The Liberty Hill ISD board of trustees approved amendments to the LHISD District of Innovation Plan at a May 20 meeting.

Over the next few years, Liberty Hill ISD will locally certify teachers in high-demand areas, allow more than one campus administrator to assign discipline and provide education instead of disciplinary placements to students with first-time vaping offenses.

The breakdown

Passed in 2015, House Bill 1842 allows districts to be exempt from certain portions of state education code and regain local control by establishing a district of innovation, LHISD Chief of Schools Travis Motal said.

The District Education Improvement Committee comprising parents and staff members unanimously approved several changes to the district’s plan in April after meeting in January and February, Motal said.

The board approved adopting the following exemptions to state law through its district of innovation plan for 2022-27:
  • The district may locally certify teachers in high-demand areas in which they have degree hours without receiving permission from Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath.
  • Students will receive education for first-time e-cigarette offenses instead of being placed in a disciplinary alternative education program.
  • All campus administrators may assign discipline opposed to only one administrator serving as the campus behavior coordinator.
  • Teachers may work less than the required 187 days while still receiving the same pay.
  • New teachers to the district who have been employed for at least five years will be under a two-year probationary period instead of the existing one-year period.
  • Teachers may be evaluated every two years instead of each year if they are not under the Teacher Incentive Allotment.
Also of note

The LHISD District of Innovation Plan also allows the district to:
  • Have greater flexibility over when it starts and ends the school year
  • Allow students to receive course credit based on content mastery, even if their attendance was under 90%
  • Have more than 22 students per teacher in prekindergarten through fourth grade classrooms, if necessary
  • Revoke the ability of a student who transferred within the district to remain at a campus the entire school year if their behavior or attendance suffered