The first reading of the local district of innovation plan for Carroll ISD was met with approval at the board of trustees meeting Nov. 13.
A district of innovation allows traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to open-enrollment charter schools, including exemption from certain requirements mandated in the Texas Education Code.
In May the CISD board began the process to explore and consider district of innovation designation for CISD. Over the summer, administration assembled a committee composed of teachers, parents, local business and community members, and CISD trustees. Since the start of the current school year this committee had met to write the local innovation plan.
The local innovation plan was posted on the district’s website for the required 30 days. At the meeting Nov. 13 the committee presented the plan to the board, and on Nov. 14 the committee will vote on the final plan. The final plan will be brought back to the board of trustees for approval and adoption Dec. 4.
If the plan is approved Dec. 4 it will go into effect for five years, starting Dec. 4, 2017, and lasting through Dec. 4, 2022, unless terminated or amended earlier by the board.
There are three areas that will be affected with the district of innovation plan.
First will be changes to the school year calendar. The board will begin the new school year before the fourth Monday in August, but not prior to the second week in August. In a presentation to the board, Assistant Superintendent Janet McDade said she will consult with the community to create the ideal calendar.
“We will try to finish closer to the Memorial Day holiday for letting out school at the end of the school year,” McDade said.
Second, the board has requested exemptions to the certification required for instructors. To comply with demand for instruction in career and technical education courses; electives; and other classes related to technology, engineering and the arts, the district will have exemptions to enable it to hire community college instructors; college professors; lawyers; judges; and individuals from trades, industries and vocations with professional experience and industry knowledge, McDade said.
Finally, McDade said the district will seek an exemption for the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System to customize certain aspects of the system to meet the needs of the district’s teachers. The district will seek exemption from the Student Growth Measure. McDade said this is due to the district’s students already performing at a high level, and it is difficult for the district to show growth each year. Data provided from district and campus local assessments will continue to be utilized to determine overall student growth and performance, she said.
Board Vice President Michelle Moore commended McDade on the committee’s ability to move quickly to formulate a plan.
“I’m thrilled we’ve gotten this far in the process,” she said. “This is exciting.”
With the approval, the district of innovation committee will meet Nov. 14 to create a final plan that will be presented to the board Dec. 4.