HOUSTON – March 7, 2017 – The Spring Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a resolution Feb. 14 to initiate the process of becoming a District of Innovation. With the Board’s approval, a 20-member District of Innovation (DOI) committee – including parents, teachers, business and community members, school administrators, district leadership and trustees – developed Spring ISD’s innovation plan to further the implementation of the five-year strategic plan, EVERY CHILD 2020.
“Our local innovation plan is posted on our district website, and we encourage parents and district employees to review the plan and provide feedback using the district’s online elevate tool,” said Spring ISD Chief of Staff Julie Hill.
After developing the plan, the district DOI committee presented it to the district’s Advisory Committee on Education (ACE) for their approval during a public meeting on March 6 before posting it online. The deadline for submitting feedback is April 6. The DOI committee will present the plan to the Board of Trustees for consideration and adoption on April 11.
Established by the 84th Texas Legislature, the District of Innovation distinction gives traditional independent school districts in Texas access to many of the flexibilities offered to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools.
“If approved, this designation will give us more local control over how instruction and education is delivered to our students,” said Hill. “There are nearly 100 exemptions to areas of the Texas education code available. Curriculum, instruction, budgeting, the length of the school day as well as the start of the school year can be considered for a district’s local plan. We can also choose to have more flexibility with educator certifications, allowing us to be creative in hiring CTE (Career and Technical Education) instructors and teachers.”
One exemption that will be considered relates to the start of the school year. Traditionally, Spring ISD’s academic calendar is approved in the month of February; however, this year the process has been delayed until the local innovation committee finalizes the innovation plan and it is approved by the Board of Trustees.
“We will release a calendar for the 2017-18 school year as soon as possible. We know that those dates are key to our community planning,” said Hill. “Our goal is to have as much information as possible as we develop a calendar that fits the local needs of the Spring ISD community.”
For more information and to provide feedback regarding the DOI plan, go online to www.springisd.org/doi.