- Fort Worth ISD
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Presidential Proclamation Honoring Former First Lady Barbara BushPosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/18/2018
As a mark of respect for the memory of Barbara Bush, President Donald Trump has ordered that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff until sunset, on the day of interment.
The Fort Worth ISD will comply with this order. Please note, flag protocol prescribes that no flag is to fly higher than the U.S. flag, meaning that all flags in Texas should be flown at half-staff for the same duration.
FWISD Sells First Capital Improvement Bonds From 2017 Bond Program: District Turns Process into Teaching Event for High School StudentsPosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/17/2018 12:00:00 PM
Almost a dozen Fort Worth ISD students were on-hand to watch the District sell approximately $185 million in Unlimited Tax School Building Bonds that will finance much needed construction projects approved by voters last November.
Students from Carter-Riverside, North Side, Paschal and Polytechnic high schools watched in real-time Wednesday, April 11, as investors around the world placed orders to purchase an estimated $185 million in bonds. This was the first of multiple bond sales that will take place over the next four years.
Financial advisers and underwriters briefly explained municipal finance and investments over the course of the sale and offered a basic understanding of capital markets.
One important lesson for the students was that real-time news events, such as the continued struggle in Syria, have real-world impacts when it comes to things like the sale of bonds. The Fort Worth ISD was able to negotiate substantially better terms because investors were seeking the stability of the bond market.
Fort Worth ISD recently received a AAA long-term rating and AA underlying rating by Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings. At the same time, Moody's Investors Rating Service issued an Aaa enhanced long-term rating and an Aa1 underlying rating. Both agencies spoke to the financial stability of the District, its good financial management practices and future plans to maintain strong reserves to affirm a stable financial future outlook.
Last November, 78 percent of voters approved a more than $750 million bond package that will fund renovations to 14 FWISD comprehensive high schools, the relocation of three specialized schools and also address school overcrowding and student growth at Tanglewood and Waverly Park elementary schools.
The finance professionals shared their experiences of how and why they got into the business. Among those imparting wisdom into the students was a Polytechnic alumnus who now works as a managing director for an investment banking firm.
“My greatest takeaway is that we have begun educating the students in Fort Worth ISD regarding the finance side of a business operation,” said Elsie Schiro, FWISD chief financial officer. “It was important in that I understand at a young age they may not understand the finance and accounting side of an organization.
“For students to hear professionals who have worked in our industry for some time… listen to their stories, it may provide them with a pathway to a career that they may have otherwise not understood.”
The experience offered students a behind-the scenes look at what goes into funding the District’s capital improvement projects, said Dacia Carter, a teacher at Carter-Riverside High.
Her student Mariana Diaz, a senior, said the opportunity was an exciting one in which she got an in-depth look into finance.
“It was eye-opening,” she said. “I was able to see how we get the money.”
Bianca Rodriguez, a junior at North Side High School, said that engaging with finance professionals was interesting. One takeaway lesson from the day was that getting things done requires hard work – nothing comes for free, she said.
“I learned a lot more about investment banking than I thought,” Bianca said. “Meeting more people, I’m able to get a better idea of different career paths for myself.”
With the first series of bonds sold, the District can start construction soon on Phase 1 of the 2017 bond projects.
Ask ElsiePosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
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.
My question is in regard to the four-day work during the summer for FWISD employers. Would this apply to the subs if they are willing to work as a clerk during the summer?
Thank you in advance on this matter.
Dear Ms. Morgan,
The four-day work week only applies to full-time staff whose calendar work days continue during the summer months through August 31, 2018. It would not apply to substitutes, temporary and/or part-time help.
Thank you for your question.
Does the District offer any programs for people with student loans? Do you have to be a teacher to receive aid? If you leave the District, can you still receive assistance?
I reached out to Cynthia Rincon, chief of the Human Capital Management Department, and she had this to say on the matter: “I’m not aware that the District provides ‘programs’ for people with student loans. However, we do receive loan forgiveness forms daily from District employees (not just teachers) but those originate from the loan programs like federal student loan forgiveness for public service.” Click here for student loan forgiveness options for teachers.
Thanks again for your question.
Does the District offer any partnership perks with restaurants, AT&T, airlines, or any company?
The District offers an Employee Perks Plus Program. Please review this list on the District website for information on discounts available to employees from our area business partners.
Thank you for your question.
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.
FWISD Celebrates National Volunteer WeekPosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/16/2018 3:10:00 PM
Did you know that in 2017 Fort Worth ISD’s 10,894 volunteers donated 190,956 hours of their time to support students?
The volunteer value in Texas is actually $25.15 per hour, which equates to $4.8 million for the 2016 – 2017 school year. This data illustrates a substantial return on the District’s investment in the volunteer program.
This week, Fort Worth ISD will take time out to thank “volunteers who give their time, talents, and support to advance education for all students,” said Jennifer Perez, director of Family Communications.
National Volunteer Week is from April 16-20. The weeklong celebration thanks and recognizes individuals who give of their time and effort to support a cause.
FWISD will join the nation in thanking volunteers by providing a “box of appreciation” packed with lapel pins, appreciation stickers, certificates and other goodies to each campus to support volunteer celebrations at their school.
District employees are encouraged to join in the celebration by thanking those who lend a helping hand at FWISD schools.
Learn more about the FWISD volunteer program here or by calling 817-814-2973.
FWISD Will Observe Four-Day Summer Work SchedulePosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/16/2018 11:05:00 AM
Fort Worth, Texas - This summer Fort Worth ISD will again implement a four-day workweek. Fort Worth ISD employees will observe the first closed Friday on June 8, 2018. The four-day workweek will begin Monday, June 4, and end on Friday, August 3, 2018.
Employees will return to their normal work schedule beginning Monday, August 6, 2018. Employees not on a 240-day workweek are scheduled to return the week of July 23rd will work their normal days and hours.
One exception will occur the week we celebrate Independence Day. We will be off Wednesday and Thursday, July 4 and 5, and work Monday, Tuesday, and Friday of that week.
During this summer schedule, administrative offices will open for business beginning at 7:30 a.m. and will close at 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Employees will report to work from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with a 30-minute lunch each day. If an hour lunch is desired, then the workday will be extended by a half-hour. Each department manager/principal will determine the schedule.
Some pay dates for semi-monthly and monthly employees will fall one day earlier during this period (please see below). Employees are encouraged to review their checks via ESS before or on payday since all administrative offices will be closed on Fridays.
Original Pay Date: New Pay Date:
Friday, June 15th & June 29th Thursday, June 14th & June 28th Semi-Monthly
Friday, July 13th Thursday, July 12th Semi Monthly
Friday, July 27th Thursday, July 26th Monthly
During the summer schedule, each absence reported (half-days or whole-days) will be multiplied by 1.25 and charged against employee absence balances as shown in the following chart:
Application of Reported Absences During Summer Schedule (10-hour days)
Absence(s) Reported in SmartFind
Charged to Leave Balance/Accruals
Absence Hours Charged to Employees
Absence Hours Charged to Employees
Attached is a chart indicating your last day of work and your summer hours. Questions regarding absences or pay dates should be directed to the Payroll Department at (817) 814-2180. Questions regarding the implementation of the four-day workweek should be directed to the Policy & Planning department at (817) 814-1950.
The Week AheadPosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/16/2018 9:00:00 AM
Start your week off with a look at the week ahead:
- Learning Model Awareness Sessions
- Dual Language Informational Sessions for principals, Thursdays, April 19 and 26
- National Volunteer Week, April 15-22
- 2018 JROTC Final Review, 10 a.m. Friday, April 20, Farrington Field
- Billy W. Sills Lecture Series, Saturday April 21
- African-American Health Expo 2018, Saturday, April 21
- Earth Day, Monday, April 22
- Education Foundation for Fort Worth Schools employee giving campaign, March 26-April 13
- Mexican American College Education employee giving campaign, March 28-April 27
- 2018 Fort Worth ISD Career Fairs are being scheduled for later this spring. Apply to www.fwisd.org/careers 2018-2019Teacher vacancy pools to be considered for an invitation.
- 2018 Graduation Dates, Friday, May 18- Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Share your calendar items with us at Inside@FWISD.org. The items will be added to The Week Ahead on Mondays.
Fort Worth ISD Adds Cesar E. Chavez and Dolores C. Huerta Observances to School CalendarPosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/14/2018
On Tuesday, April 11, 2018, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution setting aside a class holiday each spring to honor Latinos and Latinas who have greatly contributed to our country.
Specifically, the resolution identifies Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta for their 30 years as labor and civil rights leaders and who recognized that working together they could achieve more than they might separately.
In reading the resolution, District 1 Representative Jacinto “Cinto” Ramos, Jr. encouraged students not to think of the day as a day off, but rather a day on.
“I heard this from all different children of all different backgrounds at our recent Racial Equity Summit who asked why don’t we see ourselves in the literature and in the holidays,” Mr. Ramos said. “I encourage all students to participate in service-learning projects, based on the life, work, and values of Cesar E. Chavez and Dolores C. Huerta.”
Fort Worth ISD Adopts Common Secondary School SchedulePosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/13/2018
Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, all secondary schools in the Fort Worth ISD will adopt a common schedule of eight class periods. This change will provide more opportunities to students while allowing the District to operate more efficiently.
The introduction of the common schedule follows an in-depth study performed by the 33-member Common Schedule Task Force comprise of principals, assistant principals, teachers, athletic, and central office representatives.
The team identified the following benefits for the change:
- High school students will now have the opportunity to gain up to 32 credits. This will also support students who need additional credits to graduate
- Students can accelerate courses such as dual credit, CTE certifications and early graduation
- Class for CTE programs can be double blocked utilizing distance learning and providing equity for all students
- There will be a common time for distance learning and sharing of teacher resources
- Middle school students will be able to accelerate and take high school courses
- Campuses will have the option of incorporating athletics into middle school allowing coaches to better align athletics for high school, as well as to monitor team performance and support program development
Teacher worktime will not increase even though a student’s daily instructional day will be increased by 15 minutes. This will have a significant impact for the District over the course of the school year.
In adopting the 8-period day, Fort Worth ISD joins districts in Arlington, Austin, Crowley, Cypress-Fairbanks, Dallas, Fort Bend, H-E-B, Houston, Irving, Katy, Keller, Lake Worth, North Side and San Antonio with a longer school day.
Common Schedule 8 Period Day FAQs
- Why should we move to an eight-period day?
- A common schedule will give students an opportunity to gain 32 credits.
- The additional credits will allow students to retake important EOC courses such as English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History needed for graduation without sacrificing electives important to each student.
- This will also increase access to accelerated courses and the ability to enroll in CTE and Advanced Placement courses.
- The common schedule also improves access to dual enrollment distance learning.
- Ideally it will provide instructional staff both a daily conference period and a PLC/Team planning period.
- If I am in Pre-AP or AP classes, does that mean I will have to take additional classes?
- No. High school principals will have options for early dismissal, late arrival, and high school enrichment (homework assistance) period.
- The additional class periods provide opportunities for students to engage in classes of interest and to extend learning in areas they might not have been able to address in a schedule without eight periods.
- Students meeting or on track to meet the required 26 credits for graduation will have multiple options annually, based on campus course availability.
- Will the passing period be changed?
- The passing period/transition time will remain 5 minutes.
- Will PD for teachers be provided in the summer to compact lessons to 45 minutes?
- Yes. Curriculum and Instruction will assist in transitioning to 45-minute instructional period.
- Will the Learning Model be implemented in addition to the common schedule?
- Learning Model implementation will assist the transition to an eight-period day.
- If teachers are teaching six classes but students are taking eight, will we now require more teachers and more funding for schools that currently teach seven classes?
- No. We will continue to follow staffing ratios. We will also continue our practice of reviewing master schedule as driven by student course requests. This will better enable us to implement distance learning; more students will have access to a greater number of courses.
- With the extended school time, will there be an advisory period?
- Campuses still have the ability to have a zero-period and 9th period as needed.
- Campuses also have the flexibility to build in activity schedules as needed for special events.
- Can middle schools start earlier to better align with high schools?
- We will convene a future focus group to consider this.
- If we want to have eight periods, can we have a block or modified block schedule?
- No. Building principals will have the option to build master schedules with double block classes where they are programmatically necessary and in the best interest of students.
For example, a cosmetology CTE class can be scheduled back-to-back or double-blocked in order to meet required minutes for certification.
- Will EOC teachers receive a teaming or extra planning period?
- No. Teachers will teach six out of eight periods.
- What if a student needs to travel for an internship?
- Under the eight-period day the student schedule can be adjusted under double-blocking to accommodate allow for travel time.
- How will an eight-period help students if he or she is behind on credits?
- Classes can be scheduled during the school day to recapture lost credits instead of before or after school.
- What implications does the eight-period day have for students who are in athletics and/or band?
- Having a common schedule helps align high schools and middle schools for increased opportunities for middle school students to develop in both fine arts and athletics.
- How will the eight-period help middle school students prepare for high school and college?
- The eight-period day opens sections for college prep courses for all middle school students. This allows to begin dual credit work as early as the ninth grade. The District does not currently allow this.
- What is the bottom line – why are we doing this?
- So a greater number of our students can go to college without having to take remedial courses.
- Is the District making this decision just to save money?
- The guiding principle for this decision is to empower students by offering them more opportunities and an increased number of course offerings. However, it is possible the District may realize potential cost savings.
- Has the District developed sample bell schedules for campuses to use in planning for the 2018-19 school year?
We welcome your questions about the eight-period bell schedule. Send them to Inside FWISD.
Inside FWISD Is OutPosted by Fort Worth ISD on 4/12/2018
In our latest edition of Inside FWISD, you will find information about:
- FWISD Adding Cesar E. Chavez / Dolores C. Huerta Observance to School Calendar
- FWISD Adopts Eight-Period Bell Schedule in Secondary Schools
- Stakeholders’ Climate Survey Closes Friday
- Ask Elsie: Employee Perks
- District Teacher of the Year Finalists
- National Volunteer Week
- Diamond Hill ES Student’s Design Being Converted Into Die-Cast Model Car to be Sold by National Retailers
- And more stories and information about and for FWISD employees
>> View the latest edition of Inside FWISD
- Presidential Proclamation Honoring Former First Lady Barbara Bush
- FWISD Sells First Capital Improvement Bonds From 2017 Bond Program: District Turns Process into Teaching Event for High School Students
- Ask Elsie
- FWISD Celebrates National Volunteer Week
- FWISD Will Observe Four-Day Summer Work Schedule
- The Week Ahead
- Fort Worth ISD Adds Cesar E. Chavez and Dolores C. Huerta Observances to School Calendar
- Fort Worth ISD Adopts Common Secondary School Schedule
- Superintendent Scribner's Special Message For Teachers and Principals
- Inside FWISD Is Out