• Texas, FWISD To Observe Holocaust Remembrance Week

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/22/2021 3:00:00 PM

    Fort Worth ISD joins the state of Texas in observing Holocaust Remembrance Week, January 25-29. The week coincides with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, which commemorates the date “Auschwitz was ‘liberated’ by Allied troops,” according to the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC).

    This is the second year the state has observed Holocaust Remembrance Week. Last legislative session, Texas lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1828, which states that the week is designed “to educate students about the Holocaust and inspire in students a sense of responsibility to recognize and uphold human value and to prevent future atrocities.”

    During World War II approximately 6 million European Jews and many others were targeted and killed by a Nazi regime because of race, biological, political, ideological and behavioral reasons, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website.

    Age-appropriate instruction about the Holocaust is available for school and District use by the THGC. However, the curriculum is not fixed.

    A link to the resources is available in FWISD’s grade level/course Scopes and Sequences via SharePoint. Resources are specific to grade level bands. Some grade-appropriate materials are provided by the Dallas Holocaust Museum with which the District has a working relationship.

    Holocaust Remembrance Week Resources

    The following resources are recommended reading prior to delivering the unit of instruction on the Holocaust:

    Overview: The Holocaust

    o Red Flag Terms

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  • Create A Wellness Plan This Weekend with PLI

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/22/2021

    Fort Worth ISD’s Professional Learning and Innovation (PLI) Department will host “Creating Your Wellness Plan,” a live self-care session for District employees this weekend via Zoom.selfcare

    District employees have two opportunities to participate in the hour and a half session – 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday, January 23. “Creating Your Wellness Plan” is a FLEX elective which educators can receive 1.5 hours credit for attending. District employees can register for the session via Eduphoria under Student Support Services.

    Last month, FWISD’s PLI Department launched Winter Training for Teachers, a series of live and asynchronous online self-care and wellness sessions. The sessions continue through midnight January 31.

    “Educators have many changes to navigate, especially during times of uncertainty and transition. You might be adapting to new schedules and different ways of teaching,” reads a flyer for the sessions. “Practicing self-care is essential to your well-being. You may be looking for strategies to support your learning environment, yourself and your students while you face new challenges. Our offerings provide resources to create an optimal experience.”

    Since last spring, PLI has worked with other FWISD departments to incorporate wellness components into professional learning content for teachers. PLI is working to make wellness courses a permanent part of programming. It’s a hub for self-care and wellness courses offered by multiple District departments and the Blue Zones Project.

    “We value the building of teachers. We believe in the need for wellness,” Wendy Owens, a PLI specialist recently told Inside FWISD. “We have to take care of ourselves as we’re helping others.”

    Check out the PLI Facebook page daily for wellness tips, quotes and activities and notifications about upcoming sessions.

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  • Annual Fort Worth Technology Conference Aims To Innovate, Integrate, Motivate Educators

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/22/2021

    Get ready for a full day of more than 70 sessions aimed to Innovate, Integrate and Motivate you all from the comfort of your home. Fort Worth ISD’s Educational Technology Department will host an all-virtual Fort Worth Technology Conference (FWTC), Saturday, January 23, 2021.

    This is the first time the 16th annual event is being hosted 100% online via the Google Meet video conferencing platform. The free conference, open to all educators, kicks off at 9 a.m. with the keynote session featuring Jake Miller, host of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast. Through the podcast Mr. Miller answers teacher questions and addresses how duct tape is used as a tool for solving life’s problems. Like duct tape, education technology is utilized in the classroom. Sessions will continue through 3 p.m.

    “The Fort Worth Technology Conference isn't about the technology. It's about teachers and classroom transformation,” said Becky Navarre, Assistant Superintendent of Technology. “There's a session for everyone at FWTC to meet you where you are in the technology integration journey. There's no hidden agenda here; the objective is to learn and grow in our craft to make a better tomorrow for our students.”2021fwtc

    Fort Worth ISD teachers and staff and national digital-instruction innovators will lead curriculum-based and digital driven instructional sessions that offer attendees a myriad of tools for engaging students, leveraging digital technology for student success and increasing productivity in a hybrid educational environment. Annually, FWTC offers practical technology tools that educators can immediately implement in lesson plans and administrative tasks.

    Visit www.fwisd.org/fwtc to register and for additional session details. Have additional questions? Contact Shana Ellason, Technology Learning Integration Director, at 817-814-3100 or email shana.ellason@fwisd.org.

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  • Inside FWISD -- January 21, 2021

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/21/2021

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    Colleagues,

    In our latest edition of Inside FWISD, you will find information about:

    • Fort Worth ISD Partners With UNT Health Science Center for 2021 Spring Wellness Challenge
    • District Release Legislative Priorities Brochure
    • Tanglewood Community Remembers Campus Monitor Alex Williams
    • FWISD Schools Mark Presidential Inauguration with Video, Lessons, Pearls and Converse
    • District Employees Give Away 200 Care Packages During Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Event

    And more stories and information about and for FWISD employees

    Don’t forget to view stories throughout the week on the Inside FWISD blog

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  • Annual Fort Worth Technology Conference Aims To Innovate, Integrate, Motivate Educators

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/20/2021 9:00:00 AM

    Get ready for a full day of more than 70 sessions aimed to Innovate, Integrate and Motivate you all from the comfort of your home. Fort Worth ISD’s Educational Technology Department will host an all-virtual Fort Worth Technology Conference (FWTC), Saturday, January 23, 2021.

    This is the first time the 16th annual event is being hosted 100% online via the Google Meet video conferencing platform. The free conference kicks off at 9 a.m. with the keynote session featuring Jake Miller, host of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast. Through the podcast Mr. Miller answers teacher questions and addresses how duct tape is used as a tool for solving life’s problems. Like duct tape, education technology is utilized in the classroom. Sessions will continue through 3 p.m.

    “The Fort Worth Technology Conference isn't about the technology. It's about teachers and classroom transformation,” said Becky Navarre, Assistant Superintendent of Technology. “There's a session for everyone at FWTC to meet you where you are in the technology integration journey. There's no hidden agenda here; the objective is to learn and grow in our craft to make a better tomorrow for our students.”

     

     

    Fort Worth ISD teachers and staff and national digital-instruction innovators will lead curriculum-based and digital driven instructional sessions that offer attendees a myriad of tools for engaging students, leveraging digital technology for student success and increasing productivity in a hybrid educational environment. Annually, FWTC offers practical technology tools that educators can immediately implement in lesson plans and administrative tasks.

    Visit www.fwisd.org/fwtc to register and for additional session details. Have additional questions? Contact Shana Ellason, Technology Learning Integration Director, at 817-814-3100 or email shana.ellason@fwisd.org.

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  • District Adopts Standard Response Protocol Revisions

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/20/2021

    Editor's Note: The following memorandum from Safety and Security is regarding a change in terminology regarding Standard Response Protocol

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  • Self-Care Café Debuts Wednesday

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/19/2021 3:00:00 PM

    Fort Worth ISD’s Restorative Practices program is launching Self-Care Café, Wednesday January 20. The programming offers District stakeholders live Facebook and Zoom events monthly and online self-care resources.selfcarecafe

    Self-Care Café online programming focuses on four pillars:

    • Mental wellbeing
    • Physical activity
    • Healthy eating
    • Knowledge and health literacy

    Live 30-minute Self-Care Café sessions hosted via Zoom and simulcast on Facebook Live will challenge participants to practice activities with a focus on the self-care pillars, including meditation, exercise, crafts, healthy eating and journaling discussions. Sessions are monthly at 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to form accountability partners or tribes to join them in the monthly self-care challenge activities.

    Additional self-care resources and other programming offered by the District will be available through a website being built to complement the monthly sessions.

    Following months of students attending classes virtually last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident the stressful toll taken on by the District’s teachers and other employees. Self-Care Café offers additional support for the District’s adults, organizers say.

    In a recent teaser for Self-Care Café Dr. Nikki Chamblee, Restorative Practices coordinator, likened the importance of self-care to flight attendants who urge passengers put on their own mask before helping other. Taking care of one’s mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing first is equally as important before helping others, she added.

    “Before we even came back, we were concerned about the students and how safely to bring back the students, and their teachers were really suffering,” Dr. Chamblee said. “That’s the common theme that we find as we go out to service schools is that teachers really need to feel taken care of. And so, this has kind of been something we’ve been thinking about how best to put it in place.”

    On December 16 Restorative Practices hosted a 15-minute Facebook teaser of what to expect from the Self-Care Café, and just this week, a Facebook Live program focused on self-care’s importance to one’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

    “I think the overall hope is that they’ll walk away with new ways and strategies to help take care of themselves but also have some intentionality behind it because we can talk about it all day long,” said Dr. Dorene Benavidez, Equity and Professional Learning executive director. “That’s why we thought it would be great to have the tribe accountability piece where they could [connect with someone.]”

    Restorative Practices is an extension of FWISD’s Division of Equity and Excellence. View additional Self-Care Café details on the Restorative Practices and Division of Equity and Excellence Facebook pages.

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  • COVID-Positive or COVID-Suspected Reporting Procedures

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/19/2021 12:00:00 PM

    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage especially close to home. Tarrant County is currently reporting over 2,000 new cases each day. And the Community Spread Level is listed as SUBSTANTIAL.covid

    As a reminder to all Fort Worth ISD employees, regardless of your job title, there are certain protocols which, if followed properly, will greatly help diminish the potential for infection in our own workplace.

    First, remember you could be infected and transmitting the disease while not experiencing any of the symptoms yourself. Generally, however, the main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

    • Fever above 99 degrees F.
    • Cough
    • Sore Throat
    • Fatigue
    • Symptoms that seem to improve but then become worse

    COVID testing is offered by Tarrant County, Fort Worth and the Fort Worth ISD. Click on the links for locations and times.

    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 who have been confirmed with a positive COVID test must notify their supervisor or campus administrator as soon as possible. A specific COVID Report Form must be initiated by the supervisor. 

    Positive individuals with symptoms must remain at home until the following three conditions are met:

    1. They are fever free for 24-hours (one day) without the use of a fever-reduction medication

    2. Improved symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing)

    3. 10 days have passed since symptoms began

    Positive individuals without symptoms are directed to remain at home until the following two conditions are met:

    1. No symptom development

    2. 10 days have passed since the COVID-19 test date

    Fort Worth ISD employees who suspect they may have been exposed to a positive case by close contact with another person should consider the following:

    • “Close Contact” is defined as living in the same household, caring for a sick person with the virus, being within six feet of a sick person with the virus for at least 15 minutes, or being in direct contact with secretions from the sick person
    • Contagion – COVID 19 positive individuals are considered contagious 48 hours prior to their first symptom (or test date if asymptomatic. Anyone in “close contact” during this period will be asked to quarantine for 10 days from date of contact.

    As mentioned earlier, timely communication with your direct supervisor or campus administrator is very important. COVID-related absences must be reported according to campus or department procedure and Board Policy DEC (LOCAL, REGULATION).

    There are two key absence scenarios:

    1. Employees quarantined and/or sick, working from home requires supervisor approval and entry. This would equal Code 50 (remote work pullout)

    2. Employees quarantined and/or sick at home but not working remotely must report the absence.

    Questions about COVID-related absences and leave can be directed to HCM Employee Services, Emp.Services@fwisd.org, 817-814-2790.

     

     

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  • FWISD Issues National Events Resource Guide For Teachers

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/19/2021

    Over the past year, we have faced many challenges as a nation.flag

    The past week presented us with new challenges and our children, once again, are watching. Therefore, one of the roles of the Teaching and Learning Department is to provide our educators with resources to support them as they work with our students to discuss current events that impact and disrupt our daily lives. Often, these events can be challenging and can prove to be difficult to discuss with students if we are unprepared or uncomfortable with the topics and issues before us - as a community and as a nation. Therefore, we have put together a list of resources to assist our educators in the navigation of these discussions and most valuable lessons. As educators, it is important that we do not shy away from difficult discussions, but rather learn from them and from the events and experiences of all that has happened and from all that are impacted.

    Attached, you will find a list of resources for teachers that will support discussions around national level events. These resources will also be shared with our Social Studies lead teachers, but please take a few minutes to review this information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Teaching and Learning team.

    General Resources

    We have to prepare students—and ourselves—to communicate, question and work our way through a disconnect when the outside world spills into the classroom.

    Elementary Resources

    • EDSITEment -- Help your students reflect on what the Presidential inauguration has become and what it has been, while they meet a host of memorable historical figures and uncover a sense of America's past through archival materials. In these challenging times, we are committed to leaning into our mission to serve as a resource to all educators.
    • Education World -- Dear Mr. President - Students write letters to the president. Ask them to include goals they would like to see the administration achieve and good wishes to the president and his family.
    • Law Related Education -- Duties of the President - Students will learn about the duties and responsibilities of the President as outlined in the Constitution.
    • Law Related Education -- Celebrate the U.S. Constitution - Students will learn about purposes of the U.S. Constitution as identified in the Preamble.

    January 6th, 2021 Resources for Middle and High School

    • Mikva Challenge -- Attack on the US Capitol lessons that provide students an opportunity to share their reactions, thoughts, and feelings about the events of January 6th in Washington, DC and make connections to recent current and historical events in the United States.
    • Facing History -- Resources intended to guide student reflection on the election of 2020.

    Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues That Matter? This resource was part of our Election 2020 collection, designed to help you teach about voting rights, media literacy, and civic participation, in remote and in-person settings.

    Explainer: Political Polarization in the United States - This guide explores: How is polarization influencing decision-making and civic life in the United States? Can Americans still find common ground?

    Explainer: Free and Fair Elections - This guide describes the standards that governments need to meet before, during, and after an election to ensure that the election is "free and fair."

    • Constitution Center -- A list of statutes about the January 6th joint meeting of Congress, sections of the Constitution related to the Electoral College, and extensive resources from the National Constitution Center about the Electoral College.
    • Teaching Tolerance -- Leading Conversations After Crisis - Our Advisory Board shared ideas for starting discussions the day after the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
    • National Constitution Center -- An interactive resource for looking at the text, history, and meaning of the U.S. Constitution from leading scholars of diverse legal and philosophical perspectives.

    Teachers can provide this as a resource if the class needs to access sections of the U.S. Constitution to discuss events in Washington as they apply to Constitutional rules and framing.

    Inauguration 2021 Resources for Middle and High School

    Students will investigate how the Constitution outlines the presidential inauguration and how the inauguration symbolizes the transition of power in a democracy. Relate the elements of the inauguration to the powers of the president listed in the Constitution.

    Instead of focusing on who won the election and who didn’t, consider teaching about the inauguration itself with a critical literacy lens. This non-partisan approach acknowledges history in the making while also acknowledging the history that led up to this point.

    • Sharp School Pennsylvania -- The Inauguration of a President - a collection of mini inquiry lessons with primary and secondary sources, for students to analyze various aspects of the inauguration, such as the 12th Amendment, inaugural address, security, and celebrations.
    • Adapted from EDSITEment -- Presidential Inaugurations: I Do Solemnly Swear Students will reflect on what the Presidential inauguration has become and what it has been, while they meet a host of memorable historical figures and uncover a sense of America's past through archival materials.
    • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum -- Comparing and Contrasting Inaugural Addresses Students will read some inaugural addresses. As they are reading, they will pick 2 to compare and contrast by using a VennDiagram and identify overarching categories of similarities and differences in their analysis.
    • iCivics -- Even presidents have to worry about making the grade! Discover the history behind the “First 100 Days” and its impact on the American presidency with this new lesson plan that includes extension ideas and media literacy moments. Students will evaluate the fairness of judging presidents based on this somewhat arbitrary time period.

    iCivics: The First 100 Days

    • Civics Renewal Network/C-Span Classroom (teachers can override initial FWISD block as entertainment) -- This Presidential Transitions lesson for grades 9-12 has students explore the challenges that incoming administrations face during presidential transitions.

    Students will hear from historians and from White House staff to learn about previous presidential transitions and how the administrations worked together. With this information, students will develop a list of best practices that can be used during these transitions.

    This message is sent on behalf of:

    Jerry Moore, Chief Academic Officer

    Raúl Peña, Chief of Student and School Support

    Cherie Washington, Chief of Student and School Support

    David Saenz, Chief Innovation Officer

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  • Free MLK Day Virtual Event Monday Features FWISD's My Brother's Keeper

    Posted by Fort Worth ISD on 1/15/2021

    On Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Jan. 18, 2021 - Teach For America DFW is hosting a variety of free virtual events to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and provide an opportunity for families and students to learn lessons from the Civil Rights Movement, which is still so important today. The virtual event includes a variety of offerings that are open to the public:mlkdayevent

    • Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement - A virtual MLK Day Event
    • Virtual Fireside Chat with Mrs. Sarah Walker 
    • The former president of the Tarrant County Black Historical Society. She will share some of her lived experiences during this historical time period. 
    • Children activists from Fort Worth ISD’s My Brother’s Keeper and other North Texas children will talk with Mrs. Walker and ask her questions
    • Virtual Field Trip with the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
    • Students and community members will have the opportunity to put their journalist hats on and go back to the 1960’s to better understand the Civil Rights movement in North Texas
    • Free Books and Resources
    • Melanin Origins, a Black-owned publishing company, is providing free access to its books about diverse characters learning important lessons
    • Mr. Louie T. McClain, founder of Melanin Origins, a Black-owned publishing company, will give a closing word on how we can continue to move towards social justice today.
    • Virtual Storytime with NBC5 Laura Harris 
    • Enjoy one of our favorite Melanin Origins books and learn about Black history with Laura Harris at 9 a.m. on her Facebook Live. Join us to share Power in My Pen: A Snippet of life of Ida B. 

    WHEN: Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021; Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

    WHEREhttps://teachforamerica.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zgdo8mynQtKDh9jDvf5V7g

    Registration will include additional links and details about the day’s events, including the schedule and helpful links. Participants are encouraged to stay for the entire event, but are welcome to choose the offerings that are most interesting to them. 

    ABOUT TEACH FOR AMERICA DFW

    Teach For America finds, develops and supports a diverse network of leaders dedicated to expanding access and opportunity for children. These leaders begin with a commitment of at least two years of teaching in an under-resourced public school. Informed and inspired by their students, TFA alumni continue to advocate for children from classrooms, schools and every field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate. TFA was launched in the DFW region in 2009, and has since served more than 400,000 students and trained more than 1,700 teachers. For more information, please visit www.teachforamerica.org/where-we-work/dallas-fort-worth.

     

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