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Old 10-03-2010, 10:39 PM
6 posts, read 18,485 times
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Hi everyone! I need information please. My husband and I will be settling in Fort Worth as of October 18th and have made two "house hunting" trips. Found the house!

I need information about the Cookes Meadow addition--any info would be greatly appreciated:

I'm hearing scary things about the schools. I am a teacher who has extensive experience with students having learning disabilities, behavior, and emotional problems. My husband is concerned about my safety at work. As parents, teachers, or administrators, what can you tell me about FWISD?

I currently live way out in the boonies, down a long dirt road. Are the neighborhoods friendly, or will it be a case of "people living next door" rather than having neighbors? (I miss neighbors)

Is racism a problem in this area? I truly hope not, but I don't want to be harrassed for being "different". I want to know your perspective--based on what you see here.

Where do you shop for groceries, dog groomers, hair cuts, clothes, etc.?
Is there a public park nearby?

Thanks for any help with this--there are so many things I need to know, and I appreciate your input.

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Old 10-04-2010, 07:13 AM
32,697 posts, read 51,390,307 times
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this is city data for that zip code--not just that neighborhood
Moderator cut: can't post that web site

if there any particular reason you chose that area to look IN--vs other areas in Tarrant county
there are areas I would have looked in before there--
and there is shopping fairly readily available along I30--North East Mall in Hurst is not that far either--or the Lincoln Sq area in Arlington farther to east...

do you HAVE a job with FTWISD now?
there are issues with violence in FTW although it is mostly student to student from what gets in the paper--
but FTWISD is not considered/ranked one of the better districts in north TX area frankly

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 10-04-2010 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:02 AM
6 posts, read 18,485 times
Reputation: 20
I had hoped there might be people who live in that one neighborhood who access the city-data website. It wasn't necessary to post the physical address--for safety's sake, I wish you hadn't.

We did not choose to look in that AREA, it was the house that drew us. We began house searching from out of state: it is a nine hour drive for us, and difficult to mesh schedules for the days necessary to make the trip--three day minimum, so there have been only 2 trips to FTW since May.

My school district here closed at the end of the 2009-2010 year. We had expected the transfer to be complete earlier as he accepted the promotion in April, so I am currently staying home. I have applied at several higher-ranked districts for a variety of positions, and can sub if that is what is available. I am accustomed to spending 3 hours a day on the highway, not that I like it, but I am willing to drive as necessary.

Yes, I am aware of the FTWISD rankings--wanted opinions from faculty/staff/admin/parents as what we see in the papers isn't usually the whole picture, as I am sure you are aware. As a middle-aged white couple whose children are grown and away, we were not choosing a location based on the schools' ranking. I also believe that the students who are in the "worst" of places are in need of the best teachers. After six years in a school where teachers were attacked (I wasn't) by students and/or parents, husband is concerned for my physical safety in the classroom and on school grounds. We are both leery of a living situation similar to what we have witnessed in both Little Rock and Memphis.

I suppose this is the main reason the house has been empty for so long.

Thank you again for responding.
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:32 PM
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I first taught in inner-city Houston school when I graduated from college--I was threated with a knife by student high on drugs --and had a class of students at the time--I had other altercations during my time there but personally that was the worst for me...
a teacher on my campus was raped by someone who walked on from outside--so I know the risks that teachers can have in the classroom--

it is just a tough proposition to get a teaching job in Texas--
the fact that your district has closed might make it more difficult to get recommendations--
I hope you have addresses for admins and other staff where they can be reached...

have you checked the TEA region 10 and 11 web sites--there are links to job postings for most districts in north texas area
there are also private schools but getting hired in the middle of the year at public/private ones is really a matter of luck vs talent--
there have been many teachers coming into teaching with an alt cert degree and lot of them did a special ed certification when (IMO) they are not ready for that type of difficulty--
I say that because I have seen how some of them taught
but there are not the vacancy numbers there used to be even 6 or 7 yrs ago...and Texas is making a huge push to get special ed students mainstreamed so there are few and few classes for solely special needs students--again cutting down on number of teachers...

you might apply for subbing if districts still have that option open--many of them had so many applicants last year that they closed their list almost before school started...
don't know about now...

have you checked any of the crime maps for the DFW area--most of them are pretty current and carry a year's history or so for neighborhoods to get idea of average activity...
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:43 PM
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Thank you for the information; some of this I was already aware of, but all of it I need to know. Teaching jobs are few and far between everywhere right now--as are most opportunities for employment. I am registered on TEA 11, but will visit TEA 10 for the first time tonight. I do not have alt certification and IMO very few alt cert teachers are prepared for ANY classroom. Of course, who among us was prepared for the *real* classroom as compared to student teaching?

I am sorry you had that experience with a student (among others). Drugs are a terrible thing and we do see many kids methed out here. I suppose we all have horror stories or know someone who does, and you know our students have stories of their own.

I do not have special education certification--in Arkansas students are mainstreamed as completely as possible. Each year I have had at least 2/3 of my students who received resource classes, along with students who were severely disabled and arrived with an aide for socialization with age-mates in class. Here, students who require resource spend no more than 90 minutes a week outside of the standard classroom.

I am certified 4-8 math/science, reading/language arts/social studies, and EC-12 reading specialist in Texas. It was frustrating to learn that while Arkansas PK-12 reading specialist is equal to Texas Master Reading Teacher certification, the TEA does not evaluate transcripts for the MRT qualification. So, the two years I spent at Harding University for a K-6 reading masters and PK-12 reading specialist classes are pretty much by-the-wayside. I could have cried when I learned I would need to retake courses I have already had. Oh well. On a brighter note, I am scheduled to attend sub orientation in Keller district soon. I'm looking forward to it--I've missed working with the kids and being "in the loop" of a school.

I'll check out those other resources you mentioned. Thank you again for the help(s); I'm looking forward to arriving in the area and meeting people/making friends.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:15 PM
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Do not let the rankings scare you. FW is an inner-city ISD, and there are drugs, drop outs and crime. But there are MANY fine schools in the FWISD, many fine administrators, teachers, students and parents. I would recommend any school in the Paschal or Heights pyramids as being wonderful places to teach. My kids went through the FWISD very successfully, and I have many friends who are teachers and administrators. I hear no complaints other than the bureaucracy and paperwork involved.

I don't see the need to flee to the suburbs for living or working, IMO.

I'm not familiar with the neighborhood you're looking in. I'm more familiar with the South, Southwest and West sides of FW.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:49 PM
32,697 posts, read 51,390,307 times
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Your qualifications are excellent -- if you had been able to job shop last spring you might have had a good chance at a job opening--
what you describe is basically how schools that I know of in this area are operating with their special needs students--
so your practical experience is exactly what a principal would be looking for--
the problem would be that your qualifications and experience mean you would cost more than an entry-level teachers--
many districts are giving principals a salary amount for their schools and it is their job to come in at or under budget--so hiring a teacher who requires more money means they would need to justify by getting someone who could make a real difference--
I would suggest on your resume to put in anything positive about increases in standardized test scores in your classes and the like...if you have not already done it...

Keller is a large district with many junior highs--up until this year they were still building new schools but the economy has hurt the tax base in Keller--there have been significant numbers of foreclosures in lot of the newer developments in Keller ISD that are located in FTW city limits--
I don't know that Keller has any new schools planned to open next year--
it is a well-regarded district and usually difficult to get hired unless you know someone...

Region 10 would be Dallas zone but that includes Lewisville ISD--large, well-regarded district that seems to be doing fairly well tax-wise--
teaching in Lewisville would mean that you probably would want to live on the EAST side of Tarrant county--some place like Grapevine that might be closer drive for you but longer for your husband...
Coppell is smaller but just across the Tarrant county line
Burleson is growing area S of FTW

middle school science teachers were in strong demand this past spring because the state went to a 4 yr science requirement for high school--but that new requirement was probably met--you would be looking for individual vacancies at this point...

the truth is that most districts have dropped the ball on Reading enhancement because they are being beat over the head about science and math scores--
the fact that TAKS testing and the new end of course tests that are going to come out soon require sophisticated reading skills apparently has not dented the brains of the people who are trying to determine why some students fail to make progress in leaps and bounds--
many of them still can't read at or above grade level...
especially students from ESL background--

I don't know that much about teaching reading to younger students but my friend who is retired Early Childhood teacher and my daughter who teaches in Elementary school tells me that many ISDs around here have been using the wrong reading approach for years--

in this area principals are the ones who make the hiring decisions--you have to apply on line at districts (or on the Region 11 web site depending on the district) and that is really more to screen out people that apply--

any time you get into a school to sub try to get the name of the head of dept (which is not always easy to do) and find out who the principal/vps are--another good person to know is the principal's secretary--ours always knew more about the principal's business than he did lot of the time...
I would say leave a resume/cover letter with the principal at any school you sub at--

SUGGESTION for subbing--make some personal magnets that have your name and enough info so that a teacher can ask for you on the subfinder system--each district is different--
you can get printable magnetic sheets and do them on your home printer--cut them out with regular scissors--
teachers can stick them on the fridge at home or on the file cabinet at school --you might consider leaving one in the office for whatever dept you sub for--we usually had subs we called on but sometimes there were not enough to go around--it was always IFFY to get someone you did not know in your class--

most of the time teachers are grateful to find a sub who can follow a lesson plan and keep order in the classroom and they will ask for you again or recommend you to others--

my friend who is the elementary retired could work 2/3 of the year or more if she wanted to because she is good and she knows so many teachers--she only works at two schools though unless it is something really special...
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