Fort Worth ISD offering teachers $1,000 bonus to help students catch up in the summer

Fort Worth ISD is offering teachers a bonus to help get students back on track this summer.

Like other districts, Fort Worth ISD students are facing historic learning loss because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district is hoping a $1,000 bonus will help give teachers more encouragement to sign up for the summer launch program and help students catch up. 

The district is in need of about another 100 teachers to help students this summer. They’re hoping at least a quarter of their students take advantage of summer learning programs.

"Historically, summer school has had a stigma. Summer school is for those students who failed a class or have fallen behind, not this year," Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Dr. Kent Scribner said.

Like so many other school districts, Fort Worth ISD is trying to find the best way to catch students up after historic learning losses from the pandemic. 

"We learned from Hurricane Katrina, students who were relocated here to Texas, they lost almost a year of school, and it took 3-4 years to catch those students up. We don’t have 3-4 years to catch our students up," Dr. Scribner added. 

The district is offering $1,000 bonuses to get more teachers in classrooms this summer.

A multi-million-dollar effort is also aimed at getting internet to students in underserved communities. 

"Our initial focus is on communities just like this. Morningside, Eastern Hills, Rosemont, Stop Six. Historically underserved communities," Dr. Scribner explained. "This will address 25% of our student population that does not have reliable Wi-Fi by the first day of school." 

The district will bring in temporary towers starting this summer and eventually install 100-foot permanent towers to deliver more reliable internet service.

"We’re going to be teaching at grade level, the standards and supporting those students. Not only during the full day of summer school, but also in the after school hours through technology. But we can’t do that unless we have connectivity in the homes," Scribner added.

The district will also receive $260 million in federal money over the next three years to focus on student learning recovery. 

"We’re looking at extending school days, extending school year, and with technology, the opportunity in the afternoon hours and evening hours and weekends, to do tutoring, to do intervention and connect with students and families," Dr. Scribner said.

There’s still about three more weeks of school. The summer launch program starts June 23.