If approved, how long would the District of Innovation plan remain in place?
The plans are valid for five years from the date of adoption. Following adoption, the plans may ONLY be amended or changed by the same process required to create the original plans. After five years, all sections of the plans must be reviewed and the original adoption process followed to renew them.
What is the role of the District of Innovation committee?
Currently, Superintendent Poncho Garcia has only authorized the committee to review and recommend whether the district should have the option to start the school prior to the fourth Monday in August and whether the district should have flexibility in hiring hard-to-fill Dual Credit, Fine Arts, Career and Technical Education (CTE)/ STEM teacher positions. No other changes are up for consideration at this time.
Why does school always start in late August?
Currently, The Texas Education Code says that districts cannot begin classes before the fourth Monday in August. For the 2017-2018 school year, that date would be August 28, 2017. If the Board of Trustees approves the District of Innovation plan, Fabens ISD would have the flexibility to begin classes earlier. The Fabens Local Innovation Plan addresses the benefits of this exemption.
Why does Fabens ISD want certification flexibility when it comes to hiring certain teachers?
We are seeking flexibility to employ teachers without certification ONLY in areas associated with Dual Credit, Fine Arts, Career and Technical Education and STEM courses. This will allow us to expand course offerings to provide our students more opportunities in their areas of interest. Exemption from teacher certification rules would allow us the flexibility to hire credentialed college professors and teachers with field and career experience relevant to technical fields.
Will teachers hired under the certification exemption be held to the same standards as certified staff?
Yes. All teachers will receive high quality staff development and will be evaluated for effective instruction.
When will the Fabens ISD Board of Trustees consider adopting the District of Innovation plan?
The plan will be presented to the District Improvement Team at their meeting scheduled for April 25, 2017. This will be a public meeting.
Fabens ISD’s plan for innovation will then be formally considered by our Board of Trustees on May 17, 2017.
How will a District of Innovation designation impact employee contracts or pay in FISD?
There is no provision in the exemptions under consideration by the Local Innovation Committee that would impact or change current employee contracts or pay. This is not something that FISD would be willing to compromise on or consider.
Once FISD becomes a District of Innovation can additional exemptions just be added?
FISD may only access those exemptions included in the Local Innovation Plan. Upon becoming a District of Innovation, a district can amend their plan, but must follow the same transparent process as required for original approval which includes: committee recommendation, posting of amended plan for 30 days, District Improvement Team approval, and 2/3 approval vote of the Board of Trustees.