Letter From Dr. Kelly Ritchie,

   Woodrow IB Coordinator

March 25, 2020

Dear IB Families,

Thank you so much for your patience as we make this unprecedented transition to remote learning.  Although we don't have a road map for this, I can assure that you that there is no better team of individuals with whom I would want to be working at this time.  Most of our staff spent spring break preparing for the transition to online learning, communicating with students, adapting lesson plans, and answering emails. Our staff was inundated with new expectations and accountability measures and they met those challenges while balancing family time and other responsibilities during a week that is typically reserved for vacation and rest.  I can not speak more highly of the individuals who work with your children. They are simply amazing.  

As we navigate this process together, I encourage you to engage with your child about his/her classes. The instruction has moved to a different format but the curriculum is still interesting and important. Grades will continue to be entered for students and the school has implemented an expectation for students to log attendance. Information about those processes will come from you child's teachers.  If you have questions about curriculum, instruction, or student progress, I would encourage you to first have that conversation with your child and then seek clarification from the teacher, if needed.  Most of our students are very adept at the technology that is being utilized and our teachers have outlined their coursework and expectations in a way that is accessible to the students.  As you can imagine, the instructors are fielding an unusually large number of inquiries right now via email, text, and remind.  Allowing our students to help be the experts in this area will not only empower them but will also provide our teachers with the time to focus on the logistics involved with online learning and the new record-keeping requests from the campus.

As many of you know, the formal IB exams in May have been canceled for the 2020 testing session as a result of the worldwide effects of COVID-19. This news came as a shocking blow to us over the weekend.  We had been assured by IBO that exams would continue as scheduled. IBO has since revised its stance and has determined that the student's performance on the Internal Assessments will constitute the grades for the courses.  This means that the Internal Assessments are more important than ever for our students.  We met virtually as a staff on Monday and discussed student progress in this area.  Teachers have been working to individually discuss with students the next steps for these components. We understand the anxiety that the elimination of exams causes for students and their families.  Ms. Craven, one of our IB math teachers, pointed out that the beautiful gift of this is that students are very much in control of their performance on the IAs and we want them to understand the power and autonomy that comes with that.  Please encourage your children to take their feedback and the rubrics and to submit only their best work for the IAs.  We will continue to communicate directly with students about their work and deadlines. There are still many unknowns and I hope to have more information for you early next week. For IBO's official current statement, please click here.  

For our senior families, please know that our hearts are broken for these kids.  This is not how their final year was supposed to look.  I could talk to you about all of the things that we know to be true-- building resilience and facing adversity and the life lessons that will come from this experience.  We know that this too shall pass and that the students will be stronger as a result.  However, right now, we just feel and acknowledge their disappointment and their frustration.  As the parent of a college senior who watched her four year experience abruptly end a few weeks ago, I can assure you that I have shed tears for all of these kids and for the educators who have poured into them during their high school years.  Your children are loved, their work is valued, their lives are entwined with ours and we are here to usher them through this journey. Thank you for continuing to share them with us each day. 

Kelly Ritchie, Ph.D.


Ms. Baz, 

How could we ever send our students to college without your advice?  Thank you for a great College 101 presentation!

Thank you Betsy Healey, Francie Hansen and Stacy Huebner for another evening with our parents!  A special shout out to Dr. Ritchie, Assistant Principal Jackson and our incredible IB Counselor Shannon Rodriguez for joining us.  Mr. Moran, you represented Woodrow at the Basketball Game; we understand.  You were missed.

What an amazing experience this has been for all of us! The students had 48 hours to write, produce, and edit a film for the competition. It was incredible to watch their planning, their collaboration, and their work ethic. They are truly remarkable humans and we are so fortunate to get to work with them every day.

Yesterday, the films were shown at a theater near Paris. There were 8 categories of awards and only 3 nominees were selected for each of the categories. Out of 13 teams from all over the world, Woodrow’s blue team was nominated in 5 of the 8 categories. We missed winning the Best Film award by only 2 points. This was a phenomenal showing by our students and we couldn’t be prouder of them and of their talented and dedicated teacher, Michelle Briggs. We’re already looking towards 2021 to take another group back to compete!

Dr. Kelly Ritchie, Sunday, January 19, 2020

Please congratulate these students for their nominations in the following categories:

Best Film: WWHS Blue (Gus Arenas, Annabelle Toe, Ashton Bryson, Lugardo Marroquin, Quincy Farris)

Best Directing: Gus Arenas

Best Cinematography: Annabelle Toe

Best Sound Design: Lugardo Marroquin

Best Actress: Sara-Ann Sullivan (from the American School of Paris. The students from ASP’s theater program served as actors in the films and the young lady assigned to our blue team’s film was nominated for and won the category of Best Actor.)

Dr. Kelly Ritchie, Sunday, January 19, 2020

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  Letter from Elizabeth Furrh

  IBPO President


Dear IB parents and students,

We find ourselves in a new world as spring break comes to an end. Normally, we would be talking about finishing the school year strong and celebrating the successes of the year and our soon to be graduates. My hope is that even amid these uncertain times, we will find a way to honor our students.

In the meantime, Google Classroom will help us keep track of assignments and grades from home. The students have been using this platform throughout the year for assignments and they are in communication with their teachers through email and Remind. Please reach out to teachers if your child is confused about how to use this platform.

I know that a major concern for parents and students is how we will handle IB Internal Assessments and Examinations, the IB website ( ib.org ) has a section on Covid-19 information and they are updating it daily. Assignment deadlines are being pushed back and as far as exams go, they will be releasing an announcement no later than March 27th. Dr. Ritchie will keep us posted on the specifics for our Woodrow students.

Woodrow has set up a blog to update and communicate with parents and students and answer questions: 

1.  Please go to woodrowwildcatnews.blogspot.com

2.  Click on Subscribe

Please be respectful with any questions or comments that you direct toward Woodrow or IB and know that we are all trying our best to get through this tough and unprecedented situation.

Stay healthy!

Elizabeth Furrh

IBPO President

Subject:  A Call to Fairness

To all Woodrow Families,

It came to our attention on May 24, 2019 that the ranking procedure for Woodrow students was altered due to a clerical error at the district level.  At that point it was requested that this error be corrected, that an explanation be delivered and the Woodrow community be notified of this error. 

Despite repeated calls and requests made via email to: the Principal of Woodrow Wilson High School, to the Dallas ISD Executive Director, to the Dallas ISD Deputy Chief, to the Dallas ISD Director of School Leadership, to the Dallas ISD Chief of School Leadership, and to the Woodrow Wilson Dallas ISD Trustee, this error has not been corrected or explained, nor has the Woodrow community been notified that their student’s ranking is likely incorrect.

This has affected many IB students, but has more so affected students from the other three Woodrow Academies. The IB Parent Board and IB families are deeply upset about this error and opposed to any unfair credits awarded due to this clerical error.

Please pass along this information to other Woodrow families to express your concern in the name of fairness and to ask for action to correct this mistake. Below is a list of contacts for you to reach out to.

In the name of all Woodrow Students,

The IBPO Executive Board,

Francie Hansen, IBPO President

Elizabeth Furrh, IBPO Vice-President

Susan Schwietzer, IBPO Treasurer

Nicole Loper, IBPO Secretary

Carrie Fisketjon, IBPO Volunteer Coordinator


Serving Woodrow Wilson Highschool, Dallas, Texas.

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