FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth Independent School District hosted over 1,000 “porch visits” in August ahead of the first day of school, visiting district parents to deliver school supplies and information about resources.
Fort Worth ISD staff divided into teams. Each team visited over a dozen homes Wednesday to drop off backpacks, reading materials and counselor contacts as part of the “porch visits.”
Some visits were used as check-ins after the district noticed drops in attendance.
“When COVID hit, whether it be Wi-Fi or just equipment-wise, (students) weren’t able to log on and attend. And then when we went to in-person, there were more concerns and issues there,” Fort Worth ISD’s Juan Daniel Garcia said. “We’re hoping that when school starts on August 16, we can somehow help them with anything they need to be successful.”
District staff also used these visits as an opportunity to answer any questions from parents -- for example, some wanted information on bus routes -- and to share new resources now available through the district.
“We have a new department called Parent-Partnership. And in that partnership, we have a family education specialist, who’s at each school. So if (the parents) need extra support or don’t feel comfortable going to staff, maybe a parent who is now part of staff can assist them and guide them through the process,” said Garcia.
Hubert Kindles has three kids in Fort Worth ISD schools and was happy to learn about the Parent-Partnership.
“A lot of schools really don’t have an area where you can go and talk with the teachers,” said Kindles.
The district's goal is to make sure parents, students and staff are all ready to kick off a brand new school year after what proved to be a difficult 2020.
“Yeah, it’s been a challenge. But it’ll work itself out,” said Kindles.
The first day of school for Fort Worth ISD is Aug. 16.