District of Innovation
A District of Innovation (DOI) is a concept passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842, effective immediately, that gives traditional school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan as set forth in Texas Education Code chapter 12A.
Using the District of Innovation distinction, a local school district may want to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgeting, or other ideas. An innovation plan also allows a school district to gain exemption from many Texas Education Code requirements. Essentially, innovation plans will be about local control. Each district can pursue designation as a District of Innovation for different reasons, and no two plans may look the same. Community members should note that each innovation plan will be unique to the local school district.
In CFBISD, the School Board voted to approve the pursuit of developing an Innovation Plan. The Board also appointed a District of Innovation Plan Committee that will work on an Innovation Plan. Once approved by the committee, the Innovation Plan was then presented to the District Improvement Committee for approval. Once approved by the District Improvement Committee, the plan was posted to the district’s website. The School Board will vote on the Innovation Plan at the February School Board Meeting.
The DOI Plan Committee studied the Board’s vision, mission, and goals and the District Improvement Plan and also considered challenges and barriers in existing law that could be alleviated through strategies included in a DOI Plan. The following topics were identified to include in the Plan:
- First Day of Instruction and possible flexibility in school calendar due to changed first day of instruction
- Length of Instructional Day for Pre-K
- Teacher Certification for certain Career and Technology Education instructors, dance teachers at elementary for Fine Arts Academies, and certain World Languages Instructors
The goal of the DOI Plan is to enhance local control and give the District greater flexibility to implement strategies and innovations that support the Board’s mission, vision, and goals, based on community and internal stakeholder input.