FWISD plans to reorganize administration, assist teachers

By Shane Battis

The Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Trustees passed the first phase of a new plan last night in an effort to reorganize the district’s administration for better student achievement.
The plan will reduce bureaucratic traffic in his office and relocate over 70 teacher support professionals to Fort Worth campuses.
Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said the plan is an effort to “raise academic achievement” and save $1.3 million in Fort Worth schools.
Clint Bond, a FWISD spokesperson, said teachers and students will get extra assistance in the classroom.
The teacher support professionals are “master teachers” who will be assigned a school to mentor teachers. Currently, these mentors visited schools periodically, but are based in the FWISD central office.
Under the new plan, Bond said, they will be embedded in a school to “help those teachers help students.” He said they will oversee all the schools in district with emphasis on schools that are falling behind.
Scribner talked about the performance of Fort Worth schools at the board meeting last night. He said the district has 21 underperforming schools that need more help.
“We are only as strong as our lowest-performing schools,” Scribner said at the board meeting.
Scribner also talked about how he intends to reorganize his cabinet to have fewer people reporting to him.
The superintendent’s cabinet of 20 members will be shrunk to a leadership team of 10 chiefs. These chiefs, Scribner said, “flatten” his administration by replacing the three deputy superintendent positions.
Bond said removing these positions will save the district $1.3 million.
Reorganization is cutting down positions within departments, not individual employees, Bond said. Employees in reduced positions can find work in other areas of the department or seek employment elsewhere.
“We’re not reducing the number of people we have, Bond said. “Just changing where they work.”
Bond said chiefs will be responsible for hiring employees in their department, overseeing its operations and reporting to the superintendent directly.
Chiefs will be hired over the next months as FWISD conducts a nationwide search.
Scribner is the architect of this whole resolution, Bond said. He has been serving as superintendent for 120 days and is making changes he thinks will bring success to the district.
“This is just the first step,” Bond said.