In the first of a multistep process, the Fort Bend ISD board of trustees has unanimously granted Superintendent Christie Whitbeck permission to notify the Texas Education Agency commissioner of the district’s intent to renew its Local Innovation Plan.

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath will receive the notification Dec. 17, one parameter required for the district to renew its Local Innovation Plan, according to the Texas Education Code.

The district is in the beginning stages of renewing that plan, which is set to expire at the end of the 2021-22 school year. The plan was approved for the 2017-18 school year, according to a Dec. 13 FBISD agenda report.

Over the past few years, that plan has provided the district flexibility and exempted it from Texas Education Code sections, not only allowing FBISD flexibility in its school calendar, but allowing the district to waive certain teaching certifications for hard-to-fill areas, such as world languages and career and technical education, according to the agenda report. Finally, the plan has exempted FBISD from the 90% attendance rule requiring students to be in attendance 90% of the days the class is offered, designed to meet student needs through alternate delivery models apart from a traditional classroom.

From Jan. 3-Feb. 1, the district will have posted a final draft of the renewed Local Innovation Plan on the district’s website with information on that plan disseminated through the district’s communication network, according to district of trustees, which has final say on the plan’s approval, will consider adopting the plan, according to the Dec. 13 agenda report.