P. Scribner will be joined by Arlington ISD Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos for a panel discussion before a group of about 300 community leaders.

The event will be moderated by Greg Karol, Vice President of Human Resources at Lockheed Martin. Discussion will provide insight on how the school districts are

  • getting students ready to be employed in high demand and high-wage careers,
  • fostering successful business partnerships that serve as a blueprint for involvement and impact, and
  • preparing students for career –readiness through real life experience and training.

The luncheon will also mark the debut of Fort Worth ISD’s 2018-19 Annual Report entitled “Listen, Learn, and Lead.”

South Hills SROs provide more than just a ride

By Art Garcia

Inside FWISD Contributor

Harry Gross finished his day and was ready to head home. But before leaving his post at South Hills High School at about 9:30 p.m. Monday, August 19, the 64-year-old custodian made a quick trip back into the building.

He parked his bike and dashed inside.

“It was the strangest thing I ever had happen,” Mr. Gross said.

Upon his quick return, his bike was nowhere to be found.

“Poof, it was gone,” he sighed.

Mr. Gross said he looked around, saw a few people on the street but no sign of his means to and from work.

Though anger welled up, he didn’t show it. He had no choice but to walk home, luckily only about three blocks from campus.

The next day, he strolled back to South Hills in time for his 1 p.m. shift. Mr. Gross reported his bike missing to the campus Security Resource Officers (SROs), knowing that security cameras possibly recorded what happened.

He said he felt differently than the night before, when he wished that the 5-year-old bike would fall apart for the perpetrators. Maybe it was a sign, he thought.

“That just freed me up to get another bicycle over at the Wal-Mart,” said Mr. Gross, a 19-year District employee, with the last decade spent at South Hills. “I figured it would cost around $100, maybe $200 at the most. That’s what I had in mind.”

The walking continued for only another day. Upon clocking in Wednesday, Mr. Gross noticed a new bike in Assistant Principal Jennifer Kleiber’s office. A black 10-speed Roadmaster with blue trim was awaiting its new owner.

“I was shocked, surprised,” said Mr. Gross, with a smile a mile wide. “I couldn’t thank them enough. It’s a whole lot nicer than the one I had.

“I can only express gratitude,” he beamed. “Thank you, thank you, thank you – thank both to the Lord and them.”

Officer Bell and Officer Montalvo, the campus SROs and members of the Fort Worth Police Department, purchased the replacement themselves. They were also able to track down Mr. Gross’ original bike, using information gathered by the security footage, returning that as well.

“This place really does run as a family,” Assistant Principal Kleiber said. “There’s a very positive culture around here. They take care of each other, and that starts with the staff and filters down to the students.”

Mr. Gross is celebrating a birthday on Friday, Aug. 30. He says this year’s gift came about a week early.

Dr. Yassmin Lee (left), executive director of talent acquisition and development in the human Capital Management Department, gets questions answered at a benefits open enrollment session, hosted Monday, August 6, at the Central Administration Building.

7,300 Complete FWISD Insurance Open Enrollment

Over 7,300 Fort Worth ISD employees applied for insurance benefits during the one-month open enrollment period, according to the Benefits Department.

From July 22 to August 22, 7,354 employees enrolled for benefits including medical, dental, vision and other offerings for the 2019-2020 year. Of those employees who enrolled, 15% (2,100) completed enrollment on the final day, August 22.

Insurance benefits for the 2019-2020 year take effect Sunday, September 1.

Here’s a breakdown of the insurance coverage FWISD employees are enrolled in for the 2019-2020 year:

  • Medical: 7,106 (53%)
  • Health Savings Account (HSA): 1,538 (11% total participation; 22% of medical participants)
  • Dental: 6,615 (48%)
  • Vision: 5,143 (37%)
  • Disability: 3,132 (23%)
  • Optional life insurance: 4,624 (34%)
  • Texas Life: 1,411 (10%)
  • Cancer insurance plan: 1,748 (13%)
  • January Savings Plan: 1,713 (12%)
  • CHUBB Accident insurance: 1,430 (10%)
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA): 1,345 (10%)
  • MASA emergency transportation insurance: 944 (7%)
  • Dependent care: 129 (less than 1%)

During the month open enrollment was available, FWISD’s Benefits Department hosted 27 open enrollment sessions where employees learned about insurance offered to them and completed enrollment prior to the August 22 deadline. The Benefits Department reports that 1,202 employees participated in the sessions.

New District employees have 31 calendar days from their hire date to enroll for benefits. For example, a teacher hired August 13, has until September 13 to enroll. New hires are encouraged to visit www.myhealthbenefitshub.com/fortworthisd to complete the enrollment process.

Employees who experience a qualifying life event are eligible to enroll for benefits or modification of their coverage. Qualifying events include the birth of a child, a new marriage, divorce, death of a dependent, a spouse either starts or loses a job or an employee reaches the maximum dependent age.

Contact the Benefits Department at 817-814-2240 for more details on qualifying life events.

The Benefits office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FWISD Print Shop Officially Closes

Approved Print Vendors Available to Support District Printing Services

The Fort Worth ISD In-House Print Shop officially closes its doors today, August 29.

For years, the Print Shop handled custom printing jobs and services to support the District’s schools and administrative departments. The shop’s closure is a result of rising costs, and the space will be absorbed into mailroom operations, the District’s Business office previously reported.

The District will work with multiple print vendors, who are available for immediate use, to support FWISD campus and administration printing services moving forward.

“All printing and reprographic services (posters, banners, etc.) from simple print and copy jobs, specialty printing, media, signage, programs, brochures and much more are available from the approved vendor list,” states a recent memorandum from Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro’s office. “Please see the approved vendor list in the Purchasing Portal for their core capabilities, including time frames, rush changes, etc. Please review and reach out to the vendors for your printing needs.”

For more details, contact Nellie Lucano in the Purchasing Department at 817-814-2216 or email Nellie.Lucano@fwisd.org.

Communications Offers Campus Web, Social Media Training

The Fort Worth ISD Communications Department is offering campus website and social media open lab training sessions for school web and social media managers.

Eight come-and-go lab sessions are scheduled through Monday, September 26 in the Board Conference Room, 2903 Shotts St. People interested in attending are encouraged to register via Eduphoria!.

The scheduled sessions are:

  • Aug. 29: 4:30- 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 4: 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 5: 4:30- 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 11: 1:30- 4:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 12: 4:30- 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 18: 1:30- 4:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 19: 4:30- 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 26: 1:30- 4:30 p.m.

The open lab training sessions are available for web and social managers appointed by their campus principals. Attendees must bring their own laptop to participate and arrive at least 30 minutes before the lab ends.

Web and social managers will receive training to support the best online impression possible. Attendees will learn how to update and maintain their campus website and social media platforms.

Contact Thomas Ketchersid, web communications coordinator, at thomas.ketchersid@fwisd.org, and Kiana King at kiana.king@fwisd.org with questions about the upcoming sessions, campus websites and social media pages.

For more details, visit www.fwisd.org/websitetraining.

UV4C President Joceline Rojas speaks to the FWISD Board of Education about The Future is Bright: A Week of Suicide Prevention, Tuesday August 29.

UV4C Slates Suicide Prevention Week September 9-14

Fort Worth ISD will observe The Future is Bright: A Week of Suicide Prevention, September 9-14. The week coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day, Tuesday September 10.

On Tuesday, August 27, the FWISD Board of Education approved a resolution endorsing the weeklong efforts planned by the District’s United Voices for Change (UV4C) organization.

UV4C, as it is called, is a program encouraging students to use their voices to make positive change in their communities and on their school campuses, is spearheading the week of activities, conversation and education focused on reducing the stigma of mental illness and teaching students and the Tarrant County community about warning signs and people at risk of suicide.

According to the resolution, read by Board President Jacinto Ramos at the meeting, suicide is the third leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 17. Last year, four FWISD students died by suicide, according to the resolution.

“Fort Worth ISD students agree suicide prevention is a top priority,” Joceline Rojas, a junior at Marine Creek Collegiate High School and UV4C president, told Board trustees Tuesday. “Many of our peers suffer with depression and thoughts of suicide and seeing the tragic impact on our friends and the families of students who have died by suicide, we plan to positively impact our community by dedicating week of suicide prevention.”

Learn about the activities slated for the week of suicide prevention in next week’s Inside FWISD.

Coming Soon: A new district benefit Heading your way!

The following message is from TCG Group Holdings:

Did you know only 30% of Americans have long-term financial goals? Are you ready to set yourself apart?

We’ve got a new employer-paid benefit coming your way in next month that will allow you to get started on a budget, save for that car you’ve been wanting, and put yourself on a path toward financial independence!

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming information about FinPath, powered by TCG Advisors, and get ready to learn how to manage your money.

You’ll be able to:

● Explore a wide variety of learning modules about everything from emergency savings to credit scores

● See where you spend your money with an account aggregator

● Get personalized professional advice on how to budget

So, don’t be like 70% of Americans! Get ready to hop on the path to financial wellness!

Look for more details in an upcoming Inside FWISD publication.

We respect your privacy. If you would not like your information provided to TCG for the purpose of this employer-provided benefit, please opt out by sending an email to finpath@tcgservices.com or to discuss additional account options.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.

Dear Elsie,

I am currently a 240 employee who receives vacation days. With this new change in accruals, will this affect how I can take my days throughout the school year? At the present time, we are told that we can’t use personal days prior to a holiday or after a holiday, during the first week and last week of school and around testing time for the students. Will these local personal days be regulated in the same way? I have parents who are sick, and doctors’ appointments scheduled throughout the year, and I want to make sure I will not be penalized for taking one of these local personal days. Will we be penalized for taking two local personal days consecutively without approval, as we are with the current personal days? I have read through the District Board policy, and the only information I find is for the current accruals we have. It doesn’t mention anything about these new local personal days.

Concerned Employee

Dear Concerned Employee:

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Karen Molinar, FWISD chief of staff in the Policy and Planning Department, regarding your question and here’s the response: “Thank you for reaching out with your question regarding our new Local Personal Days. Local Personal Days can and should be utilized the same as formerly identified vacation days. The limitations of prior to a holiday or after a holiday occur when you want to use State Personal Days. Hope this answers your questions, but feel free to contact me directly with any additional questions.”

Thank you, Concerned Employee for your question, and thank you Ms. Molinar for your response.


Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put the words "Ask Elsie" in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.


The following memorandum is from the Department of Compensation and Employee Records:


Online registration for the 2019-20 school year is ongoing –and it’s easier than ever.

All Fort Worth ISD students –or their parents – can complete registration by visiting www.fwisd.org/register. Online registration is for all students –both new and returning – and is a “must ” in order to be enrolled in the Fort Worth ISD.

The process for returning students is fast and should take from five to ten minutes. Using your student’s individual Snapcode, simply go to www.fwisd.org/register and confirm the information you’ve previously supplied or update any new information.

A Snapcode is a 15-digit combination of numbers and letters unique to each student. Snapcodes were sent out with this year’s final report cards. Superintendent Kent Scribner sent out this video in early June and explained where to find your student’s Snapcode on his or her final report card.

Families of new students will find the process easy as well – with instructions for uploading any necessary documents. Parents can visit www.fwisd.org/register, click the Registration button, and create an account.

Online registration is a time-saving tool that can be done from the convenience of your own home, at any hour, day or night, using your smartphone, laptop, or any digital device. Families may also register at their neighborhood school.

Who: All Fort Worth ISD students – either new or returning

What: Online registration for the 2019-20 school year

When: NOW!

Why: It’s easy, it’s convenient, and parents no longer have to fill out form after form with the same information.

How: Parents of returning students use an assigned Snapcode, which can be found on the 2018-19 final report card or on your Parent Portal account.

Help: Have a question? Call Fort Worth ISD’s Parent Information Hotline at 817-814-2070, or visit the District website at www.fwisd.org/register to read a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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

Janett Allen Retires: After 32 years with the District, Janett Allen, the administrative assistant in the Accountability and Data Quality Department, is retiring. A large crowd attended her retirement reception, August 28, to wish her well.

Board Approves Three Personnel Appointments: The FWISD Board of Education unanimously approved three personnel appointments Tuesday, August 27. Congratulations to Dorene Benavidez, Executive Director of Equity and Professional Learning; Alleia Chambers-Hobbs, Executive Director of Instructional Initiatives and Mcdeny Mojica, Senior Technology Officer. Learn more about these three in a future publication of Inside FWISD.

2019 Dallas Wings Jr. NBA Coach of the Year: The Dallas Wings basketball club recognized Dave Geer, head girl's basketball coach at Paschal High School, as one of its finalists for the 2019 Dallas Wings Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award during halftime at is August 25 game with the Atlanta Dream. "Finalist are chosen for their outstanding leadership and communication skills, community involvement and the positive impact they are making in student-athlete’s lives," according to a statement posted on the Paschal Facebook page/ This is Coach Geer's fourth year in FWISD and at Paschal High. " I and humbled and blessed to be recognized by my peers the Dallas Wings and the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year organization for this honor. My coaching staff deserves this honor as much as I do," Geer said. Earlier this year, the Dallas Wings named South Grand Prairie High School's Ashley Robinson its 2019 Dallas Wings Jr. NBA Coach of the Year winner.

Full Speed: Congratulations to Paschal High School senior Whit Dennis, who won the 6A-5A Varsity Boys 5K race with a time of 15:10.3 at the Waxahachie Woodhouse Invitational cross country meet last weekend. Whit told Texas Mile Split, the news network for high school track and field and cross county, shortly after the race that he set his personal record by 12 seconds. "I was honestly not expecting that at all," he told Texas Mile Split. "It just shocked me."

School supply donations: Schools in Fort Worth ISD are receiving individual school supply kits from the annual Kroger “Backpack Boosters” school supply campaign. Shoppers in North Texas and Louisiana donated money for supplies and school supply kits at their local Kroger in July. Fort Worth schools will receive more than 7,700 school supply boxes delivered in 35 pallets, valued at more than $60,000. This generous donation from Kroger customers and employees will help students start the year with the tools they need to be successful. The latest schools receiving the supply kits are the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard and H.V. Helbing Elementary School.

FWISD is hiring nurses

FWISD is looking for Bilingual Teachers

FWISD is hiring bus drivers

Online Registration, Ongoing

Gold Seal Late Application Window, Continues through September 6

College Colors Day, August 30

FWISD Council of PTAs Annual Fall Training and General Membership Meeting, August 31

2019 High School Volleyball Schedule

2019 Varsity Football Schedule

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.