Rising eighth graders might know more about medicine than you, thanks to TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine

28 rising eight graders might know more about medicine than you, thanks to the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine.
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28 rising eight graders might know more about medicine than you, thanks to the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine.
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Education

Hey, parents, are you ready for the kids to head back to school? Check here first

By Diane Smith And Anna M. Tinsley

dianesmith@star-telegram.com

atinsley@star-telegram.com

August 02, 2018 06:00 AM

Are you ready to go back to school?

Those lazy summer days are almost gone as teachers and principals begin to draft lesson plans, decorate classrooms and gear up for a new year of teaching.

In fact, students in Kennedale and Cleburne will head back to school as early as Aug. 13, although many districts — including Fort Worth and Arlington — won’t head back until Aug. 20.

But there’s already work to be done: Band and football practices, registering students online, transition camps to new schools, picking up new schedules.

Families are urged to check their school or district websites to find out what paperwork and supplies are expected for the first day of school.

Educators are also using social media to urge students and families to document the First Day of School. Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner wants incoming seniors to document their last first day of school using the hashtag: #FWISDFirstDay.

Seniors, we want to see photos of your "last first day" of school as a #FWISD student. Use #FWISDFirstDay Monday, August 20! #backtoschool https://t.co/grZaBPJyu1

— Kent P. Scribner (@KentPScribner) August 1, 2018

Here’s a look at some information you need before students head back to school. And here’s a look at some Star-Telegram stories that may help.

Starting dates

When asked why Kennedale students head back to school so early, spokeswoman Tracy Williams said: “It’s not new to us.”

Kennedale had a similar school calendar last year, she said, noting that the district ends classes before the Memorial Day holiday. Their school calendar, which has fewer single off days during the school year, lets them add a second week-long break during the spring semester.

In Texas, the first day of school can’t start earlier than the fourth Monday of August, which this year is Aug. 27. However, many districts are able to start classes before that date after seeking to be Districts of Innovation, including many local districts.

At Azle, Godley, Granbury, Keller and Mansfield schools, students start on Aug. 15. Next up: Everman students, who have an Aug. 16 start day.

The first day of class for students in the Fort Worth school district — the county’s largest — is Aug. 20.

Other districts that start Aug. 20, include Arlington, Birdville, Burleson, Castleberry, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, Grapevine-Colleyville, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Joshua, Springtown, Southlake Carroll and Lake Worth. Aledo and Northwest students start classes on Aug. 27.

School districts beginning the semester on Aug. 21, include Crowley and White Settlement. And some area districts start classes on Aug. 23, including Weatherford.

New schools

Several schools districts are opening new campuses, including a central preschool program for early learners in Mansfield schools.

The Dr. Sarah Jandrucko Academy for Early Learners is set to open in January 2019. It creates a centralized learning facility for four-year-olds from 11 elementary schools.

Hope Boyd, a spokeswoman with the district, explained that pre-kindergarten classes will be housed at respective campuses until the new academy opens.

“Approximately, 504 students who meet the state’s pre-K eligibility will be able to enroll at the academy, and the school will host field trips and other activities so that all Mansfield ISD students have the opportunity to benefit from the facility,” Boyd said in an email.

In the Northwest school district, two new campuses are opening. Adams Middle School will be located at 1069 Eagle Blvd. in Haslet. It is the district’s sixth middle school. The district is also opening a new elementary school, Curtis Elementary. The campus is located at 9640 Belle Prairie Trail in Fort Worth.

The Northwest schools are part of a sprawling district that includes portions of Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties. The district has three comprehensive high schools.

In Fort Worth, the new I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual and Performing Arts opens for classes. The campus has become part of the city’s skyline along Interstate 30 and Interstate 35.

The new campus will include a state-of-art building and a renovated I.M. Terrell, a historical structure that was once a school for African-American students during segregation. When classes start next fall, the academy will offer 200 freshmen specialized programs in STEM and visual performing arts. Each year, a new incoming class will be added.

Getting ready

Texans: Shop tax-free for clothes, school supplies Aug. 10-12. Here’s how

Want help through Back to School Roundup? Here’s how to register

Will you be 18 before Nov. 6? Ask your principal about this law

Listen up parents: Notes won’t be enough to excuse your students from some absences

Hey, Fort Worth students, do you know what time classes start in the upcoming school year?

New Texas law changes school year from 180 days to 75,600 minutes

Teachers get raise as Fort Worth board passes budget. But it was hardly unanimous

‘After the headlines have faded,’ they will be the first to see immigrant children’s trauma

School safety

Gov. Abbott wants more marshals, increased mental health screening to make schools safer

Armed employees or a police force: Which is better for schools?

Metal detectors, bulletproof glass, steel doors: How do we keep students safe at school?

Metal detectors: Can they prevent mass shootings at schools?

What will it take to make schools safe? This Texas lawmaker has a new plan

School safety: Social media monitoring, limiting gun access among Texas lawmakers’ ideas

Arming teachers in Texas draws support after Santa Fe shooting, new poll shows

Districts of Innovation

Fort Worth school district eyes District of Innovation designation

Area schools gain control of their calendars

Sex education

Parents ramp up attack on transgender rules in Fort Worth schools

Fort Worth school district’s transgender guidelines may be clarified

Texas attorney general demands access to Fort Worth sex ed curriculum

Maite Herrera, 18, was chosen by the district to travel to New York City to choose a new concert grand piano. The piano will be used by students attending the district's new I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA. That campus will open next year. (

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Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley