Fort Bend ISD’s Local Innovation Plan posted online for public comment
Plan created by committee of teachers, students and community members includes exemptions related to school calendar, teacher certification and “90 percent rule”
FORT BEND ISD (February 10, 2017) – Fort Bend ISD is seeking public comment on its Local Innovation Plan as it moves forward with the process to become a District of Innovation. The District of Innovation concept, established by the 84th Texas Legislature, gives local communities the opportunity to decide how they can best deliver the District’s goals by accessing most of the flexibilities that are already available to Texas’ open-enrollment charter schools. In order to become a District of Innovation, districts must adopt a Local Innovation Plan that identifies innovative ways the District can better serve its students by exempting itself from certain state mandates.
“We are excited and proud of the Local Innovation Committee’s work, as we believe the proposed Local Innovation Plan will open the door to flexibilities we do not have under the current Texas Education Code. These flexibilities will allow us to better serve our students and our community by making decisions at the local level,” said Dr. Charles Dupre, Fort Bend ISD Superintendent of Schools.
The Local Innovation Plan developed and drafted by the Local Innovation Committee proposes flexibilities from state mandates in three areas, and identifies innovative ways Fort Bend ISD students would benefit. A meeting will be held on February 21, 2017 so that the community can learn more about the Local Innovation Plan. The meeting will be held at the FBISD Administrative Annex at 3119 Sweetwater Blvd., from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The three areas identified in Fort Bend ISD’s Local Innovation Plan include:
- School Calendar
- Teacher Certification
- Minimum Attendance for Class Credit or Final Grade – 90 percent rule
The committee, comprised of students, teachers, principals, administrators and community members began meeting in December to explore ways Fort Bend ISD could use the DOI concept to have more local control in the decision-making process. An external K12 Insight consultant and outside legal counsel facilitated the work of the committee. Together, the Local Innovation Committee developed a Local Innovation Plan, which was approved by the District’s Academic Advisory Council on February 8.
“Prior to the vote, members of the AAC asked several great questions about the development of the plan, and how it could potentially impact students and staff members,” said Beth Martinez, FBISD Chief of Staff and Strategic Planning.
“It is important for the community to understand that the Local Innovation Plan is just the beginning of this process. With the exception of the mandatory school start date, other exemptions included in the plan would require significant planning and policy revisions prior to implementation, after the 2017-18 school year. This decision-making will involve stakeholders that could be impacted, and ultimately, policy revisions would require Board adoption.”
In accordance with rules established by the Texas Education Agency, the FBISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in October of 2016 to initiate the District of Innovation process, followed by a public hearing and the creation of a Local Innovation Committee in November.
Following approval by the Academic Advisory Council, the Local Innovation Plan is now posted online for a 30-day public comment period (February 10, 2017 – March 11, 2017) prior to consideration by the FBISD Board of Trustees.
To read more about the plan and provide feedback, visit www.fortbendisd.com/innovation.