Approved by the Avalon Board of Trustees on April 20, 2017
District of Innovation Plan (HB 1842)
During of the 84th Legislative Session, HB 1842 was passed in order to provide more local control in certain areas. HB 1842 allows a traditional public school to utilize the exemptions in Education Law that charter schools currently are entitled to. We feel this is a great opportunity for our local district to create a plan based on the needs of our students and community that will remain in effect for the next five years (2017-2022). The proposed plan, once adopted, will remain in effect for the next five years (2017-2022). The plan may be amended at any time by the District of Innovation Committee with the approval of the school board. Districts are not exempt from statutes related to curriculum, graduation requirements, nor academic and financial accountability.
District of Innovation Committee
The District of Innovation Committee consists of the following members:
Tony HernandezMiddle School Principal
Jody TenneryElementary Principal
Khris MarshallHigh School Principal
Neva DelbosqueOffice of Special Programs/Counseling
Brenda AnthonyHigh School teacher
Olivia PinalesHigh School teacher
April MarshallMiddle School teacher
Sandra BernekingMiddle School teacher
Kristin RiddleElementary teacher
Elsabe MungerElementary teacher
Term of Plan
The term of the District of Innovation Plan will be in place for the 2017 – 2018 school year through the 2021 – 2022 school year unless amended or terminated by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the law. The Avalon ISD District of Innovation Committee will revisit the plan annually to ensure that the recommendations still meet the needs of the district.
Timeline for District of Innovation PlanMeeting with faculty and staff to discuss possibility of District of Innovation plan, possible committee members and components important to the plan / February 9, 2017
Board approval of resolution that will begin the decision process (TEC 12A.001(c)(1)) / February 16, 2017
Public Hearing to explain and discuss the possibility of becoming a District of Innovation. (TEC 12A.002 (a)) (Board must hold hearing) / March 9, 2017
Board approval of members of District of Innovation Committee (TEC 12A.002 (b)(2)) / March 9, 2017
District of Innovation plan posted on the district website for 30 days (TEC 12A.005(a)(1)) / March 20 – April 18, 2017
Commissioner notified of Board’s intent to vote on District of Innovation. (TEC 12A.005(a)(2)) / April 19, 2017
District Innovation Committee hold Public Meeting to present overview and acceptance of plan (TEC 12A.005)(a)(3)) / April 19, 2017
Avalon ISD Board of Trustees discuss and approve the AISD District of Innovation Plan (TEC 12A.005(b)) / April 20, 2017
District of Innovation plan sent to Commissioner / April 21, 2017
DOI plan shared with campuses / April 2017
Areas of Proposed Exemptions
1. School Calendar
Texas Education Code: Sec. 25.0811 FIRST DAY OF INSTRUCTION “a school district may not begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August.”
Texas Education Code: Sec. 25.0812 LAST DAY OF SCHOOL “a school district may not schedule the last day of school before May 15.”
Avalon ISD requests the freedom to develop a calendar that better fits the needs of the community should the committee choose to. Having greater flexibility in this area would allow the District Committee to better balance the first and second semesters, align dual credit course dates and provide more instructional days prior to state testing.
2. Teacher certification
Texas Education Code Section 21.003 states that “a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern, teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B”.
The current certification requirements inhibit the District’s ability to hire effective instructors to teach Career and Technical Education, languages other than English, and fine arts. Avalon ISD would like to establish its own local qualification requirements for such courses in lieu of the requirements set forth in the law in order to provide more students the opportunity to take such courses and obtain professional certifications. However, special education and bilingual teachers must continue to be SBEC certified.
3. Teacher Contract Days
Current education law defines a teacher contract as a ten-month contract equivalent to 187 days.
Avalon ISD would like to reduce teacher contract days from 187 to 182 with no effect on teacher salaries. This somewhat makes an attempt to align the teacher days to the 75,600 minutes required of students. This proposal will increase the daily rate the district pays teachers. This will enhance teacher recruitment, therefore putting the district on a more level playing field with larger districts.