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The Fort Worth Independent School District's

2008-2009 Annual Report

Table of Contents A Message from the Superintendent Fort Worth ISD Facts District Highlights Goal One: Student Achievement Goal Two: Operational Effectiveness & Efficiency Goal Three: Family Involvement & Community Partnerships Looking Ahead List of Schools Partner with Us

02 04 06 14 26 38 44 50 51


The numbers are encouraging. In 2008-2009, Fort Worth ISD had 55 high-performing campuses, designated Exemplary or Recognized by the Texas Education Agency. That's a remarkable increase of 62 percent over last year, and it was achieved despite a rising bar in math and science. Another 10 campuses missed Recognized solely due to one test. And, at the District level in the "All Students" and "All Student Populations," our children are passing reading, writing, and social studies at the Recognized or Exemplary levels. These statistics are due to the hard work and collaborative effort of everyone involved: students, teachers, administrators, family members and community supporters. In the following pages you

will see how the District's Strategic Plan is providing a road map for all so that our students can succeed. Although annual reports take stock of the year past, this one also provides a look to the future. Because of your support, that future is a bright one for the children of Fort Worth. Thank you for all you do. With every good wish,

Melody A. Johnson, Ph.D. Superintendent

Top Row: Carlos Vasquez, District 1, Norman Robbins, District 7, T.A. Sims, District 4, Chris Hatch, District 6, Judy G. Needham, District 5, Jean McClung, District 2. Bottom Row: Christene C. Moss, Vice President, District 3, Ray Dickerson, President, Juan Rangel, Secretary, District 8


It's difficult to synthesize in a few words or even a few pages the accomplishments of the Fort Worth Independent School District in the past year.


A Message from the Superintendent


Board of Education




Instruction 57.1% Instruction Related 8.7% Support & Community Services 17.3% Pupil Services 12.6% Administrative Support 2.9% Debt Service 8.42% Facilities Acquisition .8% Intergovernmental Charges .6% OPERATING BUDGET $587,673,594


TEA Campus Ratings Schools Rated Exemplary Schools Rated Recognized Schools Rated Acceptable

12 43 49

Full-Time Teachers Auxiliary Staff Educational Aides Professional Support Campus Administrators Central Administrators

TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES African-American Hispanic White/Anglo Asian/Pacific Islander Native American TOTAL ENROLLMENT


$53,754,618 2009 Scholarship Offers


Number of AP Exams Taken

25.6% 58.2% 14.3% 1.6% 0.3% 78,732



Avg. Experience of Teachers


Students Taking AP Exams

Number of Students In: Bilingual/ESL Career & Technology Education Economically Disadvantaged

21,217 11,286 54,134

Gifted and Talented Limited English Proficient (LEP) Special Educaton

7,752 22,377 6,367



Full-Time Tea Auxiliary Sta Educational Professional Campus Adm Central Adm FORT WORTH ISD FACTS 05 ANNUAL REPORT 08-09


20 0 8 -20 0 9 B U D G E T



Number of Buses Running Daily

15,352 Breakfasts Served Daily

48.5% 28.4% 7.9% 10.7% 3.2% 1.3%

15.7:1 Student/Teacher Ratio

1,497 Number of Bus Routes

49,897 Lunches Served Daily

District Highlights

Poly did it! An overview The foundation is one of solid curriculum, distributed leadership, community partnerships, a comprehensive scorecard to monitor and measure student growth and the technology to connect it all. The progress is significant, as evidenced by a prominent indicator — the TAKS results which made sizeable gains District-wide from 2008 to 2009. Most of the initiatives driving the gains were modified as needed after testing by the real experts — principals, teachers and students, who provided valuable feedback that the District encouraged and heeded. Then, the District stayed the course and stayed aligned to performance objectives to achieve the three District goals: >> Student achievement >> Operational effectiveness and efficiency >> Family involvement and community partnerships Attention was also focused on the actions of the 81st Legislative Session, which directly impacted the District. With revenue frozen at the 2006 level, even though the cost of fuel and other expenses had risen, Fort Worth ISD eventually declared financial exigency. The District cut costs where it could and continued to aggressively campaign for increasing the state target revenue to an adequate and equitable level. Lastly, Fort Worth ISD began building a culture of conservation, mandating recycling and encouraging habits that support preservation of the planet. And the District did not forget the impact of “first impressions” and how a clean, aesthetically pleasing environment enhances learning.

Students there made double-digit gains in most areas of the TAKS, greatly helping the school secure the academic status it needed to stay open. It happened in a year in which the bar for the state’s acceptable achievement was at the highest level ever. Poly also made gains in its completion rate, which is the percentage of students who graduate on time. This was the first year completion rates were used in accountability ratings. Poly’s rate was 75 percent — up 10 points from a year earlier. “I said all along we were betting on Poly — and we were right!”


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numbers scholarship offers to Fort Worth ISD students in 2008-2009 total amount of 2008-2009 scholarship offers


District teachers and other educators took top awards during the school year, too. Among them: Wedgwood Middle School Band Director Michael Dawson received the Bayard Friedman for Teaching Excellence Award in Performing Arts. Fort Worth ISD Art Director Beverly Fletcher was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Art Administrator of the Year through the National Art Education Association (NAEA).



Fort Worth ISD just completed one of its most successful academic years in recent history. The foundation the District has been laying the past few years is set and we're seeing the results.

Probably nowhere in Texas were TAKS scores more exuberantly celebrated than at Polytechnic High School, one of the District’s PEAK schools.

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Melody Johnson told an assembly of students and faculty at the school in late May, as she shared the preliminary data that indicated Poly would be saved. The auditorium curtains parted to reveal a stage full of balloons in Poly colors of orange and black. The song “Celebration” played as the crowd cheered. An emotional Gary Braudaway, Poly principal, thanked teachers, staff, students, parents, administrators and the community for pulling together and working hard to create the remarkable turnaround. Poly had been rated academically unacceptable for four years in a row and faced closing if it did not raise its standing. Braudaway became principal of Poly three years ago, part of an intense effort to pull the school in a positive direction. Poly was also designated a PEAK school, which meant additional resources for hiring exceptional teachers. Area colleges joined the effort, providing tutoring, mentoring and college-readiness programs. And students themselves responded in winning ways, such as attending after-school and Saturday tutoring sessions.



Many standout athletes also scored in the classroom. South Hills High School’s Taylor Breen was named the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award. The award is presented each year to a high school senior student-athlete in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area who demonstrates exemplary character, community service, leadership, scholarship and varsity sports participation. Taylor was the top-ranked student in her class of 280. She was named a National Merit Commended Scholar, National Hispanic Scholar, an AP Scholar in four categories and Venture Scholar. She was twice included in the Who’s Who Among High School Students. Taylor was a UIL scholar, an A Honor Roll student and a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. As an athlete, Taylor competed in varsity tennis, volleyball and soccer, served as captain of the tennis team and co-captain of the volleyball team. She was president of the Student Council, treasurer of the Class Council and vice president of the National Honor Society. Taylor received a $20,000 scholarship. She plans to study at Columbia University in New York City.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS Wrestling: • Paschal advanced one boy to state competition • Fort Worth ISD offered girls wrestling for the first time Golf: • Chelsea Mocio, an Arlington Heights junior, won State Baseball: • Arlington Heights won the bronze medal at State Tennis: • Arlington Heights took the bronze medal in Boys Doubles at Regionals Track: • Milca Villegas, a Carter-Riverside senior, won 3rd place in 800 M Run at State • Dunbar’s Crystalyn Clark, Curtisha Dupree, Jasmine Shorts, Ashley Collier won gold medals at State in 4 x 100 Relay • Ashley Collier, a Dunbar sophomore, won 3rd place at State • Eastern Hills’ Roscoe Lee, Cedric Roberts, Venton Soders, Everett Walker won 2nd place in 4 x 100 Relay at State • Everett Walker, an Eastern Hills junior, won 2nd place in 200 M Run at State Cross-Country: • Andrew Herrera, a Southwest senior, won 8th place at State

MUSIC Instrumental Music: • Southwest Wind Ensemble was named National Wind Band Honor Band • 13 Fort Worth ISD students (a record number) secured All-State Band/Orchestra positions • Western Hills Winterguard won the gold medal in the Scholastic AA grand championships • Southwest Wind Ensemble was awarded state medals at the UIL State Wind Ensemble Festival • 10 soloists and five ensembles received Division I’s at the Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest; one of the soloists received the Outstanding Soloist award Choral and General Music: • Fort Worth ISD added the Elementary Honors Choir to the Fine Arts Department • 36 high school singers received a Division I rating at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest • Three high school singers received the Outstanding Soloist award • Southwest High School, Arlington Heights High School and Wedgwood Middle School received the sweepstakes award at the UIL Concert and Sightreading Competion Reading Contest • Seven students and two alternates won membership in the Texas All-State Choir ART

• Fort Worth ISD had four winners at the state level through Youth Art Month • Nine entries advanced to the state level in the Visual Arts Scholastic Event in 2008; 25 entries and 22 art students advanced to the state level in 2009


Terrific Taylor




We're at 100 and growing! The Fort Worth ISD famous faces keep increasing. A dynamic, fun and inspiring display now greets all who walk into the Fort Worth ISD administration building. John Denver, Alan Bean, Betty Buckley, Ornette Coleman, Byron Nelson — these are just a few of the accomplished alumni occupying the entire south wall of the recently-remodeled cafeteria.



quick fact: wall of fame

TRIUMPHS in TAKS The District made unprecedented gains on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Among the results celebrated:

• In 2008-2009, Fort Worth ISD had 55 high-performing

MATHEMATICS • At the District level, all student groups performed above the Acceptable level with significant gains across the board. • Statistically significant gains were made in 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th grades • At the 9th grade level, all student groups gained nine points, with African-American students scoring an incredible 11 percent gain. READING/ELA • 80 percent of elementary campuses had reading scores at


SOCIAL STUDIES • District-wide, scores rose at all grade levels with all students in 8th and 10th grades performing at the Recognized level. • All 11th grade student groups performed at the Exemplary level. STUDENTS SCORED SEVERAL “FIRSTS” IN 2008-2009, INCLUDING: • At the 11th grade, every group showed statistically significant growth on every test in which the scores were not already more than 95 percent. • Incoming 9th graders will be performing, on average, at the Recognized level in reading, math and social studies. • All student groups for incoming 6th graders already are performing at the Acceptable level or higher. The District rightly celebrates growth while recognizing the challenges that remain. Despite dramatic increases at highperforming campuses, 12 campuses are still struggling to rise above the Academically Unacceptable level. Despite consistent mathematics and science gains, scores are still too low in middle and high schools and gaps among students populations are still too wide.

Fort Worth ISD parents love mathematics. Approximately 23,000 parents attended Family Math Nights this year. How's that for some addition? Every Fort Worth ISD elementary school hosted a Family Math Night in 2008-2009, part of the Math & Science Initiative. These events gave students and their families the opportunity to solve mathematical problems together in a fun, fair-like atmosphere. Dozens of the District’s Adopt-A-School community business partners donated $70,000 to pay for the events. The Math & Science Initiative also led to the development of an early childhood booklet that helps parents build children’s math and science skills before they reach kindergarten. The Initiative further increased parental awareness and involvement by devoting space to math and science in every issue of ParentLink, the quarterly newsletter.

The National Civic League selected Dalynn Cross, a PEAK teacher at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School, as a winner of the 2009 MetLife Foundation Ambassadors in Education Award. She was one of only 25 winners selected for leadership in building bridges between local schools and communities. She received a $5,000 grant for her school. 14 exemplary Fort Worth ISD teachers received $5,000 honorariums through the District’s Chairs for Teaching Excellence program. The Fort Worth business community (13 companies and organizations) generously funded the awards.

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numbers number of students recognized as Superintendent Scholars number of teachers recognized as AP Scholar Teachers (inaugural year)


SCIENCE • At the District level, all student groups performed at the Acceptable level or above, with increases ranging from two to nine percent. • All elementary students gained an average of nine percent. • Middle School students gained approximately four percent, with African-Americans making the greatest gain at nine percent. • High School students increased an average of three percent (Economically Disadvantaged 11th graders gained 12 percent).

quick fact: family math nights

Rachel Lawton, a teacher at North Side High School, was named a finalist in the 2009 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards. H-E-B representatives presented her with a $1,000 check. Another check for $1,000 was given to North Side.






campuses — an increase of 62 percent from the year before, despite a rising bar in math and science. Another 10 campuses missed the state’s Recognized level solely due to one test. At the District level, the reading, writing and social studies scores for “All Students” and “All Student Populations” categories were Recognized or Exemplary.

the Recognized level or above for all student groups! 3rd grade Spanish scores were higher than ever with more than 92 percent of students achieving standard. 100 percent of middle school campuses had reading scores at the Recognized or Exemplary levels for all student populations. An amazing 94 percent of all 8th graders passed reading!

Goal One ST U D E N T AC H I E V E M E N T

In a year that saw the implementations of new initiatives, an important underlying constant was the premise that teaching is a team sport and developing teacher expertise ultimately has the greatest impact on the District’s number one goal: Student Achievement. All students will learn at high levels of academic expectations and the achievement gap will be eliminated. 1.1 Recruit, develop, support and retain effective teachers, principals and other instructional staff 1.2 Provide individualized supports for student development and academic achievement 1.3 Ensure consistent use and implementation of District Curriculum Frameworks 1.4 Provide opportunities for student voice, leadership and engagement in the learning process 1.5 Provide a safe, positive and secure learning environment for students and staff


A new day at Sunrise-McMillian Sunrise-McMillian Elementary’s Marion Mouton became principal three years ago and immediately sought to improve the learning environment. He says his efforts were greatly accelerated by PEAK. “Now, it looks and feels like a place of success and inclusion,” Principal Mouton says. As one who regularly walks the halls and visits classrooms, Principal Mouton knows exactly where PEAK is making a difference: THE TEACHERS “PEAK gave me the latitude to form my team and choose people who shared my vision. We all got together – and I do mean all of us: teachers and staff, including custodians and cafeteria personnel. We became a family. And that’s how it’s been all year.”

THE STUDENTS “These kids knew what was expected of them and rose to those expectations. As one student said, ‘Making a 70 used to be good enough. Not anymore!’ Students’ grades improved and discipline problems dropped.” THE PARENTS "In 2007-2008, parent volunteers put in about 600 hours. This year, Sunrise-McMillian parents logged more than 8,000 volunteer hours." Sunrise-McMillian made progress toward its goal of closing academic gaps. On the TAKS test, students performed at the Recognized level in science and writing. Math and reading scores came within five points of hitting the Recognized level.


Digital District

by the

numbers the number of prospective teachers from across the country and Puerto Rico who took part in Fort Worth ISD’s recruiting Webinars

The District’s Human Resources Department partnered with the Learning Times organization to present Webinars, an online, interactive classroom where prospective teachers logged on and learned all about Fort Worth ISD and got their questions answered in real time.



The many technology-related strides in 2008-2009 allowed Fort Worth ISD to transition into one of the foremost Digital Districts in Texas. An exceptionally impressive technological successe was the Promethean Project. The District’s Division of Technology installed Promethean Interactive Whiteboards in more than 3,000 classrooms, including all math and science classes. These exciting educational tools keep students on task by engaging them with vivid images and audio that are relevant to the students’ digital world. The boards also give teachers access to the myriad of downloadable flipchart lessons. Another remarkable accomplishment of the Promethean Project was the relevant and timely training of teachers — within two weeks of equipment installation. That made the project one of the most successful large Promethean deployments in the nation. As the boards were installed, 3,000 teachers were trained to use them. That translates into the delivery of more than 20,000 hours of professional development since 2008. The District now expects to have Promethean Boards in all 5,000 classrooms a year ahead of schedule.

ASPIRING PRINCIPALS PROGRAM The District kicked off its Aspiring Principals Program, a collaboration with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Fifteen selected participants began classes in June 2009 to learn the “Fort Worth way.” Successful completion of the one year program leads to a master of education degree with principal certification from UTA. Participants, in turn, commit to working within Fort Worth ISD for the next five years. David Muñoz, Assistant Principal Resident, Eastern Hills High School Why I applied to the Aspiring Principals Program: In my former job in the office of Curriculum and Instruction, I worked alongside many of our District’s principals. Seeing their skill and energy and realizing the importance of their work inspired me to join the program. Now, I study their work as a component of my college course. No textbook or college lecture could ever provide that kind of learning opportunity! Why I think the program will benefit students: The Aspiring Principals Program is designed to provide the best instruction and learning environment to a new generation of principals. The members of the first cohort of Aspiring Principals are passionate, talented and driven. Having a school principal who is “made to order” is a gift to the students of Fort Worth ISD. What the program says about Fort Worth ISD: Our District will do everything to ensure that we achieve our goal of student achievement — including building the skills of those who lead and teach in our schools.



This was the year of the PEAK pilot program, an ambitious initiative targeting nine academically-challenged and hardto-staff schools. Six other schools that demonstrated growth joined the program. With funding by the state DATE grant and matching dollars from Fort Worth ISD, the District set about to: • Attract, hire and retain top teaching and administrative talent by providing incintives and improving working conditions • Improve teaching and learning with the help of value-added information and additional support • Reward successful teams of educators to significantly accelerate student growth

Extra support for some PEAK schools included beginning teacher advisors, additional professional development days, PEAK content specialists, parent liasons and data analysts. By the end of the school year, many indicators, especially TAKS results, already pointed toward success. In roundtable discussions, students praised teachers for caring and using more strategies. Surveyed teachers, in turn, commented frequently on overall improved working conditions. They said they were pleased with the support they received and the opportunities to provide feedback. PEAK teachers liked being able to collaborate more and provide one another with emotional support. Finally, they said schools were more inviting and parental involvement had increased. The retention rate, another indicator of success, backed up what teachers had to say. At PEAK campuses, the great majority of teachers chose to remain and continue building on the solid foundation they had helped set.



PEAK pilot program is a Goal One high point

>> High school astronomy classes held overnight star-watching parties.


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ndat ion of science.”

Kathy Cash Exploratory Learning Specialist, Science Department


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How AMP helped me as a person: It showed me my weaknesses and strengths and some of my natural tendencies in a work environment. This self-awareness is helpful in all areas of my life.

>> 5th graders studied ecosystems and plant and animal adaptations.


The District began hosting Transition Camps in the summer of 2006 as part of the Secondary Redesign Initiative. The camps help orient incoming 6th, 7th and 9th grade students facing critical school years to their surroundings. Transition Camps provide a fun, informal atmosphere for getting to know new schools and classmates and improving math and science skills.

How AMP helped prepare me for college: I have more confidence. I also have some great contacts I hope to maintain — amazingly talented and wonderful individuals who have taught, mentored and inspired me.

>> Southwest High School weather-stripped buildings and landscaped the lodge.

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number of students who participated in the 2008 Transition Camps

>> Trimble Tech High School's JROTC spent a weekend improving and cleaning trails.



Why I applied to the Advanced Media Program: I wanted to gain knowledge and experience in speaking and make lifelong contacts with people already in the media. What AMP taught me that I otherwise would not have learned in school: Personal integrity on the job is just as important as the work produced.

>> 8th grade science classes built and installed bluebird houses around the property for monitoring. 8th graders stayed overnight, conducting field investigations and enjoying hayrides to the star gazing site.

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>> 7th grade teachers trained in preparation for field trips. Approximately 2,200 students conducted science field investigations focused on water quality, soil studies, simple machines, succession of plants and man’s impact on the land.


Lindsay Ledbetter, 2009 Southwest High School graduate and incoming freshman at the University of North Texas studying communications with a concentration in public speaking.

Among the many activities at the OLC:



In its second year, the Advanced Media Program (AMP), which provides students real-world experience in broadcast journalism, made impressive, award-winning strides. AMP acomplishments: • Produced a live one-hour inauguration special • Played a primary role in the live WHIZ QUIZ “Sport of Knowledge” competition. The Texas School Public Relations Association awarded AMP’s production a Gold Star in the Live Event Category. • Southwest High School's Media Tech program swept the top four awards in the Fort Worth Opera’s second annual Video Contest. • Debuted a radio studio in April

Fort Worth ISD students are once again learning about the wonders of nature by experiencing them. The 228-acre Outdoor Learning Center (OLC), a beloved part of the Fort Worth ISD experience for generations, reopened in the fall. An American Indian blessing and ceremonial dances from the District’s American Indian Education Program were among the highlights of the October rededication ceremony. Throughout the year, school children learned first-hand about pioneer and American Indian life, agricultural practices, natural resources and wildlife. But first, teachers prepared for their new outdoor classroom. More than 200 of them attended training sessions in OLC safety and security, curriculum connections and field investigations lab models. They also took part in Major Rivers Training sponsored by the Tarrant Regional Water District. As part of the District’s commitment to community outreach, Azle High School held an overnight program at the OLC. The center also hosted two week-long camps for the American Indian Education Program and a community church.




It's a classroom as big as all outdoors


For the past two years, the District has worked to place special needs students in general education classrooms — with their typical peers — to the maximum extent appropriate. This aligns with the concept known as Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The District utilized inclusion coaches, professional development and inter-department collaborations. As a result, the percentage of elementary special education students in LRE rose from 38 percent in September 2008 to 44 percent in May 2009. Secondary special education students in LRE increased from 67 percent to 73 percent. Texas guidelines call for elementary schools to place at least 25 percent of special education students in the LRE. At the start of school, 75.5 percent of Fort Worth ISD elementary schools met that target. By May, more than 91 percent met the state’s goal. The state requires secondary schools to place at least 46.5 percent of special education students in the LRE. From September to May, the percentage of District schools meeting the target rose from 92 percent to 96 percent.


Making changes: Inclusive Education

“ N a t u re b r


Stay tuned for...




Fort Worth ISD rolled out an improved Curriculum Frameworks in 2008-2009, following an intricate remodeling. Changes were made to the still-new software program to eliminate duplications and help teachers, and eventually parents and students, access curriculum and

Lead Content Teachers & Coaches coordinate the names of teacher leaders, schedule them and establish content for programming. The biggest challenge I faced: Let’s face it, everyone wants time to prepare. To help alleviate concerns, I made the calendar “people flexible,” but “program set.” In other words, people on the schedule could change, but the programs would stay in place. What I learned about our teachers: They’re even more awesome than I knew. They consistently put their fears on hold so students could have access to needed teaching.

Marci Formby, Instructional Media Development As part of the “Sofa Studies” team: My goal, my job was to get quality presentations up in a very short amount of time and make sure viewers, crews and teachers felt the presentations benefited students. I immediately began contacting curriculum directors and executive directors to

The improved TAKS results underscore the importance of teachers working with a coherent curriculum.

What I learned about District staff: They are a very cooperative group of people. Almost every single person was willing to take a leap of faith to aid the learning community. “Sofa Studies” was a success because: Everyone was able to share their talents.

By the end of the school year, Fort Worth ISD had hired, trained and assigned math coaches to all elementary schools. The District provided the coaches with professional development in the areas of content, pedagogy and coaching. The coaches then supported and provided services to math teachers. Both math and literacy coaches had the opportunity to participate in "Target Teach", a strategy introduced in 2008-2009 to eliminate curriculum gaps and further boost student achievement. The coaches were on the move throughout the year, teaching in two-week blocks at all grade levels and planning with teachers for maximum impact. As TAKS results indicate, the District experienced continued success with lead content teachers at the secondary level. These educators spend half of the day teaching and the other half coaching fellow teachers.

navigate through the Frameworks more easily. This attention to detail and quick action to improve Curriculum Frameworks show the District’s commitment to eliminating curriculum gaps and aligning student products with national, state and local assessments. By the end of the school year, teachers accessed Curriculum Frameworks at the rate of more than 8,000 hits a day. It was just three years ago the District undertook the complex task of completely rewriting the curriculum — from Pre-K through 12th grade. More than 400 teachers, content specialists and principals participated, helping to craft Curriculum Frameworks, a system carefully customized to meet the needs of students and teachers.

by the

numbers the number of teachers (one from each of the four core academic areas) on every secondary academic team in 6th through 10th grade

The team approach, piloted in 2005-2006, provides opportunities to integrate Curriculum Frameworks across subject areas. Teamed teachers have a common planning time to discuss and develop ways to support what is being taught in other classes.


When H1N1 (Swine) flu closed Fort Worth ISD schools for a week in May, you could say students took the disruption in classes sitting down. EdTV, the District’s television station, switched gears and began broadcasting “Sofa Studies,” daily, live teacher instruction. The virtual classroom aired between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Charter Cable Channel 30 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, as well as streaming video on the District Web site. The broadcast was repeated in the evening. Teachers offered instruction in elementary literacy (reading and grammar), mathematics, science, physical education and health, calculus, psychology, statistics, U.S. government and U.S. history. The Outdoor Learning Center even brought snakes, scorpions and spiders to the set. Teachers came to the studio with a can-do attitude and a dedication to making sure students received important end-ofthe-year instruction. They went before the camera with their usual professionalism and sense of humor. Communications Department staff manned the cameras and the control room,

Building a better tomorrow with Curriculum Frameworks



Sofa Studies

doing double, and sometimes triple duty. Some students in the District’s Advanced Media Program (AMP) were so eager to pitch in, they dashed to the studio as soon as they were given the green light to return to class. “Sofa Studies” succeeded on many levels. Besides delivering instruction to students, it gave parents and kids the opportunity to work together and it allowed parents to build on their understanding of what takes place in their child’s classroom. It was also an opportunity for the District to do one of the things it does best, pull together as a team and work to find solutions.

Prevail to Graduation



PEAK students meet with Dr. Johnson Giving its most important stakeholders a voice, Fort Worth ISD provided key opportunities for students to speak out at the beginning of the Public Educators Accerating Kids (PEAK) pilot program. More than 20 students representing all PEAK schools, met at the beginning of the school year for a round

table discussion with Superintendent Melody Johnson. The students talked about the changes they hoped PEAK would bring to their schools. They met again in June 2009 — a follow-up session to talk about the differences PEAK had made at their schools. The comments were overwhelmingly positive. Almost all students agreed that: • Teachers were using more strategies to teach and classrooms were more interactive • The teachers' level of commitment made students care more • Teachers had a better rapport with students and parents

Promethean Interactive Whiteboards: every District classroom either has one — or has one on the way. The Division of Technology put Whiteboards in 3,000 classrooms this school year. By next year, all 5,000 classrooms will have the technology. The Interactive Boards operate much like a giant Personal Computer and, therefore, are engaging today’s “digital generation” like no other teaching tool. They provide the rigor and relevance students need. They allow teachers to be as creative as they like, as the applications of the Whiteboards are limitless. Principals and teachers say the boards have re-energized classrooms and re-invigorated careers.



On September 6, 2008, more than 200 community volunteers, led by Superintendent Melody Johnson and then Fort Worth Mayor Pro-Tem Kathleen Hicks, went door-to-door to talk directly to students about returning to school. The “Prevail to Graduation Walk” reached out to students who had not yet re-enrolled for the new academic year. Volunteers knocked on 177 doors in an attempt to engage students and their parents. Almost 50 contacts were made. At the same time, the District and the community demonstrated their commitment to our youth and to reducing the dropout rate. The walk was the collaborative work of Fort Worth ISD, the City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Chambers. It was modeled after a similar initiative in Houston, which successfully brought thousands of students back to class. The Fort Worth ISD walk targeted specific neighborhoods near three high schools — Eastern Hills, O.D. Wyatt and Diamond Hill-Jarvis. It came on the heels of a phone bank outreach, also staffed by volunteers, held earlier the same week. The phone bank made more than 100 contacts and was so effective that Diamond Hill-Jarvis alone reported a 100 percent success rate. Volunteers at that school then turned their efforts to a list of absentee students at North Side High School and Arlington Heights High School. Plans for the next Prevail to Graduation Walk are underway and volunteers are signing up. It will be held in September 2009.

Robin Richardson, Math Department Chair, algebra/Pre-AP algebra/geometry/8th grade math, William Monnig Middle School What’s the biggest difference Interactive Whiteboards have made in your class? My classroom has become a place for active learning and discovery. The Whiteboards allow the students to engage in online activities and become contributors to the learning process. They are able to apply the knowledge more hands-on, and they have developed a deeper understanding of how math plays a part in the real world. Have your students also benefited personally? Absolutely! I have seen the most timid students become active contributors. Students who may not be eloquent when explaining their thought processes can now use the board to convey their knowledge. Their confidence grows as they become more than just students — also leaders and even teachers. How have the boards changed your teaching career? I love the boards! When teaching Connected Math Project 2 (CMP2) math, I am able to project the digital book up on the board, students read along, and we write notes in the margins. I can go to the Prentice Hall Web site and use their resources for the class. And don’t get me started on the things I can do for algebra and geometry!




Safe & Drug-Free Schools and Communities


>> Added new, dynamic, multimedia presentations on bullying and cyber bullying prevention, drug trends and substance abuse awareness, developmental assets and dating violence >> Increased training opportunities for District staff and the community >> Developed the Safe & Drug-Free Schools and Communities

>> Debuted a new marketing campaign for the Safe & Drug-Free Schools Program >> Developed a highly-informative Web site, complete with online training request form and links to crucial resources >> Implemented the 40 Developmental Assets community initiative aimed at helping young people succeed (55 trainers from the District and the community were trained in two sessions) >> Created new partnerships between Fort Worth ISD and the community


Rene’ Moore, Coordinator, Safe & Drug-Free Schools and Communities The most gratifying part of my job: Having the opportunity to encourage students, parents and staff to make healthy choices and take responsibility for their own personal well-being. My staff and I are doing our jobs when: Adults and youth work together to create positive, healthy and safe learning environments. One of the most effective aspects of the Safe & Drug-Free Program is: Collaboration within the District and the community. We are most effective when we join together and share resources to build assets in our youth to promote school completion. One of the most important things parents can do to help keep kids safe at school: Empower them to observe, report and be engaged in their own personal safety.

>> Strengthened relationships with private schools served by Title IV funds In all, nearly 16,000 students and more than 3,500 adults attended presentations and/or trainings during the school year.




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quick fact: lojack The District’s Division of Technology installed LoJack tracking technology on all laptops and desk computers. In December 2008, that technology led Fort Worth police to a residence where they recovered a $1,500 laptop computer. Superintendent Melody Johnson and Chief Technology Officer Kyle Davie vowed that property stolen from the District would be recovered and thieves would be prosecuted.



Fort Worth ISD restructured its Safe & Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program to address current concerns, provide better prevention education and to take advantage of technological advances and other available resources for student safety. In 2008-2009, the District:

Summer Institute, two weeks of student safety workshops led by nationally-recognized experts



Goal Two

OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS & EFFICIENCY Committed to its second goal, Operational Effectiveness & Efficiency, Fort Worth ISD transitioned to a Digital District and began implementing a Strategic Scorecard that measures what matters. The District made these strides while adhering to Performance Objectives that increased system-wide accountability, transparency and communication. All operations in the District will be efficient and effective. 2.1 Promote a service-oriented culture throughout the District 2.2 Use data to inform decisions 2.3 Communicate with all stakeholders in a timely and relevant manner 2.4 Be responsible stewards of public funds 2.5 Nurture and build capacity of all employees to best support academic achievement



Digital District To see the Division of Technology’s (DoT) training schedule for the past year is to see the District’s commitment to “going digital” and to providing customer service each step of the way. In addition to training thousands of teachers in the use of the Promethean Interactive Whiteboards and many other educational tools, the DoT provided various kinds of technology training to noninstructional staff across the District. “It is very gratifying to see more and more people from different departments coming to us and asking for

workshops,” said Kyle Davie, chief technology officer. “That’s a good sign we’re developing a collaborative environment and a service-oriented culture that benefits everyone.” More than 50 school principals attended a technologyrelated Leadership Academy on everything from how to use DataSmart to improving presentation skills. Principals who attended earned a laptop computer. Substitute teachers and staff attended trainings to become more proficient in the use of the Interactive Whiteboards and other technology. The DoT also hosted trainings for parent liaisons who wanted to learn more about the Whiteboards as well as the basics, such as Microsoft Office Outlook and word processing.

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numbers number of times the Public Educator Accelerating Kids (PEAK) Web site was viewed during the school year

A PEAK hotline and mailbox were established to receive feedback and answer questions. The mailbox received hundreds of e-mails, mostly from current Fort Worth ISD and prospective teachers.

The service also allows parents to: >> View a seven-day history of student purchases to monitor what they are eating >> Receive e-mail notification when their student’s account balance is low >> Set daily and weekly spending limits for their students also saves the District money by reducing paperwork.


The District launched a new program that makes paying for school meals a lot more convenient. What’s more, parents can even monitor how students spend their lunch money. The new service is called It allows parents to go online, create a secure user name and password and prepay for breakfast, lunch and a la carte food items using a credit or debit card.

Punita Dani Thurman, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives

menu options for all users and added features including: >> Enhanced Human Resources job applicant tracking >> Student activity fund tracking >> Financial programs for asset depreciation, employee expenses and item reorders The upgrade also streamlined reconciliation tracking and reporting.

This year Fort Worth ISD implemented a new version of the District Strategic Scorecard, a system-wide accountability tool that articulates the metrics that define success for defined performance objectives. The District adopted a revised set of performance objectives in April 2008 that define “action steps” the District will focus on to achieve its three strategic goals. In August 2008, the Board adopted the Scorecard with its defined metrics and targets. Throughout 2008-2009, the District and the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education used the Scorecard to measure progress on key metrics.

The Scorecard’s immediate benefits: Clarity of expectations — by setting target levels of achievement we were able to define ‘success’ as well as collective accountability. The focus on monitoring has helped us all align around what we needed to do to move forward. The most surprising thing the Scorecard measures: Stakeholder feedback. In a number of areas, the scorecard triangulates feedback and perceptions from all of its key stakeholders. For example, when thinking about the issue of bullying on campus, the District measures survey feedback from parents, teachers, students and principals — it helps to give a more complete picture of how we are doing.

SECONDARY REDESIGN Fort Worth ISD’s Secondary Redesign is an initiative based solidly on excellent data — evaluation reports from inside and outside the District that inform every effort to raise rigor, incorporate relevance and build relationships in the classroom. The District’s Accountability and Data Quality Department continually provides Secondary Redesign staff with reports compiled from grades, attendance records, surveys and other data. These reports give insight into what is working and what is not working with students, teachers and the District as a whole. Secondary Redesign also uses the information in these reports when applying for grants. Additionally, the District relies on outside data sources,

including the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas High School Project, a public-private alliance dedicated to boosting graduation rates and ensuring that graduates are ready for college and career success. Both the TEA and the Texas High School Project provide best practices from various campuses and school districts that address instruction, college readiness, dropout prevention, English language learners and school management.


Fort Worth ISD’s financial and student systems continued to evolve into modern, user-centered systems. The District unveiled a new employee payroll system using MUNIS software, another important phase in transitioning into a Digital District. The January 2009 paychecks were the first ones to be issued using the new software. In June, MUNIS software was upgraded to provide new


What “sold” us on the Scorecard concept: There was a need for us to significantly streamline and narrow our focus when it came to the most important metrics around the performance objectives.





A clear measure of what is taught is what is learned. That is why in 2008-2009, the District expanded DataSmart to provide educators and administrators quick access to even more comprehensive student data. The expansion was a collaborative effort with input and support from Accountability and Data Quality, Curriculum and Instruction and the Division of Technology. DataSmart is a Web-based instructional tool and a key component of the District’s Strategic Scorecard. DataSmart assists teachers and principals in planning, monitoring student progress and intervening immediately to ensure greater student success. Initially, DataSmart incorporated only TAKS data. Now it includes TAKS-Accommodated and TAKS-Modified, as well as benchmark, TELPAS and Stanford/Aprenda data. The District also added features such as the Texas Project Measure, a Value-Added model for interpreting year-to-year progress within a subject matter. The District also laid the ground work to link DataSmart with Curriculum Frameworks for the 2009-2010 school year. Teachers will be able to access test histories of students in their class and plan instruction accordingly. All along the way, teachers and administrators provided feedback, helping to make timely changes to improve the quality of reports and information.








Twitter promotes itself as an online service for people to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of brief answers to the question: What are you doing? Because the District is committed to communicating in a timely, relevant manner, building relationships and letting all our stakeholders know what we’re doing, we eagerly “got Twittering”! This new social media puts the District in venues where our students, parents, teachers and community members are. We can “listen to” (monitor) what they are saying and, when appropriate, respond — whether to correct rumors or pass on important information.

Clint Bond, External Communications Coordinator Why is it important to communicate with the news media? It is critical that the community understand the message of the Fort Worth ISD. One vital way of delivering that message is through the traditional news media (radio, television and newspapers). Having one point of contact, with a consistent message, facilitates a better understanding of the District’s mission. Does the District communicate with non-traditional news media? The information landscape is continually changing. “Citizen” journalists and bloggers have re-arranged the way information is delivered and received. Listening to those conversations and using those tools to help the public maintain a clear understanding of District objectives is vital.

The Fort Worth ISD Communications Department had a very productive year researching, composing and distributing approximately 300 news releases about District events. These releases were aimed primarily at the news media with the intent of sharing information about District accomplishments with the general public. The releases were distributed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and blog editors. The releases were also posted on the District’s Web site for everyone to see. News releases distributed in 2008-2009 announced a broad range of news items, including scheduled and special events, personal promotions, awards, services, policies and accomplishments. Local media often used this information to generate news stories that helped us spread the word about the District. On a daily basis, the Communications Department provided information to members of the working press without the formality of a news release. These less official “releases” assisted reporters by answering specific questions and providing background understanding.



quick fact

Media & press relations

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the number of visits to the District’s Web site logged during the school year

That figure was almost double the visits from one year earlier. While the majority of the 2008-2009 visits came from within the United States, people in 174 other countries also spent time on the site.

The new Fort Worth ISD unveiled a completely redesigned student, parent and teacher-friendly Web site, the product of an almost year-long collaboration between the Division of Technology and the Communications Department. Important redesign features included: >> Parent-At-A-Glance — where parents can find out what their students are learning during the current six weeks session

>> Curriculum Frameworks — where teachers can view and edit lessons, exchange ideas, search for curriculum documents and more >> Webmail link — where all employees can access their e-mail



The District specifically targeted: Unfunded Mandates — The state has a constitutional responsibility to fund the mandates it gives schools. State Funding — During the last legislative session, District revenue was frozen at the 2006 level, even though payroll costs and other expenses continued to escalate. The District sought to increase the state target revenue to an adequate and equitable level.

Accountability — The current accountability system is complex, lacks transparency and is designed to be punitive. The District encouraged creation of a more transparent system that recognizes individual growth of students and schools. The District also called for realistic sanctions and targeted intervention as needed. Through HB 3646, Fort Worth ISD was given an additional $16 million for 2009-2010 for day-to-day operations. However, the state required that $8.3 million be used for teacher pay and step increases, leaving only $7.2 million to apply to the $42 million deficit. HB 3 made significant changes to the school accountability system, but did not create a simpler, more transparent system. Legislators did alter state sanctions, resulting in more realistic timelines, and they made needed changes in calculating dropout rates.

Capital Improvement Program Ground was broken in May for Hazel Harvey Peace Elementary School. It will be the first new school built under the 2007 voter-approved bond package. The school is named for the legendary figure whose 49-year career at I.M. Terrell High School included teaching, coaching, counseling and serving as dean of girls. The Fort Worth ISD Capital Improvement Project (CIP) expects to complete the school in spring 2010. Other CIP milestones reached during 2008-2009 include: >> The renovation of 15 middle school tracks >> The building of a brand new track at Meadowbrook Middle School >> Prompt payments and processing of invoices which supports local companies

Current market conditions are favorable to the CIP and have resulted in significant construction costs savings. The overall Historically Underutilized Business participation to date is 36 percent, exceeding the 25 percent expectation established by the Board of Education. In all, the CIP includes 135 school projects planned in three phases and scheduled for completion in 2011. Every campus is seeing progress in one or more of the following categories: safety and security, building systems, new classrooms (eight additions and six new schools), site and classroom improvements, and technology upgrades.

GO GREEN, Save Green An estimated 4.4 million plastic milk bottles have been recycled since Fort Worth ISD kicked off its “Go Green, Save Green” campaign in early December 2008. The District collected plastic bottles throughout the District, including athletic facilities. In addition to mandatory recycling, strategies to conserve energy and reduce waste include:

>> Raising awareness concerning electricity use >> Strict enforcement of the “no idle” policy for District school buses >> Efficient routing to reduce the number of school buses on the road >> Changing gymnasium light bulbs as they go out, to energy efficient ones and putting some lights on timers

GRANT $$$ FUNDS INITIATIVES Fort Worth ISD is on track to receive discretionary grants totaling $40 million for the year — an increase of $10 million over last year. This follows aggressive efforts by the staff to pursue opportunities to help meet the District’s financial needs and minimize the impact of the anticipated shortfall in funding from the state. Some of the larger grants received include: 21st Century After School Program • $5.5 million • Funded by the Texas Education Agency • Supports after-school programs • Collaborative effort with several Fort Worth ISD community partners

District Award for Teaching Excellence (DATE) • $5.3 million • Funded by the Texas Education Agency • Supports the PEAK program (Public Educators Accelerating Kids) and efforts to recruit and retain quality teachers Professional Development for Art Educators (PDAE) • $941,968 • Funded by the Department of Education • Supports fine arts programs in high-poverty schools • Collaborative effort with fine arts organizations throughout the city AT&T Foundation • $400,000 • Partnership with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce • Supports Fort Worth ISD’s Project Prevail



Much was at stake during the 81st Legislative Session, particularly related to school accountability and finance. Fort Worth ISD took a very proactive approach to protect students’ interests and: • Met with legislators in Fort Worth and Austin to recommend solutions • Wrote amendments and suggested language to assist legislators in improving bills • Pulled in professional organizations and District alliances to help impact legislation • Provided testimony at committee meetings at the Capitol



We’ll have you at “hello!” District Operations offered training in telephone etiquette — something that can make the difference between a good department and a great department. Office employees brushed up on the “do’s and don’ts” of interacting with both internal and external customers. Customer service also took priority in professional development for maintenance employees. Trainings centered on a new work order program aimed at improving response times and communication with schools and other District facilities.

numbers number of Fort Worth ISD school Web sites launched

School improvement requires teachers to continually learn new ways of teaching and building relationships. Fort Worth ISD’s Professional Development Center uses the Avatar online system to administer, deliver and track professional development programs and participants. In 2008-2009, approximately 3,400 training classes were delivered to Fort Worth ISD teachers and other staff via Avatar. Sammy Monge, Executive Director of Leadership Development & Support The mission: I believe our mission at the Professional Development Center is to develop individual growth over a career cycle. When we hire a teacher, we are hiring not only a teacher but also someone who will play a vital role as a leader in our District. Our mission is to recruit, select, place, induct, coach, develop and retain quality leaders.

Leadership Development: Being a leader takes more than a piece of paper that states you are certified to do a certain job. It takes understanding yourself well enough to know where your leadership gifts can best be used to serve others. We all need to ask: What am I deeply passionate about? What can I be the best in the world at? Mistaken assumptions about Leadership Development: Many people believe they can’t lead if they’re not at the top. This simply is not true. You don’t need to have a position at the top of your group, department, division or organization in order to lead. Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit. Anyone can choose to become a leader at any time. The District has a responsibility to develop leaders, but the real responsibility for your leadership development lies squarely on your shoulders.


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Increasingly, the Web site is becoming the face of an organization and where people turn first for information. This is true for Fort Worth ISD and each of its schools, and this is why the District launched a new Web site built in Microsoft SharePoint. It allows people searching for information to find it simply and quickly – no matter which of the District’s public Web sites they access. But first came extensive training. Each campus designated a Technology Integrated Educator (TIE) to be responsible for their school’s Web site. TIE coordinators received a stipend and hours of training to develop and maintain the Web sites for maximum efficiency and customer service. The District anticipates many more Web site “hits” and satisfied customers. An added bonus is the savings. Replacing the old technology with SharePoint is expected to save the District approximately $100,000 per year.



Professional development & training for all employees

Goal Three

FAMILY INVOLVEMENT AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS The District’s third goal, Family Involvement and Community Partnerships, is part of the new equation to increase the number of students who graduate on time - ready for college and prepared for the workplace. Teachers cannot do it alone. Supporting Performance Objectives focus on getting everyone involved for our students’ success. Family involvement and community partnerships will be an integral part of the education of all children. 3.1 Build community support and engage them to support of District goals 3.2 Engage and expect parents to be active participants in student learning

More than 250 community stakeholders came together in March 2009 and brainstormed a set of strategies for reducing the District’s dropout rate. America’s Promise Summit — Fort Worth was hosted by Superintendent Melody Johnson and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. WFAA-TV anchor Gloria Campos emceed the day-long event. It was part of the America’s Promise Alliance, a national organization founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell to bring awareness to the country’s alarming drop-out rate and mobilize communities to take action.

Policy-makers, business leaders, school officials, church leaders and parents discussed strategies that focused on: • Ensuring the collaboration of all community stakeholders to make school more relevant and interesting • Working together to support students and teachers through programs and activities such as Adopt-A-School, job shadowing and mentoring • Using adult role models to advocate and provide a sense of community for all students and their families, especially students at risk of dropping out of school

numbers the number of businesses and organizations serving as Adopt-ASchool partners in 124 schools the number of GO Center visits this year at high school campuses across the District

Citizens Oversight Committee Once voters approved the $593.6 million bond referendum in November 2007, a Citizens Oversight Committee was formed. The group was part of Fort Worth ISD’s promise to keep citizens informed throughout all phases of project development and to keep all work and records transparent. Throughout 2008-2009, the committee met quarterly with the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) office and program manager to receive updates and get questions answered on such topics as: • Overall finance, schedule and budget status • Environmental stewardship • Historically Underutilized Businesses FO RT WO RT H C A P IT IN D E P E N D E A L IM status P R OV N T S C H O O EM L D IS T R ENT P IC T ROGR AM


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GO CENTERS Fort Worth ISD’s partnership with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to operate GO Centers throughout the District continued to be a great success. GO Centers are computerequipped locations overseen by school staff and volunteer mentors from higher education or business. Students can visit GO Centers for computer access to college, financial aid and career information.

quick fact: math & science initiative community partners Dozens of community partners signed up to support Fort Worth ISD Math & Science Initiative activities. These activities included: >> Family Math Nights >> Math and Science Fall Festival at the Will Rogers Coliseum attended by more than 6,000 people >> The curriculum-based Texas Christian University and Chesapeake Energy Math & Science Trail which hosted students from 40 elementary schools. The District also encouraged community partners to address math and science in their Adopt-A-School plans.


America's Promise Summit

ADOPT-A-SCHOOL The District’s Parent and Public Engagement Department recruited 33 new partners during 2008-2009.


Project Prevail is a comprehensive initiative to increase the number of students graduating from Fort Worth high schools fully prepared for post-secondary education or gainful employment. Project Prevail acts as an umbrella, tying together many diverse programs in the District that have one thing in common: the goal of creating a college-bound culture through rigor, relevance and relationships. Curriculum Frameworks, Secondary Redesign and the Promethean Project are a few of the high-profile initiatives and programs under the umbrella. Project Prevail also recognizes that teachers cannot do the job alone. The initiative invites and supports community partnerships for mentoring students and providing positive role models. Most partnerships

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are formed through Student Engagement and School Completion and Parent and Public Engagement. In 20082009, these partnerships supported students, teachers and schools through numerous opportunities, including: >> Adopt-A-School >> America’s Promise Summit >> GO Centers >> Prevail to Graduation Walk >> Family Math Nights >> Distinguished Employers of Fort Worth ISD Students Project Prevail recognizes that high school graduation for all of our students is much more than a worthy goal. An interrupted education takes a costly toll on the individual and the entire community. Working together, we can prevail.


A very important project



iDream, iLearn, iWin grows stronger More than 1,300 students, families and volunteers attended the District’s “i Dream, i Learn, i Win” Summits.



Parent liaisons receive regular professional development. At these sessions, parent liaisons share best practices, including the 6 types of parental involvement, and learn how to engage parents effectively, encourage parents to start planning for college, and assist parents in utilizing community services. Gwen Gray, Parent Liaison, talks about her “PEAK” year at Dunbar High School Why I knew I was right for the job: I am from the neighborhood. If I don’t know the student, you can bet I know the parent or grandparent. My family has three generations of Dunbar graduates. One of them is my daughter, Terrilyn Gray, dean of instruction at Dunbar High School.

"Exemplary" family involvement program Fort Worth ISD added the Epstein Model for Parent and Public Involvement to 20 more schools, bringing the number of participating campuses to 51. The Epstein Model, developed by Dr. Joyce Epstein, the founder of Johns Hopkins University’s National Network of Partnership Schools, uses researchbased approaches to organize and sustain quality family and community involvement programs that increase student success in school.

What I found to be my biggest challenges: Preconceived notions - community members did not think Dunbar was a good school. But the climate at the school has completely changed. Principal Douglas Williams, and now the PEAK program, have turned it around. Students are working hard. Teachers are working extremely hard. They are going out of their way to help students. How parent liaisons make a difference: The PEAK program put principals, teachers and resources in place. What was missing was parent involvement. At Dunbar, it was almost non-existent, except for sports. Parents didn’t know their participation was needed, and if they tried to get involved, they would be overwhelmed with information. I make it a point to limit my meetings with parents to three topics. No one’s intimidated. Now, they are calling me about academics, fine arts and college entrance exams. Why I am excited about next year: Because the parents are! They already want to know what they can do to help their student expand his or her horizon.

The District’s Parent and Public Engagement Department recruited participating campuses and provided training and other support. Each school put together an action team of school staff, community leaders, PTA/PTO representatives and parents, to oversee the partnership program. The teams first wrote a one-year action plan. During the year, they implemented and coordinated planned involvement activities and reported the progress being made. The District’s goal is to continue phasing in the Epstein Model until all schools are participants.

There were four held in 2008-2009 — at the University of Texas at Arlington/Fort Worth Center, Texas Wesleyan University, Tarrant County College South Campus and St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. The summits focused on the college-bound experience and targeted Fort Worth ISD students of all ages and their families. Free breakfast and lunch were offered as participants took part in workshops on financial aid, courses of study and college life. Several students and parents gave testimonials about the importance of creating a college-bound culture in the home when children are young and impressionable. Representatives from higher education, social service agencies, churches and civic organizations manned booths where they distributed informative material and answered questions. “These Family Summits are starting to generate lots

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CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION: PARENT-AT-A-GLANCE Thousands of parents are going to to find out what their children are learning in school. “Parent-At-A-Glance allows parents to be even better partners in the education process,” said the number of times Curriculum and Chief Academic Officer Michael Sorum. “It is Instruction Parent-At-A-Glance pages vital to the process that parents understand were viewed during the school year what kids are expected to learn and know.” the increase in the number of calls made to TeleLink, the Fort Worth ISD TeleLink and ParentLink The District’s Parent information line for parents and Public Engagement Department worked to improve communication with parents in 2008-2009. In addition to having access to TeleLink, parents received the free quarterly newsletter, ParentLink.




Fort Worth ISD’s Parent Liaisons help parents and students navigate the school system. The District has more than 80 Parent Liaisons on various campuses who: >> Work to create a welcoming school environment for parents >> Conduct outreach to engage parents in their children’s education >> Support the work of PTA, PTO and Booster Clubs >> Help negotiate and facilitate when parents have concerns

of talk about college,” said Carlos De Anda, an early childhood specialist for the City of Fort Worth. “I know of one family where not only are the pre-schoolers talking about it but mom and dad are talking about returning to college too!”

Looking Ahead

Secondary Redesign Phase 2


REDESIGN Fort Worth Independent School District


Young Women’s Academy Fort Worth ISD anticipates another year of academic gains, even as the economy struggles and state funding for schools falls short. Financial challenges will continue to be a critical issue facing the District. Still, commitment to success is stronger than ever. And already, teachers, administrators and all employees are rolling up their sleeves for the task ahead — a new school year that holds much promise, opportunity and excitement.

After much research, the District will begin planning the Fort Worth ISD Young Women’s Academy. The Foundation for the Education of Young Women is providing a $1 million grant to support the academy. Planning will include best practices of highly-successful all-girls’ schools in other cities, including Dallas, home of the first all-girls public school in Texas. Most of these schools report higher academic achievement, greater interest and engagement in math and science, and higher attendance rates.




The District will move toward “schools of study,” specialized programs or themes in each school that offer students vibrant programs of study in their fields of interest. >> 50 freshmen at Southwest High School will attend the new Southwest Academy for Petroleum Engineering and Technology. The academy is made possible through a partnership with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. This “school within a school” will provide problem-based learning to build critical thinking skills. These are essential in the engineering profession and valuable in everyday life. >> Morningside and Burton Hill elementary schools will offer a Spanish Immersion Academy, an exciting program for building fluency in two languages. Approximately 60 kindergarten and first-grade students – both English and Spanish speakers – will attend. English-speaking students will spend the day learning in Spanish, with crucial support to maintain their English skills. Spanish- speaking students will solidify their first-language foundation before adding English.


NOTIFICATION SYSTEM The District will begin implementing a new sophisticated system that provides a stable, consistent method for keeping parents informed of school activities and situations that impact their student. The system will allow mass messages to go out to parents’ homes and cell phones for notifications of all kinds, from open houses to weather-related closings. The messages can be sent District-wide, school-wide or to certain groups, such as a sports team that needs to be notified of a game delay or cancellation. The system will also send messages to single households when needed, such as when a child does not show up for school.

Capital Improvement Program


• Complete the pre-design of all projects • Complete the design of more than 100 projects, including new schools • Have 50 projects under construction by Fall 2009 • Complete 10 projects by the end of 2009 • Provide more training of Historically Underutilized Businesses and Small Businesses • Minimize disruptions to students, teachers and the community

Value-Added Portal This new feature on the District Web site will fast become a one-stop resource for educators and staff. The Portal will offer information, training material and reports related to Value-Added analysis for the District and individual campuses. Value-Added analysis shows the impact teachers and schools have on students’ academic performances. Using this growth metric, teachers, schools and the District can begin interpreting the impact of their curriculum, instruction, programs and practices on student achievement.

GRANICUS 2009-2010 will be the first full year of Granicus, the Webbased video-on-demand and live streaming technology made possible through the collaboration of the Division of Technology and the Communications Department. The District successfully streamed the June 23, 2009 Board of Education meeting. On that day, almost 600 “hits” were recorded on the streaming media page of the District’s Web site. Granicus will allow anyone with Internet access to stream board meetings, special instructional efforts and other District activities.

ARRA Funding In 2009-2010, Fort Worth ISD will receive more than $40 million as part of the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The District anticipates an additional $20-$30 million in ARRA funding that is available for educational purposes through various state and federal agencies. In preparation for these opportunities, the District has established its own ARRA Education Task Force to identify needs and priorities for the use of the funds and to keep stakeholders informed.



With all Phase 3 projects already ahead of schedule, the CIP expects to:


Logan, Maude I. Lowery Road McDonald, Atwood McRae, D. Meadowbrook Mendoza, Rufino Merrett, Luella Mitchell Boulevard Moore, M.H. Morningside Moss, Christene C. Nash, Charles E. North Hi Mount Oakhurst Oaklawn Pate, A.M. Peak, Carroll Phillips, M.L. Ridglea Hills Riverside ALC Rosen, Sam Sagamore Hill Sellars, David K. Seminary Hills Park Shulkey, Bruce Sims, T.A. South Hi Mount South Hills Springdale Stevens, J.T. Sunrise-McMillian Tanglewood Terrell, I.M.

Turner, W.J. Van Zandt-Guinn Walton, Maudrie M. Washington Heights Waverly Park West Handley Westcliff Westcreek Western Hills Western Hills Primary Westpark Williams, Versia L. Wilson, Richard Woodway Worth Heights

Meadowbrook Monnig, William Morningside Riverside Rosemont Rosemont 6th Stripling, W.C. Wedgwood Wedgwood 6th

High Schools Amon Carter-Riverside Arlington Heights Diamond Hill-Jarvis Dunbar Eastern Hills Middle Schools North Side Applied Learning Academy Paschal, R.L. Como Montessori Polytechnic Daggett South Hills Daggett Montessori Southwest Dunbar 6th Trimble Technical Dunbar Western Hills Elder, J.P. Other Schools Forest Oak Boulevard Heights Glencrest 6th Horizons Alternative School Handley International Newcomer Academy James, William Jo Kelly School Kirkpatrick, Milton L. Metro Opportunity School Leonard Middle Level Learning Center Leonard 6th New Lives School McLean, W.P. Success High School McLean 6th Meacham, W.A.

how to

Partner Parent volunteer hours totaled more than 530,000 in 2008-2009, or 6.7 volunteer hours per student. That sets a new record and exceed goals as measured by the District Scorecard. The District’s business partners logged more than 19,000 hours of volunteer service to schools. There are many opportunities for everyone to have an impact on the academic success of Fort Worth ISD students.

Stay informed: • Visit regularly (you can also follow the District on Twitter and Facebook). • Subscribe to the free newsletter, ParentLink. • Attend school board meetings — remember: if you cannot attend a meeting, you can watch it live on your computer at • Call the Fort Worth ISD Parent and Public Engagement Department at 817.871.2450 to learn more ways you or your organization can partner with the District to be a positive force in students’ learning.

Their future is our future.


Elementary Schools Beal, Harlean Benbrook Brae, Bonnie Briscoe, Edward J. Burton Hill Carlson, Alice ALC Carter Park Chavez, Cesar Clarke, George C. Clayton, Lily B. Como Como Montessori Contreras, Alice D. Daggett, E.M. Daggett Montessori Davis, Clifford De Zavala Diamond Hill Dillow, S.S. East Handley Eastern Hills Elliott, Bill J. Ellis, M.G. Glen Park Green, W.M. Greenbriar Helbing, H.V. Howell, Natha Hubbard Heights Huerta, Dolores Jara, Manuel Kirkpatrick, Milton L.



Fort Worth ISD Schools


100 N. University Drive Fort Worth, TX 76107 817.871.2000

08-09 FWISD Annual Report  
08-09 FWISD Annual Report  

08-09 FWISD Annual Report