Your weekly look at Fort Worth schools

It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means from the Fort Worth Report. It’s time for the School Report, your weekly newsletter of education news you can use. In this week’s Report: a look at how the flu and RSV are spreading in schools, previewing the next version of the STAAR test and more.

Not interested in the School Report? You can opt out here and still receive our other newsletters.

Your education tag team,
Reporters Jacob Sanchez & Kristen Barton


Both the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are hitting children sooner and harder this year. Kristen and health reporter Alexis Allison spoke to a Cook Children’s doctor about both and how to protect your children.

  • Alexis and Kristen both reported that the COVID-19 pandemic precautions meant less children getting RSV and the flu the past couple of years.
  • But this year, children started getting these viruses in October and November, and the cases are overwhelming hospitals.
  • Here’s what parents should look for when deciding if a child might need a doctor visit or emergency room care with RSV:
    • If the child has a cough or congestion, see a family pediatrician. 
    • If the child is dehydrated or struggling to breathe, go to the emergency room.
  • Here’s what parents should look for when deciding if a child might need a doctor visit or emergency room care with the flu:
    • Symptoms like low-grade fevers, stuffy nose and no signs of stress or dehydration can be seen by a pediatrician.
    • If your child is showing signs of difficulty breathing, dehydration and a persistent fever of over 100.5, they should be taken to the hospital.
  • Doctors encourage everyone to get their flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine. There is not a vaccine for RSV yet.


One of our favorite childhood memories was counting down the days until Christmas with an advent calendar. Here are some tips to make one with your kids to count the days until Christmas, other holidays or even the days until winter break.

  • Use boxes, envelopes or even recycled toilet paper tubes to form the base of your advent calendar. Here are some more tips.
  • Think about theming your calendar, too. All of the little gifts inside it could fit with the theme. It also could be a good way to teach your children something new.
  • Fill each of your days with a little treat. It can be a sweet message or an actual sweet. It’s all up to you and your kids.
  • Don’t forget: Advent calendars aren’t just for kids. Make one — or buy one — for yourself to join in the fun!


The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness test will be administered online and with other changes this spring. Kristen spoke with a Texas Education Agency official to break down the new test.

  • The changes are a result of House Bill 3906, which puts a cap on the number of multiple choice questions on the test.
  • Students will be able to write answers using text-based evidence to answer questions, not just select a multiple choice answer, on some parts of the test. There also will be graphing and number lines. Questions like this allow for partial credit in the scoring process, a first for the exam.
  • All grades will take the reading test, which is new. This will allow for more open-ended questions in other grades.
  • Parents will be able to access their child’s score and see their answers to questions and how they were graded to help their student get the support they need.


A “Chopped” champion roams the halls of Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Jacob chatted with the winner of the cooking competition.

  • Who is it? The champ is Kathleen Cluchey, a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at YWLA. She has been teaching for 14 years and is in her first year at this school.
  • Cluchey, who has cooked and baked her entire life, came out on top of three other teachers in an educator-focused episode of the Food Network show.
  • The hardest part of going on “Chopped”? Keeping it a secret for nine months. 
  • Try making two of the dishes Cluchey whipped up on the show. She shared with Jacob recipes for mascarpone sweet potatoes and a brussels sprouts salad.


What do you get when almost 400 students from the Fort Worth area form their own state government? A functioning democracy that leads with respect. Jacob spent a Saturday morning with the budding leaders.

  • Students formed their own state government that included a governor, courts and even media. It was part of a YMCA program called Youth and Government.
  • Students pick one of the three branches of government — legislative, executive and judicial — and learn the rules and procedures of those roles.
  • Sue Six coordinates the legislative branch and helps students who take on the role of lawmaker. This is how she sees the program: “You’re learning to talk and think on your feet. You’re learning to be responsible and meet deadlines. You’re learning to exchange ideas with people you don’t necessarily agree with, hopefully, in a professional way.”

Student of the week

Meet Jayda Jones, a senior at Southwest High School.

She dedicates herself to the art of singing while serving as a leader to her fellow peers and community. Her daily commitments prepare her for what comes next in life through a well-rounded education, a life in the arts, and the opportunity to lead.

To read more about her accomplishments:

Know of other top students and top teachers? Nominate them below:

Off campus: Dates to know

Here’s what’s coming up in Fort Worth and Tarrant County:

  • Dec. 3: Saturday school in Fort Worth ISD.
  • Dec. 10: Fort Worth ISD’s Bill W. Sills Lecture.
  • Dec. 12: School board meetings for Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, Keller ISD, Northwest ISD, Lake Worth ISD
  • Dec. 13: Fort Worth ISD school board meeting.
  • Dec. 15: Keller ISD and Crowley ISD high schools early release. | Crowley ISD school board meeting.
  • Dec. 16: Fort Worth ISD student day off. | Early release in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, Keller ISD, Northwest ISD, Lake Worth ISD, Crowley ISD.
  • Dec. 19: Winter break begins.

Always check your specific school for the official calendar in case of late scheduling changes.

Contact Jodye Newton to discuss possibilities.

📝 What would you like to know about our schools? Send us a story idea or email Jacob or Kristen.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, by following our guidelines.

Avatar photo

Jacob SanchezEnterprise Reporter

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His work has appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram, The Texas Tribune and the Texas Observer. He is a graduate of St. Edward’s University....

Avatar photo

Kristen BartonEducation Reporter

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She has previous experience in education reporting for her hometown paper, the Longview News-Journal and her college paper, The Daily...