District Of Innovation Plan

2020 - 2025  |  Approved by the KISD Board of Trustees  |  January 14, 2020
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Overview

House Bill 1842, passed during the 84th Texas Legislation Session, affords Texas public school districts the opportunity to pursue a designation as a District of Innovation (DOI). The DOI designation provides districts the flexibility to obtain exemptions from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code (TEC) to increase local control over District operations and to support local initiatives. On November 12, 2019, the Killeen Independent School District’s Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to initiate the process of becoming a District of Innovation. The purpose of adopting the resolution was to increase local control over the first day of instruction to address a comprehensive education program. KISD’s District of Innovation Plan is designed to support the district vision and goals.


District Vision

Through the implementation of a full, innovative, rigorous, comprehensive education program, KISD will provide superior learning opportunities so that upon graduation, students are prepared for success in the workforce and/or higher education.


District Goals
  1. We will equip and empower campus leadership, faculty and staff to consistently provide research-based best practices, resulting in future-ready students.
  2. We will recruit, retain, and develop excellent, creative educators to maximize student achievement.
  3. We will engage all stakeholders in the work of developing lifelong learners through positive, collaborative relationships and meaningful communication.
  4. We will provide a safe and healthy learning environment, and identify and address social, emotional, and behavioral distractors; thereby improving student achievement.
  5. We will effectively and efficiently manage district resources and operations to maximize learning opportunities for all students and staff.

District of Innovation Plan

Consideration for designating as a District of Innovation may be initiated by the Board adopting a resolution. Promptly after adopting the resolution, the Board shall hold a public hearing to consider developing an innovation plan. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Board may formally decide to decline or to pursue designation as a District of Innovation and appoint a committee to develop a local innovation plan in accordance with Section 12A.003 of House Bill 1842. The District of Innovation Advisory Committee is responsible for developing the plan. The Committee thoroughly and carefully considered the Texas Education Code. Each exemption was chosen so that KISD can provide superior learning opportunities to prepare students for success in the workforce and/or higher education.

The following dates outline the steps that Killeen ISD took in the development of the plan.
  • Background of the District of Innovation presented to the Killeen ISD Board of Trustees on November 12, 2019.
  • Resolution signed for District of Innovation by the Killeen ISD Board of Trustees on November 12, 2019.
  • District of Innovation Public Hearing held on November 12, 2019.
  • The District of Innovation Advisory Committee was created by the Killeen ISD Board of Trustees on November 12, 2019.
  • The District of Innovation Advisory Committee members were notified of their selection on November 13, 2019.
  • The District of Innovation Advisory Committee met on November 20, 2019 to develop the proposed plan.
  • The District Site Based Decision Making Committee met on December 4, 2019 to provide feedback on the proposed plan.
  • The proposed KISD District of Innovation Plan was posted on the district’s website on December 5, 2019.
  • Killeen ISD notified the Texas Commissioner of Education of their intent to become a District of Innovation on December 6, 2019.
  • The District Site Based Decision Making Committee held a public meeting and voted to approve the KISD District of Innovation proposed plan on January 8, 2020.
  • The Killeen ISD Board of Trustees approved the KISD District of Innovation Plan at a regularly scheduled board meeting on January 14, 2020.
  • The Approved District of Innovation plan was submitted to the Texas Commissioner of Education on January 17, 2020.

District of Innovation Advisory Committee Members

On November 12, 2019, the Board of Trustees appointed the following to serve as the District of
Innovation Advisory Committee:
Member Name Role
David Manley Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership
Dr. Nicole Koch Special Projects Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent
Dr. Russell Porterfield Career Center Principal
Cedric Menchion Financial Services
Audra Stanley Human Resources
Dagmar Harris Director for Secondary Curriculum
Mike Quinn Principal
Eli Lopez Principal
David Dominguez Principal
Wayne C. Moore Parent Liaison
Sarah Noteboom Counselor
Cioni Williams Teacher 
Almond Seals Teacher
Elizabeth Davenport Parent
Amy Triggs Teacher
Barton Jacques Teacher
Melanie L. Jones Teacher
Fred Harris Community Member
Maureen Montez Community Member
Mike Harper Attorney
Katy Bohannon Principal
Frank Crayton Interim Chief Human Resources Officer
 
Innovation Plan
The Killeen Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved the following District of Innovation Plan on January 14, 2020.


Teacher Certification
Exempt from TEC §21.003
Corresponding Board Policy: DK (Legal), DBA (Legal), DBA (Local)
Aligns to Board Goals 1, 2, & 4

Current Requirements:
Texas Education Code Section 21.003 – A person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless a person holds an appropriate certification or permit issued as provided by TEC §21.003 Subchapter B.

Rationale for Innovation:
Teaching positions in Career and Technical Education often go unfilled due to the lack of certified applicants. Qualified professionals, with industry-based experience/education, often do not want to spend the additional time and money it takes to become a certified teacher. Specifically, it has been and/or potentially could be difficult to hire certified teachers in the area of law enforcement, health science, and trade and industrial education. The DOI Advisory Committee has determined that an exemption from TEC §21.003, for Career and Technical Education professionals only, would allow the district to hire non-certified professionals for hard to fill vacancies.

Proposal:
The district is seeking exemption from TEC §21.003, for the flexibility to hire non-certified Career and Technical Education candidates with an associate degree and/or the appropriate work-related professional certification in the particular course of study for the job in which they are applying. Potential applicants will be required to meet current qualifications as required for
entry into teacher certification programs according to the Educator Preparation Program, Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) Secondary Career and Technical Certification, including wage-earning experience. However, qualified candidates would not be required to complete a certification program. In addition, Killeen ISD requests not to submit the application for a School District Teaching permit for any candidate who is qualified under this innovation plan. Records will be maintained in the District to confirm that qualifications are met, but no paperwork will be submitted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).


First Day of Instruction
Exempt from TEC §25.0811
Corresponding Board Policy: EB (Legal), EB (Local)
Aligns to Board Goals 1, 2, & 4

Current Requirements:
Texas Education Code Section 25.0811 - A school district is prohibited from beginning instruction prior to the fourth Monday in August.

Rationale for Innovation:
The KISD DOI Advisory Committee has determined that a school calendar starting prior to the fourth Monday in August provides greater learning opportunities for students and teachers. Flexibility in the school calendar will afford the District the ability to deliver professional development sessions throughout the school year, as opposed to the first two weeks teachers are
back on contact. An addition benefit to the district is the ability to balance grading periods for more equity in instruction between the first and second semester. An increased number of days in the fall will also create a more natural break between the semesters. In addition, as recommended by the Gibson Academic Program Management audit, starting instruction before the fourth Monday in August would provide leadership the opportunity to hold individual data meetings with teachers to discuss student progress and plan action steps to increase student achievement.

Proposal:
The district is seeking exemption from TEC §25.0811 for the flexibility to begin instruction prior to the fourth Monday in August, which will prevent loss of instructional time and provide more days for teachers to plan and prepare instruction during the school year. Adjustments to the first day of school will also allow the district to strategically embed professional learning days during the year.


Absences for College, University, or Military Visits
Exempt from TEC § 25.087 (b-2)
Corresponding Board Policy: FEA (Legal), FEA (Local)
Aligns to Board Goals 1, 3, & 4

Current Requirements:
Texas Education Code Section 25.087 (b-2) - A school district may excuse a student from attending school to visit an institution of higher education accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization during the student's junior and senior years of high school for the purpose of determining the student's interest in attending the institution of higher education, provided that: (1) the district may not excuse for this purpose more than two days during the student's junior year and two days during the student's senior year.

Rationale for Innovation:
The KISD DOI Advisory Committee has determined that increasing the number of days a junior and/or senior are excused from school for the purpose of college, university, and/or military visits would increase the College, Career, and/or Military readiness rate for the district. In addition, the flexibility of an additional day would provide students additional travel time for long-distance/out of state visits.

Proposal:
The district is seeking exemption from TEC § 25.087 (b-2) for the flexibility to allow up to three (3) days for college, university, and/or military visits during the student's junior year and three (3) days during the student's senior year, with administrator approval. The district, however, is not seeking exemption from adopting a policy under 25.087 (b-2) (2) (A) to determine when an absence will be excused for the purpose of college, university, and or military visits. Nor is the district seeking exemption from creating a procedure to verify the student’s visit at the institution of higher education under 25.087 (b-2) (2) (B).


Term

As outlined by the Texas Education Agency, the term of the Innovation Plan is five years. The Plan would commence August 4, 2020 and conclude August 4, 2025, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the law. The DOI Advisory Committee will continually monitor the effectiveness of the Plan and recommend any
modification to the Board of Trustees.


Adoption of Innovation Plan

Killeen ISD has met all of the requirements outlined by the TEA and the Commissioner of Education to receive the designation as a District of Innovation. The Plan is designed to create more flexible parameters in which the District will operate. Adjustments to Board Policy will be researched and adopted where applicable.