District Education Improvement Council

DISTRICT OF INNOVATION PLAN

The District of Innovation Plan

January 2017 through December 31, 2021
Every student prepared for a successful future

Introduction
House Bill 1842, passed during the 84th Legislative Session, provides public school districts the opportunity to see designation as a District of Innovation to obtain exemption from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in Texas Education Code Chapter 12A. Districts are not exempt from statures including curriculum and graduation requirements, and academic and financial accountability.

Term

The term of the Plan is five years, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year and concluding a the end of December 2021, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the law. The DEIC (Innovation Committee) will continually monitor the effectiveness of the Plan and recommend to the Board and suggested modifications to the Plan.

Timeline
December 12, 2016 - Board of Trustees adopts resolution
January 9, 2017 - Board of Trustees holds a public hearing to consider developing a plan for innovation
January 9, 2017 – Board of Trustees appoints an Innovation Committee
January 10 - 11, 2017 – Innovation Committee creates innovation plan
January 12, 2017 – Draft plan is placed on the District website
January 13 through February 10, 2017- District Innovation Plan discussed at campus meetings and DEIC public meeting on February 8, 2017.
February 2017 – Board notifies Commissioner of intent to approve plan
February 2017 – Board of Trustees vote to adopt final plan

Committee Members

Marina Gomez – Teacher               Vikijane Mosier – Community
Michelle Delgado – Teacher           Cara Herlin – Community
Cindy Quigg – Teacher                Amber Engel – Business
Adriana Whitwell – Teacher         Ron Laws – Business
James Post - Teacher                 Amy M Kubecka – Parent
Jody Sanchez – Teacher               Kelly Ryncheck – Parent
Ray Hinds – Teacher                  Hanh Vu – Parent
Chris Martinez - Teacher             Felix Sanchez - Parent
Bonnie Peterson – Ad Hoc           Diva Vazquez - Counselor
Nancy Flores – Principal             James Schumann – District
Amy Marroquin – Principal         Carolyn Kubecka – District
Buddy Kelley – Principal             Sherri Seaman – District
Stephanie Garcia - Principal         Dr. Alexandro Flores - Superintendent

School start date (TEC §25.0811a) (EB LEGAL)

Currently
TEC §25.0811 states that a school district may not begin student instruction before the 4th Monday of August. This was the rule for many years; however, districts had the option of applying for a waiver to start earlier, even as early as the 2nd Monday in August. The Texas tourism groups lobbied to have this stopped because they believed it was hurting their tourism business. Therefore, several years ago the legislature took away all waivers and dictated that districts may not begin until the 4th Monday, with no exceptions. The current process allows no flexibility in the design of annual calendars to fit the needs of the community or the wishes of the local Board of Trustees who represent community interests in this matter.

Proposed
To best meet the needs of the students, school, and community, the District will have the flexibility to determine the school start date. The date can be prior to the 4th Monday of August as determined locally and on an annual basis.

Teacher certification (TEC §21.003a) (DK LEGAL)

Currently
TEC §21.003(a) states that a person may not be employed as a teacher by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued by the appropriate state agency. In the event a district cannot locate a certified teacher for a position or a teacher is teaching a subject outside of their certification, the district must request emergency certification from the Texas Education Agency and/or State Board of Educator Certification. This system is burdensome and does not take into account the unique financial and/or instructional needs of the district.

Proposed
The District seeks to establish its own local qualification requirements for positions designated by the District as critical need including but not limited to: Bilingual Education, Career and Technology Education, Math (grades 9-12), Science (grades 9-12), and Computer Sciences (grades 9-12). A Bachelor’s degree is referred for core subjects. An industry certification and experience is preferred for Career and Technology Education. The campus principal must specify in writing the reason for the request and document the credentials the applicant possesses that would qualify the individual to teach the proposed subject. Emergency or financial situations creating the need for this assignment should also be noted. The superintendent will report these actions to the Board of Trustees at the first board meeting following the assignment. A teacher certification waiver, state permit applications, or other paperwork will not be submitted to the Texas Education Agency.

Probationary Contracts (TEC 21.102) (DCA LEGAL)

Currently
For experienced teachers new to the district, the probationary period may not exceed one year if the person has been employed as a teacher in public education for at least five of the previous eight years. This time period is not sufficient to evaluate the teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom since teacher contract timelines demand that employment decisions must be made prior to state assessment results.

Proposed
For experienced teachers, counselors, or nurses new to the district that have been employed as a teacher in public education for at least five of the eight previous years, a probationary contract may be issued for up to two years from the last date of district employment.

Transfer Students (TEC §25.036) (FDA LOCAL)

Currently
TEC §25.036 states that any child, other than a high school graduate, who is younger than 21 years of age and eligible for enrollment on September 1 of any school year may transfer annually from the child's school district of residence to another district in this state if both the receiving district and the applicant parent or guardian or person having lawful control of the child jointly approve and timely agree in writing to the transfer. FDA LOCAL states that a transfer student shall be notified in the written transfer agreement that he or she must follow all rules and regulations of the District. Violation of the terms of the agreement may result in a transfer request not being approved the following year.

Proposed
Campus administrators will review the parameters of the transfer student agreement weekly to determine if there are violations of the terms within the annual agreement. Persistent or severe violations could result in the transfer request being revoked at any time during the school year.

DEIC

To establish and review the district goals and objectives

Purpose:

The purpose of the District Education Improvement Council (DEIC) is to establish and review the district goals and objectives and to discuss major instructional programs, participate in the development and approval of staff development of a district-wide nature, and provide written comments or requests for waivers, if appropriate.   

The DEIC is comprised of eight professional teaching staff members, one campus-based non-teaching professional, one district-wide professional staff member, four parent representatives, two community representatives, and two business representatives. These will be selected by the superintendent. Principals and Central Office administrators will serve as ex-officio members.

2017-18 Representatives:

Central Elementary

Sandra Tucker, Michelle Delgado

 

East Side Intermediate

Brad Jones, Cindy Quigg

 

Palacios Junior High

James Post, Kim Garcia

 

Palacios High School

Ray Hinds, James Overton

 

Community Representatives

Vickijane Bear-Mosier, Cara Herlin

Business Representatives

Amber Engel, Ron Laws

 

Parent Representatives

Jamie Doege, Amy Kubecka, Hanh Vu, Kelly Ryncheck

 

Non-Teaching Professional

Diva Vazquez

 

Districtwide Representative

Sherri Seaman    

 

Ad-Hoc Members

Nancy Flores,  Amy Marroquin, Buddy Kelley,  Stephanie Garcia,  James Schumann,  Dr. Alexandro Flores

 

MEETING AGENDAS