In the spring of 2015, during the 84th Texas legislative session, House Bill 1842 (HB 1842) was passed. The bill affords Texas public school districts the opportunity to become a “District of Innovation.” A District of Innovation allows for traditional independent school districts to have most of the flexibilities available to Texas' open enrollment charter schools.
By becoming a District of Innovation, a school district can:
- Exercise greater local control over decisions impacting instructional models for students;
- Experience increased flexibility with regards to state accountability and mandates; and,
- Develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning
To become a District of Innovation, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in Texas Education Code chapter 12A. On November 13, 2017, San Felipe Del Rio CISD Board of Trustees took the first step in becoming a District of Innovation by adopting a resolution; and on December 18, 2017 appointed the SFDRCISD District of Innovation Advisory Committee to develop a local innovation plan for the District.
The 18-member Committee met on January 23, January 30, and February 6, 2018 to discuss the designation process and draft a Local Innovation Plan which would best support our shared beliefs, visions and goals for the District. This recently crafted plan, which identifies the requested exemptions from the provision code (TEC 12A.003), was posted on the District’s website for a 30-day comment period (TEC 12A.005(a)(1)). The SFDRCISD District of Innovation Advisory Committee reconvened and conducted a Public Meeting on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 to consider and approve the final version of the 2018 – 2023 San Felipe Del Rio CISD District of Innovation Plan as designated by 12A.005(a)(3). The SFDRCISD District of Innovation Advisory Committee approved the plan by a 12-2 majority vote.
On Monday, March 26, 2018, the San Felipe Del Rio CISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the plan during a special-called public meeting. This Plan best supports our shared beliefs, visions and goals for the District; and identifies the requested exemptions from TEC §25.0811a. First Day of Instruction and from TEC §21.003 (a). Certification Required. An exemption from TEC §21.003 would allow SFDRCISD the flexibility to consider workforce professionals to teach CTE courses specifically within the Trades and Industry Certificates, Health Science Certificates and Family & Consumer Science Certificates for which a traditionally, certified candidate is not available. All remaining teaching positions in CTE and other areas will continue to require a certification as required in the TEC §21.003 statute. The District will also continue to require that parents be notified when an uncertified teacher is assigned to the same classroom for more than 30 consecutive instructional days (TEC §21.057).