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Little Elm ISD

Equip. Engage. Empower.

Little Elm ISD District of Innovation

LEISD District of Innovation  

 
On Monday, December 12, 2016 the Little Elm ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution for LEISD to become a District of Innovation (DOI).  This is an exciting opportunity for our school district to consider flexibilities that would best serve our students and their educational needs.

 

A District of Innovation is a concept passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842, effective immediately, that gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in the Texas Education Code chapter 12A. (TASB)

I. Introduction

House Bill (HB) 1842, passed during the 84th Legislative Session, permits Texas public school districts to become Districts of Innovation and to obtain exemption from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code. On December 12, 2016, the Little Elm Independent School District’s Board of Trustees passed a Resolution to adopt a District of Innovation Plan to increase local control over District operations and to support innovation and local initiatives. The adoption of this plan seeks to increase the District’s flexibility in order to improve educational outcomes for the benefit of students and our community.

 

On December 12, 2016, the Board appointed a District of Innovation District Advisory Committee comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders representing LEISD. The Committee met on January 11, 2017, and on January 19, 2017 to discuss and vote on the Local Innovation Plan.

II. Term

The term of the Plan is for five years, beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2022, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees 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 nominate 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. The District may not implement two separate plans at any one time.

III. Innovations

The District proposes flexibility in the following areas:

 

A.  Certification Required (TEC 21.003) (DBA LEGAL) (DBA LOCAL)

TEC 21.003 states that “a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B.” The current certification requirements impede the District’s ability to hire professionals with industry experience to teach Career and Technical Education (CTE Courses).  In order to provide more students the opportunity to take such courses and obtain professional certifications, the District seeks to establish its own local qualification requirements for such courses in lieu of the requirements set forth in law.

Flexibility to establish its own teacher certification requirements affords the District the following advantages:

 

  • Industry certified and/or trade professionals to teach specialized certification courses.
  • Greater number of CATE course offerings resulting in more opportunities for students.
  • Realistic requirements for professionals transitioning from industry to teaching.
  • Ability to employ part-time professionals to teach specialty courses.

B.  Uniform School Calendar (TEC 25.0811) (TEC 25.0812) (EB LEGAL) (EB LOCAL) Texas Education Code Section 25.0811 states that a school district may not begin instruction before the fourth Monday in August. Texas Education Code Section 25.0812 states that a school district may not schedule the last day of school before May 15. Local control of the instructional calendar affords the District the following advantages:

 

  • Ability to ensure balanced semesters for instructional purposes while ending the first semester prior to the holiday break. 
  • Alignment of calendar with local colleges and universities, Advanced Placement Exams, and STAAR/EOC timelines.
  • Ensure hour/seat time requirements are met for Certification courses.

 

C.  Teacher Contracts (TEC 21.401) (DCB LOCAL) (DCB LEGAL) Texas Education Code Section 21.401 states that an educator employed under a 10-month contract must provide a minimum of 187 days of service.

 

  • This proposal will provide flexibility in aligning teacher contract days with the required 75,600 minutes of instruction for students without reducing teacher pay.

IV. Implementation

This Innovation Plan is designed to create parameters within which the District will operate, in order to provide additional student opportunities. Specific implementation plans will be developed by the appropriate campuses and departments. Adjustments to Board Policy will be researched and adopted where appropriate.

Committee Members

Susan Cashman, Teacher
 
Sara Moore, Teacher
 
Vern Schutter, Paraprofessional
 
Jennifer Reynolds, Parent
 
Crystal Dooling, Parent
 
Rebecca Lewis, Teacher
 
Katie Weir, Teacher
 
Amy Bee, Paraprofessional
 
Jim Whipple, Teacher
 
Stoney Myers, Teacher
 
Laura Colon, Teacher
 
Karla Figueroa, Paraprofessional
 
Kimberly Miller, Parent
 
Irene Bagby, Parent
 
Kim Crawford, Teacher
 
Brook Barrett, Teacher
 
Mindy Hernandez, Paraprofessional
 
Wendy Argentine, Parent
 
Stacy Perry, Parent
 
Luis Mosso, Teacher
 
Paisley Conrad, Teacher
 
Christy Vanderhoff, Paraprofessional
 
Janet Worley, Parent
 
Lynnzi Crow, Parent
 
Jackson Hulett, Teacher
 
Stephen Boie, Teacher
 
Tiffany Duckworth, Paraprofessional
 
Alicia Matthews, Parent
 
Staci Horvath, Parent
 
Marnie Richardson, Teacher
 
Jamie Keegan, Paraprofessional
 
Paula Schneyer, Parent
 
Trista Perot, Parent
 
Leigh Dailey, Teacher
 
Lacoya Bagley, Teacher
 
Micah Anderson, Paraprofessional
 
Jennifer Montgomery, Parent
 
Stacy Brooks, Parent
 
Mary Philip, Teacher
 
Nigel Smith, Teacher
 
Cathleen Philpott, Paraprofessonal
 
Sarona Winfrey, Parent
 
Vince Kleszcz, Community Member
 
Jason Laumer, Community Member
 
Lori Krouskos, Community Member
 
Georgette Hay, Community Member
 
Pia Foster, UEA Representative
 
Non-Voting
Daniel Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services
 
Dr. Ashley Glover, Director for Curriculum & Learning Services 
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