Fort Worth School District Announces Saturday Educational Series for Accelerated Learning


Fort Worth Independent School District has announced a new educational series titled “Saturday Learning Quest.” The 14-week program is intended as an opportunity for first through third-grade students to get additional instruction in areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Twenty-four schools in the FWISD will participate.  

A webinar Zoom meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 1 to orient parents who are interested in what the program has to offer. The webinar will be held between 6 and 7 p.m. to allow working parents the best opportunity to participate. Information about signing up for the webinar is available online through the FWISD website.  

“Students will take part in a day of rigorous, active instruction in literacy and math designed around engaging themes,” the District said in a press release. “Young learners will also enjoy enrichment opportunities such as classes in art and music, physical activities, labs, and visits to the district’s mobile STEM units.” 

The release also announces that attendees will receive prizes that include giveaways of books and other academic materials. Parents aren’t left out either. The events will feature adult education opportunities, Parent University, and the opportunity to win a variety of prizes.  

The Wednesday orientation and informational webinar will be hosted by Dr. Marcey Sorensen, FWISD Chief of Academics, and Shannon Hernandez, FWISD director of mathematics. The forum will give parents an idea of the types of opportunities children will have and will feature a Q&A session moderated by Jennifer Perez, director of family and community outreach for FWISD.  

The classes will be open to registration for first through third-grade students and their parents. The deadline to register is Friday, September 3. Free transportation will be available. Attendees will enjoy breakfast and lunch while participating in the event.  

While all students are encouraged to apply, the program is designed to offer the most benefit to children who are struggling in school. Students who rank in the bottom quartile in reading and math will be encouraged to attend by their campus principals.  

The Saturday Learning Quest is intended as a way to help students most impacted by the disruptions of Covid-19 last year and who may have fallen behind. It is also an opportunity for these students to gain skills and be exposed to new concepts through interaction and participation with the District’s mobile STEM program.  

Researchers focusing on the consequences of school closures during the pandemic have identified that many students who were already struggling with math may have fallen further behind. While there is no definitive reason, researchers believe the cause relates to parents being more comfortable teaching reading skills than math skills.  

The goal of Saturday Learning Quest events will be to help reverse the growing trend of students who rank below grade-level averages in math, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Early research indicates students nationwide may be performing at levels more than 20% worse than in previous years. About 25% of students, predominantly Hispanic or Black according to NWEA, did not take the tests used to gauge year-over-year education gains and losses.  

Saturday Learning Quest events have proven to be a successful method of reinforcing education within the most vulnerable populations on campus. This is the first time that FWISD has organized the event.  

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