Katy ISD updates District of Innovation plan

On Jan. 24, the Katy ISD board of trustees approved a new 2022-27 District of Innovation plan. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
On Jan. 24, the Katy ISD board of trustees approved a new 2022-27 District of Innovation plan. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

On Jan. 24, the Katy ISD board of trustees approved a new 2022-27 District of Innovation plan. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

On Jan. 24, the Katy ISD board of trustees approved a new 2022-27 District of Innovation plan. As a state-designated DOI, KISD has been allowed to be exempt from certain Texas Education Code provisions—such as the school start date, teacher certification and the designation of campus behavior coordinators. KISD became a designated DOI in January 2017 for a five-year term, which began with the 2017-18 school year and ends with the 2021-22 school year. The approval in January is also valid for five years but can be revisited by the board at any time.

“Through the DOI process, we were able to compile a plan that focused on the educational needs of our students and its staff members in alignment with Katy ISD’s vision and mission statements and its beliefs and goals,” said Sherri Ashorn, the district's discipline and school health and related services administrator. "Three [exemptions] are very familiar. They're from our plan from five years ago, renewed and improved."

The new DOI plan approved in January will impact student suspension, attendance for class credit or final grade, and excused absences related to college visits to its list of exemptions, bringing the total to six exemptions.

"[The student suspension exemption will give] us the opportunity to suspend [students] on a very limited, very strategic basis," Ashorn said. "Students who are in, you know, intense situations or maybe we need [more time] to investigate a little bit more."

The other exemptions will give the district more flexibility regarding student absences.


"[The attendance for class credit or final grade exemption] also gives us the opportunity to continue with attendance for credit, cost credit or final grade," Ashorn said. "[That refers to the] 90% rule that says if [a student is] absent for more than 10% of a course, they have to complete a principal's plan. We know we have a lot of students who have absences for, you know, good reasons or extracurriculars. ... And then the third new one is excused absences as it relates to excused absences for visiting institutions of higher learning, but we'd also expand that, expand that to technical school and military visits."

By Laura Aebi

Editor, Katy and Sugar Land/Missouri City

Laura joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2020 after a few years in the public relations industry. Laura graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Originally from North Texas, Laura relocated to Houston after spending three years in Pacific Northwest. Previously, she interned with two radio stations in Central Texas and held the role of features editor at the San Marcos Daily Record. Laura writes about local government, development, transportation, education, real estate and small businesses in these communities.