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Ask Elsie -- February 21, 2019

EDITOR’S NOTEAsk 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 was looking at the updated Fort Worth perks and was wondering if FWISD has considered partnering with the YMCA for discount memberships? At least one local district has a free, personal membership program and half off the family membership for employees. This seems like it would be a great idea with the Blue Zones effort.

Jennifer Andrews-Cox

Dear Ms. Cox,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Brenda DeLeon, FWISD’s compensation and employee relations director, regarding your question and here’s the response: “We have not worked with or partnered with the YMCA for discount membership, but that is something that we can look into for the future. Currently, we are partnered with 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Camp Gladiator, LA Fitness and many more fitness organizations.”

Thanks again Ms. Cox for your question and thank you Ms. DeLeon for your response.

Elsie

Dear Elsie,

As our schools are gearing up to plan schedules for next year, I wonder if the District administration believes the eight-period schedule, implemented this year in high schools and middle schools, has been a success. The plan has shortened class time for all subjects and added an elective. I have heard students and teachers say they do not have enough time to cover everything in their 45-minute classes. My understanding is that the purpose was to help struggling students have more chances to pass required classes and graduate from high school. Will more students be graduating this year because of the change?

Thank you,

A Parent

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Cherie Washington, chief of secondary schools, regarding your question and here’s the response: “We are aware of the concerns regarding the schedule change to eight periods. In response, we held several meetings to get stakeholder input regarding the 2019-2020 master schedule. Stakeholders include: student representatives from all campuses (UC4V), DERC (teachers), Administrators, counselors and central administration. The District is also engaged in an efficiency study with the company ERS. This process will analyze master scheduling and suggest recommendations. We will utilize all data and feedback to make the best decision for students and teachers. Because state graduation rate reports run a year behind, our most recent graduation report from TEA [Texas Education Agency] reflects graduation rates from 2017. Next school year TEA, will have graduation rates for 2018 which will not reflect students enrolled in eight periods.”

Thanks again Parent for your question and thank you Mrs. Washington for your response.

Elsie

Dear Elsie,

Although we are much appreciative of the slight (I do mean slight) pay increase, I was wondering has FWISD studied the cost of living trend and the current pay increases to reflect the rising cost of living? It seems from talking with the majority of my colleagues that we are just working to pay bills and maybe eat. In order to attract the best, the brightest, and the bravest educators to impact innovative learning for our future; our salaries should reflect this innovation.

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Brenda DeLeon, FWISD’s compensation and employee relations director, regarding your question and here’s the response: “FWISD does review the Consumer Price Index data along with other information to determine a salary increase recommendation. Ultimately, these recommendations are reviewed and approved by the FWISD Board of Education.”

Thanks again Anonymous for your question and thank you Ms. DeLeon for your response.

Elsie

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.

Please bear with us as we have a backlog of Ask Elsie questions and are responding to questions as soon as we can.