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Frequently Asked Questions


 
Construction
Will Byron Nelson High School have a natatorium and stadium?
A natatorium was not part of the bond package approved by voters. Northwest ISD Stadium is designed for up to four high schools and will currently be used for competition by Byron Nelson High School and Northwest High School students. Each high school will have football/soccer practice, competition softball, and competition baseball fields at each site.
Why is there not enough parking at elementary schools to accommodate all functions?
Parking consideration is based upon daily campus use of staff and students. Due to additional events that occur outside of the primary educational, day it is difficult to fund parking for all events.
Why don't we have traffic lights at the road leading to the Northwest ISD stadium and State Hwy 114 and Texan Dr. and FM 156?
Location and construction of stop lights are based on TXDOT and City of Fort Forth studies. These types of road controls are not under NISD's control and should be addressed by TXDOT, Denton Office.
Why do we only have street lights on ½ Texan Dr.?
Texan Dr. is a public road on the south side of the high school and a private road from the SW corner of the High School to 114. Street lights are in the public section which are owned, maintained, and operated by City of Fort Worth. The private section does not have street lights.

Demographics
I have recently moved to NISD. How do I find out what school my child will attend?
On the front page of the Web site, click on the link called Attendance Boundaries. Next, click on the link provided to help determine your child' s school, filling in the required information. This will give you the correct campus they should attend, as well as basic transportation information.
How are school boundaries determined?
Typically, school boundaries are determined 6-8 months before the opening of a new school. NISD normally uses a committee comprised of parents and staff to develop boundaries.
Will my child go to the closest school?
NISD tries to design boundaries that encompass areas closest to the schools. However, in a rapidly growing district like NISD, subdivisions are often assigned to schools with available space.
What is the growth rate for NISD?
From September 2005 through September 2006, NISD grew by more than 1,600 students at an annual rate of 19%. The fast-growth trend continued in 2007 with 14% growth and then 11% growth in 2008.

Employment

How does one become a teacher in Northwest Independent School District?

Northwest utilizes an online application system. The application is found on the Human Resources department section of the NISD Web site. We recommend that you attach a resume, college transcripts, certifications, and references to your application. Once a teacher, librarian, or counselor applicant completes the online application, he/she is redirected to the Gallup Teacher Insight Web site to complete the Gallup assessment, a screening tool used by the district. Administrators then review the applicant pool and select individuals to interview for a specific vacancy.

 
 

Where do I find out what my starting teacher salary would be based on my years of experience and degree?

Northwest' s ISD Compensation Plan is located on the district's Web site under departments, Human Resources, and then select the Compensation Plan menu item.

 

What benefits does Northwest ISD offer?

The self-funded medical Plan administered by United Healthcare includes two plans from which to choose. The district also subscribes to an Employee Assistance Program through Care24 that is offered at no cost to all employees and members of their households.

The district contributes $260 per month toward medical premiums for those employees who participate in the medical plan. The district provides $15,000 life insurance to all employees on the health plan and $50,000 life insurance from MetLife Insurance to employees who choose the hospital indemnity or alternate plan. Other voluntary benefits include self-funded dental plans administered by TML as well as a reduced fee-for-service plan from QCD; a long-term disability plan offered by UNUM; a vision plan by Spectera; and personal sickness indemnity, personal accident/disability, income protection, cancer, intensive care, hospital confinement and recovery plans offered by AFLAC. Employees have the option to participate in an Unreimbursed Medical account as well as a Dependent Care Account using pre-taxed contributions.

 
 

Will you hire many new teachers in the years to come?

Yes, we are a fast-growth district with a student population of more than 13,000 this year. That number is expected to nearly double in five to seven years. Many new schools will be built within NISD, in addition to the growth at current campuses. Since we offer a very competitive salary and are a highly sought-after school district, applicants should apply early.

How do you prepare new teachers for entry into Northwest ISD?

The Human Resource department provides a New Teacher Orientation that is chock full of useful information about the District: what the District believes, our goals and the vision we hold, compensation information, benefits, and more.

Our Curriculum and Staff Development department has an exemplary staff development program that includes a mentor for each new teacher and a comprehensive training component. Human Resources team members follow the teacher through the first year with a survey of how the employment process was handled and with campus visits to new teachers by the Director of Human Resources. A monthly HR bulletin, which is included in the staff newsletter, to all employees keeps our teachers and staff informed as the year progresses.

Facilities
How do I report that the School Safety Zone lights are not working correctly?
School Zone flashing lights on state maintained highways such as SH 114, 156, and Main Street in Roanoke are currently the responsibility of Dallas TXDOT. Our maintenance department has a contact at the Dallas Signal Shop and would be glad to call on your behalf to request TXDOT to correct any problems if you would take a moment to call us at 817-215-0020.
How do I report concerns with facilities that appear to have lights left on in error?
NISD has an Energy Management/Conservation Program in effect but leaves some building lights illuminated for safety reasons. NISD has a dedicated security staff that patrols our facilities and campuses and they will normally report lights cycling off schedule. If you would take a moment to call us with the details of your concern, we can check into any potential problems.
How do I report a NISD vehicle driving recklessly?
NISD Maintenance vehicles are white with black NISD lettering. If you have concerns with unsafe driving by one of our Maintenance Staff, we would like you to report the details of the incident to us so that we may investigate. Please include the truck number if possible, and the location, and call us immediately at 817-215-0020.
How do I report that a school landscape looks neglected or that trash is overflowing?
It is best to report such concerns directly to the maintenance department at 817-215-0020.
What if I have concerns about a flag outside the school?
The school secretary or principal should be able to address your concerns. Maintenance is often requested to fix problems with the flag poles, lanyards, and hardware.
How do I report broken sprinkler heads?
If we have a broken sprinkler head and water is gushing, we would like to hear from you so that we can conserve this valuable resource. To report this type of problem or concern, please call our main number at 817-215-0020.

Food Services

I am trying to access my child's account via ExpressPay Cafe-online. What do I need?

To access your child's account you will need the student's social security number (last four numbers), birthdate, and student ID number.

How do I obtain my child's student ID number?

For security purposes, only your child's campus can release the ID numbers. Please contact your child's school.

Where can I obtain Free & Reduced Lunch forms/applications?

The district distributes applications at the beginning of the school year in student information packages. The forms are also available prior to the beginning of school at the NISD Food Service Office. After that, the applications are made available at each school's front office and at the NISD Food Service office. Forms are available in English as well as Spanish.

Can I give you my income over the phone to qualify for Free & Reduced?

Per Texas Department of Agriculture guidelines, all information must be obtained via the provided Free & Reduced application form and processed electronically to verify qualifications. You may be asked to submit proof of income with the application.

I am planning to visit my child and bring McDonald' s or pizza for his lunch. Can I bring some for his friends?

No, Texas School Nutrition Policy does not allow this.

What are Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV)?

FMNVs are foods that the school may not serve to students at any time during a school day. These include: soda waters; carbonated beverages (including those with added nutrients); water ices (popsicle) with the exception of those with real fruit or fruit juices; chewing gums; candies (jellied candies, gums, licorice, spun candy, or candy-coated items).

Record Retention
Does Northwest ISD have a Record Retention Schedule?
Yes, Northwest ISD has an approved Record Retention Schedule. The Schedule is approved by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
How long does Northwest ISD keep student birth certificates and shot records?
Northwest ISD is required to keep birth certificates and shot records for seven years after graduation or withdrawal.
How long are student records kept?
Student records are kept for seven years after graduation or withdrawal. After seven years all of the student records, except transcripts and test scores which are permanent, will be destroyed.
How does Northwest ISD destroy records?
When records are ready to be destroyed, they are shredded. Northwest ISD shreds its own records. The records are not sent to an outside company for shredding.

Safety and Security

What are you doing to keep my children safe at school?

The safety of students, faculty, and staff has been and will continue to be a priority at Northwest ISD.

Northwest is continually updating our Emergency Operations Plan at the district and campus levels. We are not only practicing fire drills on a regular basis but also our lockdown, evacuation, shelter-in-place and drop, cover, and hold drills.

Northwest ISD currently has a total of five full-time School Resource Officers (SROs) and one part-time SRO assigned to the district. The SROs, as well as NISD Administrators, have been conducting awareness training with faculty and staff along with educational and awareness presentations to the students.

All new campuses are planned with safety and security as part of the design, and all existing campuses have been renovated to bring safety features to the campuses including renovating the entry ways so that everyone entering the building must go through the office to check in.

These are a few of the many efforts we are making and will continue to make to ensure that all students are safe and secure at Northwest ISD.
What is a School Resource Officer (SRO)?

School Resource Officers are police officers that are assigned to campuses by the police department having jurisdiction in the geographic location of the campuses to which they are assigned. The district contracts with the appropriate police department for these services.

Northwest currently has six School Resource Officers (SROs). A Fort Worth Police Officer and Denton County Deputy are housed at Northwest High School and work with all central campuses. The Rhome Police Officer is housed at Chisholm Trail Middle School and works with all of the campuses on the west side of the district. A Fort Worth Police Officer is housed at Gene Pike Middle School and works with all central campuses. Our Trophy Club Officer is housed at Medlin Middle School and works with all of the campuses in the City of Trophy Club. The City of Roanoke has assigned an officer to work part time in the Roanoke Elementary School as an SRO at that location.

What types of duties do the SROs perform?

Some of the duties of these officers include:

  • Protecting the safety and welfare of any person within the jurisdiction of the officer
  • Protecting the property of the District
  • Patrolling school property during school hours
  • Answering calls for assistance from school officials
  • Making reports on criminal activities and filing of cases with proper authorities
  • Answering calls and facilitating dispute resolution between students, students and school authorities, parents and school authorities, or any other agreed upon disputes
  • Presenting programs to the students and teachers, including programs on drugs, alcohol, and other important issues

What are some of the other initiatives or programs in place for safety and security?

  • Raptor
  • Anonymous e-Alert
  • Safety Audits
  • Campus Crime Stoppers
  • Badge ID's
  • Safety Training - All Campuses
  • Background Checks
  • Standardized Radio Communications
  • W.A.T.C.H. Dog Dads
  • Campus Safety Teams
  • Emergency Procedures Manuals
  • Campus and Classroom Go Kits
  • Youth Protection Team
  • Cameras - All Schools and Buses
  • AED's - All Campuses
  • Emergency Calling System

Who is in charge of school safety in the district?

Everyone in Northwest ISD is part of the success of our safety and security program. Principals take the lead at the campus level and the Superintendent has overall responsibility for the secure and safe environment that we promote throughout the District.

Day-to-day operations, preparation and planning, as well as general oversight fall under the direction of the district' s Director of Safety and Security, Glenda Beam, gbeam@nisdtx.org, 817-215-0004.

If I have information to share or concerns about school safety, who should I contact?

Concerns relating to a particular campus should be directed to the Principal of that school. General concerns or questions about the program within the District as a whole should be addressed to the Director of Safety and Security, Glenda Beam, at 817-215-0004 or gbeam@nisdtx.org.

Technology
How does the district ensure my child is protected from inappropriate content on the Internet?
NISD complies with federal and state requirements to filter content on the Internet. While no system is completely infallible, every effort is taken to ensure inappropriate material never reaches our end users. We utilize active filtering software for Internet content, web pages, and e-mail. All computers reside behind a firewall and have virus protection software installed that is updated nightly to ensure protection of our students and staff.
 
How do I register to view my child' s grades online?
There is no registration process involved. Each year NISD sends out a letter with the login and password information to the address of the parent / guardian of each student. As new students are enrolled throughout the year, letters are sent home as well.
 
Why do my e-mail messages sometimes not get through to the teacher?
E-mail content is filtered based upon several criteria including, but not limited to: attachment type, e-mail (words) content, size of the e-mail, SPAM filter triggers, etc. Most issues of this type are a result of errors in the e-mail address. If you experience this issue, please contact the teacher by phone to verify the e-mail address of the teacher.
 
Why can I not see the district' s Web pages when I am on AOL, CompuServe, etc.?
AOL, CompuServe, and other ISPs (Internet Service Providers) may use their own proprietary Web browser. These sometimes will not display Web pages correctly. You can view the district' s Web page by connecting through your ISP, and then launch an alternative Web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) to view the Web pages.
 
What types of technology would I see in a typical classroom/school?
The standard classroom has a ceiling-mounted data projector; audio support; access to a mobile video conference / distance learning unit; access to streamed video content to the computer; access to computer labs for whole-group instruction; access to digital still cameras; access to digital camcorders; digital video announcements; access to document cameras; wireless network in all facilities; every teacher has a laptop computer; IP telephone; a minimum of three student computers per classroom; Web pages for every teacher; and the list goes on...

Transportation
Why can't the bus stop at my house?
Due to structured time constraints, it would be impossible to stop at the home of every student who rides a bus to school. The district works diligently to determine and plan every stop to best serve the students, and provide adequate time to finish the routes and safely deliver the students to school as scheduled.
 
Why can't my child sit wherever he/she wants?
NISD and Durham School Services require seating charts specifically for the safety of the students.
 
Why is there no eating or drinking on the bus?
Once again, safety is the primary focus for prohibiting food or drink on the buses. It is possible that a student could choke, or bottles could be used to strike another student or be thrown out the window and strike a vehicle causing harm and damage.
 
Why can' t my child get off at a stop other than their own and why can they not ride a different bus if the parent wants them to?
It would be very dangerous and unsafe to openly allow students to change buses at will and make alternate riding arrangements, as is would be impossible to keep track of potentially 13,000 students making such changes on any given day. Riders or stops unfamiliar to the driver would jeopardize student safety.
 
Why can' t the buses honk and wait for students?
We begin our routes early in the morning and honking would disturb the neighborhood. If the buses waited at the stop every day for students, the routes would run late. Please be assured that the buses will wait if they see a student hurrying to catch the bus, however, this is not the safest practice. Students will be subject to a transportation referral if they are repeatedly late. Students need to be at their stops 5 minutes prior to the pick up time.