Your weekly look at Fort Worth schools
Happy Tuesday from the Fort Worth Report! It’s time for the School Report! This is your weekly newsletter of education news you can use. We will be in your inbox every Tuesday morning. From the Fort Worth ISD school board meeting to preparing for Dia de los Muertos, here’s what you need to know about your schools..
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The Fort Worth ISD school board has its regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Teaching and Learning Center, 1050 Bridgewood Drive. Here’s what you should watch out for:
- Trustees will consider renewing the district’s contract with the city of Fort Worth to provide school resource officers. The cost is expected not to exceed more than $4.4 million. Jacob has more on school security.
- The district plans to introduce a state-required online school option for students who have dropped out. Officials say it gives students flexibility around their schedule so they can still earn their high school diploma. The program is expected to cost $2 million.
- Students in some career and technical education programs across the district are likely to see new equipment soon. Here are some 2017 bond-funded purchases trustees will consider:
- $950,951 for new robotics, automation and virtual welding equipment at Arlington Heights High School, Trimble Tech High School, Southwest High School and Young Men’s Leadership Academy.
- $415,319 to update health science hospital simulation facilities at North Side High School and Trimble Tech High School.
- $110,767 for new culinary equipment at Polytechnic High School, Trimble Tech High School and O.D. Wyatt High School.
- The district is working to create a unified enrollment system so that parents can access information about their schools, choice programs and other initiatives. Trustees will consider approving the purchase of the system for $215,746 out of the district’s federal stimulus funds.
- You can watch the meeting live on YouTube, Spectrum cable channel 192 and AT&T U-verse channel 99.
Last week, Rocketship Public Schools hosted a ribbon cutting for its flagship campus in Fort Worth.
- The ceremony featured Mayor Mattie Parker and tennis player Andre Agassi, at the 46,000-square-foot campus in Stop Six.
- The campus has 350 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
- According to Rocketship, the Turner-Agassi Education Facilities Fund — a mission-driven social impact investment fund that provides resources and real estate expertise to high-performing charter school operators across the nation — developed the campus.
Education in Fort Worth is spread among 12 school districts and 15 charter systems. But with one in three students meeting grade level, some leaders told Jacob that they want the Fort Worth City Council to push for improvements and tackle education.
- Education does not fall under the statutory responsibilities of council members. However, they can support schools and hold them accountable if they are not performing at a satisfactory level, said Pete Geren, president and CEO of the nonprofit Sid W. Richardson Foundation.
- Superintendents and school boards would not be eliminated. Instead, the City Council would work with them, and not interfere with educators’ jobs.
- But a TCU education professor pointed out there are some downsides. Residents could see this as injecting even more politics into education, she said.
Our next Candid Conversation event is Nov. 11, and will focus on student mental health and building a trauma-informed community.
- Become a member and get early access to future events. To register for this one, click here.
- Looking for other student mental health resources? The Texas Education Agency has several resources here.
- Mental Health America also has some tips for parents to help with student’s mental health at home. These include following routines, creating a calm environment and other rules to follow.
It’s almost Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday honoring loved ones who have passed away.
- This National Geographic Kids article is a resource to teach your child about the holiday.
- Remember, Dia de los Muertos is not Halloween (even though it starts the day after) and is about remembering ancestors.
- Want to try something new to celebrate? Visit your local panadería and get some pan dulce, sweet bread. (Kristen always recommends a good empanada from Esperanza’s.)
- When setting up your ofrenda this year, here are some tips.
Off campus: Dates to know
Here’s what’s coming up in Fort Worth and Tarrant County:
- Oct. 25: Fort Worth ISD, HEB ISD school board meetings.
- Oct. 29: Saturday school in Fort Worth ISD.
- Nov. 4: Last day of early voting. Fort Worth ISD choices expo 4-7 p.m. at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center, 5201 C.A. Roberson Blvd. Gold Seal applications available.
- Nov. 5: Fort Worth ISD choices expo 9 a.m. to noon at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center, 5201 C.A. Roberson Blvd.
- Nov. 8: Election Day. Day off for Fort Worth ISD students, except for those at early college high schools. Fort Worth ISD school board meeting.
- Nov 12: Saturday school in Fort Worth ISD.
- Nov. 21-25: Thanksgiving break
Always check your specific school for the official calendar in case of late scheduling changes.