RRISD Board approves District of Innovation plan, announces updates

The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees updated the District of Innovation (DOI) policy at its April 20, 2017 regular meeting.

The District worked with stakeholders, including teachers and representatives, to ensure the updated policy is in the best interest of students, teachers and the community.

The Board originally adopted the DOI policy at its October 2016 regular meeting, giving the District flexibility in the following areas:

  • Teacher Certification for Hard-to-Fill Areas,
  • First & Last Day of Instruction,
  • Minimum Attendance for Credit,
  • Class size limits for Kindergarten through Fourth Grade,
  • Kindergarten Start Age

Round Rock ISD’s DOI policy aligns with its Strategic Plan, adopted by the Board in May 2015. The DOI process started with a community led committee and the approval of the District Level Committee, which is comprised of principals, teachers, parents, and business leaders.

“Thank you to the District of Innovation committee, community stakeholders and the Round Rock ISD staff for working hard to complete this plan,” Board President Diane Cox said. “It is essential to listen to our community stakeholders and work together to ensure this plan is fit to serve all students, teachers, parents, and employees.”

House Bill 1842 allowed school districts to gain more local control through a community-based plan for Texas Education Code (TEC) exemptions, allowing for more flexibility to meet students’ needs. Districts go through a process that starts with its Board of Trustees adopting a resolution, a design team to initiate the recommendation process, a review by the District Level Committee, a final vote for approval by its Board, and submission to the state commissioner of education.

The DOI Plan allows more flexibility with respect to teacher certifications for positions that are difficult to fill. RRISD will be able to offer permits to individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree or industry certifications and/or who meet other high-level qualifications, but do not have their teacher certificate. in-demand positions, such as Career and Technical Education and dual language courses.

“We are proud to solidify our District of Innovation plan to the benefit of our community,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Flores said. “The District of Innovation plan will help Round Rock ISD move forward with the flexibility needed to create innovating programming to serve as the Destination District for Public Schools.”