Introduction & Background
The 84th legislature passed House Bill 1842, which allows traditional independent school districts flexibility which had previously been reserved for Texas’ open-enrollment charter schools. For a school district to obtain this flexibility, the Districts must seek designation as a “District of Innovation.” On Thursday, January 18, 2018, the Giddings I.S.D. Board of Trustees initiated this process by adopting a resolution to pursue a District of Innovation designation.
Texas school districts must develop and adopt an innovation plan to receive the designation as a District of Innovation. In developing the local district plan, Districts of Innovation are provided with flexibility in several areas of statute, which allows for greater local control in decision-making related to educational programming and operations. The increased autonomy and flexibility afforded by the District of Innovation designation allows school districts to make educational decisions that best meet the needs of their students and schools.
It is important to note that, although there is much flexibility that may be achieved through the development of a local district plan, Districts of Innovation may not be released from statutes that address curriculum, assessment, graduation requirements, or academic and financial accountability.
Flexibility and local control are needed to fulfill the stakeholder’s vision, mission, and goals for Giddings I.S.D. This flexibility and local control at the district and campus levels will create the following benefits:
Site-based decision-making procedures that allow for an increase parent feedback in District and campus decision-making processes;
An instructional calendar to address the learning needs of students;
A contract calendar for teachers that allows the District to appropriately address their professional learning and instructional delivery needs;
Teacher contract policies that afford Giddings I.S.D. leadership adequate time to appropriately appraise teacher effectiveness with the purpose of ensuring optimal teaching and learning in every classroom, every day;
Transfer policies that ensure that Giddings I.S.D. is able to ensure a positive, supportive, and safe learning environment for our students.
A teacher appraisal system that aligns with the standards, expectations, and instructional priorities in Giddings I.S.D.;
An innovative practice for addressing teacher certification that will allow Giddings I.S.D. to enhance any area of the curriculum
Timeline for the Development of the Plan:
January 18, 2018
The Board of Trustees adopted a Resolution to consider the development of an innovation plan pursuant to Texas Education Code, Title 2, Subtitle C, §12A.005.
January 22, 2018
The Board of Trustees held a public hearing to consider whether the district should develop a local innovation plan for the designation of the district as a district of innovation.
January 22, 2018
The Board of Trustees appointed members of the District Improvement Committee to develop a local innovation plan.
January 23, 2018 – February 25, 2018
The Giddings I.S.D. Administrative Team discussed and planned a process for ensuring stakeholder input in the development of a local innovation plan.
February 26, 2018
The Giddings I.S.D. District Improvement Committee met to discuss and develop a District Plan for Innovation. The committee investigated and identified areas of the Texas Education Code the District should modify to better serve Giddings I.S.D. students and fulfill the stakeholder’s vision, mission, and goals for the District.
March 8, 2018 – April 18, 2018
The Giddings I.S.D. District of Innovation Plan was posted on the district’s webpage.
April 18, 2018
The Giddings I.S.D. sent a notice to the Commissioner of Education of the Board’s intention to vote on the adoption of the proposed plan.
April 19, 2018
The Giddings I.S.D. District Improvement Committee held a public meeting to consider the final version of the plan and will a vote on the approval of the plan.
April 19, 2018
The Giddings I.S.D. Board of Trustees voted to adopt the District of Innovation Plan.
By May 4, 2018
The District will notify the Commissioner of Education of the approval of the plan along with a list of approved TEC exemptions on the required TEA form and shall provide the Texas Education Agency with a copy of the plan.
Term of the Plan:
The Giddings I.S.D. District of Innovation Plan shall remain in effect for the 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 school years.
The District shall provide a copy of the plan to the Texas Education Agency and shall post the current plan on its website no later than the 15th day after the District modifies or renews the plan of innovation.