District of Innovation


District of Innovation Draft Plan

District of Innovation Figure 102.1307


What is a “District of Innovation”?

The 84th Legislative Session, through House Bill 1842, created “Districts of Innovation” in Chapter 12A of the Texas Education Code.  The new law allows independent school districts, such as Amarillo ISD, to access many of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools.  To take advantage of these new opportunities, a school district’s board of trustees must adopt an “innovation plan.”  Only districts with acceptable performance ratings are eligible to be a District of Innovation.  AISD has an acceptable rating, and is eligible for designation as a District of Innovation.

As a District of Innovation, AISD will have:

  • Greater local control over the educational and instructional model for Amarillo ISD scholars;
  • Increased freedom and flexibility, while maintaining accountability for results; and
  • The ability to innovate and think “outside the box,” to the benefit of Amarillo ISD scholars, educators and staff.

AISD’s District of Innovation (“DOI”) Committee is focused on three (3) areas of innovation:

School calendar start date (under current law, school cannot begin before the fourth Monday in August);

  1. School calendar end date (under current law, school cannot end before May 15th); and,
  2. Required annual minutes of instruction for pre-kindergarten (under current law, half day pre-kindergarten is not permissible, unless the school district receives a waiver from the Texas Education Agency – AISD has historically sought and been granted waivers).

In other words, through a DOI Plan, AISD could be exempt from the above-described laws. 


Background & Process

On November 21, 2016, AISD’s Board of Trustees (“Board”) passed a Resolution to initiate the process to be designated as a District of Innovation.  At that same meeting, the Board conducted a public hearing to receive comments from the public about becoming a District of Innovation.  Following the public hearing, the Board named the District-wide Educational Advisory Council (commonly known as “DEAC”) to serve as AISD’s District of Innovation Committee (“Committee”) and develop the innovation plan (“Plan”).  The Committee/DEAC is comprised of key stakeholders, including elementary and secondary teachers, district-level non-teaching professional staff, parents, community representatives, business representatives, and a Board member.  See below for a list of DEAC/DOI Committee members.


Term

The term of the plan may be for up to five years, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board in accordance with the law.  If, within the term of this Plan, other areas of operations are to be considered for flexibility as part of HB 1842, the Board will appoint a committee to consider and propose additional exemptions in the form of an amendment.  Any amendment adopted by the Board will adhere to the same term as the original plan.  AISD may not implement two separate plans at any one time.


District of Innovation Plan Committee

AISD’s DEAC serves as the DOI Committee.  The following people serve on the DEAC/DOI Committee:

DISTRICTWIDE EDUCATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL 2016-2018


District of Innovation Plan Committee Meetings

The first DOI Committee meeting is Tuesday, January 10th at 5:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Rod Schroder Education Support Center.  The public is welcome to attend and observe the Committee’s deliberations.

If needed, a second DOI Committee is currently scheduled for Tuesday, January 17th at 5:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Rod Schroder Education Support Center.  The public is welcome to attend and observe the Committee’s deliberations.  AISD anticipates that a proposed Plan will be finalized at this meeting, and the proposed Plan will be posted on this webpage shortly after this meeting.  The proposed Plan will be posted for at least 30 days.

NOTE:  These dates are subject to change, depending on the direction taken by the DOI Committee.  Please check this page regularly for updated information.

The DOI Committee final meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday, February 21st at 5:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Rod Schroder Education Support Center.  The public is welcome to attend and observe the Committee’s deliberations.  There will also be an opportunity for public comment during a public hearing at this meeting.


Board Approval

AISD anticipates that the proposed DOI Plan will be presented to the Board at its regular February Board meeting, scheduled for February 27, 2017.  The public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed DOI Plan at the Board meeting. 

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