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Proposed District of Innovation

Local “DRAFT” Innovation Plan for Premont ISD

Submitted for Public Review: Tuesday, October 22, 2019

 

The 84th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1842 which allows public school districts to declare exemptions from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code by becoming a designated District of Innovation.  We feel this is a significant opportunity for Premont ISD to align the district to current innovation such as Early College High School, Rural Schools Innovation Zone and the Singleton Early College Academy design.  The proposed plan could remain in effect for up to five years.

 

On Monday, October 14, 2019 during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees, The Premont ISD Board voted 6-0 to adopt a resolution to consider becoming a District of Innovation.  Also, on Thursday, October 17 the appointed Local Innovation Committee began to develop the “DRAFT” plan.  The DRAFT plan will be posted online for public viewing during the next 30 days.

 

DISTRICT of INNOVATION Timeline

  1. Draft plan posted online from Tuesday, October 22, 2019 to Tuesday, November 19, 2019;
  2. November 21, 2019: Public Meeting for District Feedback;
  3. December 2, 2019: Public Meeting to discuss Revised Plan;
  4. December 3, 2019: DRAT Revised Plan post online for Public viewing;
  5. January 13, 2020: Public Meeting and Innovation Committee public vote;
  6. February 12, 2020: Board of Trustees considers and votes on Final Plan;
  7. February 13, 2020: District of Innovation Plan sent to Commissioner of Education.

 

TEXAS EDUCATION CODE EXEMPTIONS

The Local Innovation Committee reviewed the Superintendents recommendations and the subchapters of the Texas Education Code to determine which permissible exemptions may benefit Premont ISD students and staff.

 

Uniform Start Date (TEC#25.0811)

 

Current Law

State law currently prohibits school districts from starting class before the fourth Monday in August.

 

Proposed

Premont ISD would like to exempt TEC 25.0811, thus allowing the district to start school prior to the fourth Monday of August.

 

How does this benefit Premont ISD?

Staring earlier will help the District eliminate the “Summer Slide.”  Premont ISD students will benefit from the reduced break of summer recess since the District would have the option to begin the school year in mid-July.  Additionally, it ensures the school year will end prior to June.  It also allows the calendar to better align with local colleges and universities, so the graduation seniors and Early College High School students has time to prepare for their upcoming summer college courses.

 

Teacher Certification (TEC #21.003, #21.053, and #21.057)

 

Current Law

State law states that a person may not be employed as a teacher by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certification or permit issued by the appropriate state agency.  In the event a district cannot locate a certified teacher for a position or a teacher 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.

 

Proposed

Premont ISD will maintain its current expectation for employee certification and will make every attempt to hire individuals with appropriate certification for the position in question; however, where that is not possible, the District will have the flexibility to hire individuals who have the knowledge or life experiences in the area and is able to perform the duties assigned to that position.

 

The campus principal must specify the reason for the request and list any life experiences or credentials the applicant possesses that would qualify that individual to teach the proposed subject.  Any non-certified applicant in core content areas must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

How does this benefit Premont ISD?

The exemption will allow flexibility to add coherent sequences using local practitioners and business people as instructors.  In addition, in emergency situations, this gives the District an opportunity to hire someone with knowledge, expertise in those specific areas, which can be beneficial to Premont students.

 

Inter-District Transfers (TEC #25.036)

 

Current Law

A district may choose to accept, as transfers, students who may not be entitled to enroll in the district.  Under TEC 25.036, a transfer is interpreted to be for a period of one school year.  Premont ISD maintains a transfer policy under FDA (LOCAL) requiring nonresident students wishing to transfer to file a transfer application each school year.  In approving transfer requests, the availability of space and instructional staff, availability of programs and services, the students’ disciplinary history, work habits, and attendance records are also evaluated.  Transfer students are expected to follow the attendance requirements, rules and regulations of the District.  TEC 25.036 has been interpreted to establish the acceptance of a transfer as a one-year commitment by the District.

 

Proposed

The District is seeking to eliminate the provision of a one-year commitment in accepting transfer applications.  If a student commits an egregious offense or has a pattern of misbehavior over time, the campus principal may recommend to the superintendent that the students’ transfer be revoked.  In addition, student attendance may fall below the TEA truancy standard.  In these rare cases, Premont ISD seeks exemption from the one-year transfer commitment.  Nonresident students who have been accepted as inter-district transfer may have such transfer status revoked by the Superintendent at any time during the year.

 

How does this benefit Premont ISD?

This change would help assure that the District have a productive, safe environment that is conducive to learning for District students.