North Hopkins Pursues District of Innovation
Posted Date: 04/24/2017
North Hopkins ISD Pursues
“District of Innovation” Designation
North Hopkins ISD began the process of working toward becoming a “District of Innovation” during the January 26th meeting of the NHISD Board of Trustees, with the school board approving a resolution to authorize the district to move forward in seeking the designation.
The “District of Innovation” concept was passed into law by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015 though House Bill 1842. The designation allows school districts to access many of the same options that are currently available to charter schools. In order to seek a “District of Innovation” designation, school districts must have an accountability rating of “Met Standard,” which NHISD met in the most recent state accountability ratings in 2016.
According to the resolution approved by NHISD trustees January 26th, the district appointed a district and community committee to develop the plan.
Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation include:
• INCREASED LOCAL CONTROL: Districts decide which flexibilities best suit their local needs.
• CUSTOMIZATION: Districts can create an innovation plan for a level of school (high school, junior high school, etc.), grade level, or a single campus.
• AUTONOMY: Districts must submit a District of Innovation plan to the Commissioner of Education, but approval is not required.
• FLEXIBILITY: Districts will have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from mandates such as school start date, 90 percent attendance rule, class-size ratios, site-based decision-making processes, certain student discipline provisions, use of planning and preparation periods, and teacher appraisal requirements.
North Hopkins ISD
Proposed District of Innovation Plan (HB 1842)
This is the proposed plan any questions, and or suggestions should be directed to Rob Stanley, 903-945-2192 ext. 8024, Rstanley@northhopkins.net
Date posted: April 24, 2017
North Hopkins ISD is using HB 1842, of the 84th Legislative Session, to establish more local control in certain areas. HB 1842 allows a traditional public school to have some of the same local flexibility that public charter schools have been allowed. North Hopkins believes this is a great opportunity for our local district to establish plans based on the unique needs of our students and community.
This Plan will be in effect for the 2017-2018 school year through the 2021-2022 school year. The committee with approval of the Board of Trustees may amend this plan at any time.
District of Innovation Team
1. Dr. Darin Jolly Superintendent
2. LeAnn Tadlock Elementary Principal
3. Rob Stanley Secondary Principal
4. Danna Lewis School Counselor
5. Cara Jolly Curriculum Director
6. Kodi Wright Instructional Technology
7. Tonya Griner Elementary Teacher
8. Debra Wood Elementary Teacher
9. Sherri Hocutt Secondary Teacher
10. Jennifer Lucas Secondary Teacher
11. Aime Davidson Secondary Teacher
12. Tracey Wharton Secondary Teacher
13. Alma Aguilar Parent Representative
14. J.W. Crane Community Member
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 submit a request to the Texas Education Agency. TEA then approves or denies the request.
In order to best serve NHISD students, decisions on certification will be handled locally.
Assurances: “The District does not wish to be exempted from any existing laws relating to teacher contracts or teacher benefits.”
Students may not begin school before the 4th Monday of August. For many years this was the rule, however, districts had the option of applying for a waiver to start earlier. The vast majority of districts applied for the waiver and would begin the 3rd Monday, some even going as early as the 2nd Monday. 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. This will allow the first and second semesters to be closer in the number of days of instruction. The goal is to improve the district attendance rate and student success through flexibility in the calendar.
To allow for a calendar that fits the local needs of NHISD students and community, we will move the mandatory start date back one week.