District of Innovation
Alvarado ISD first became a District of Innovation recognized by the Texas Education Agency in August 2017. During the 2016-17 school year, the District assembled a committee composed of teachers, parents, administrators and community members to develop Alvarado ISD’s Plan for Innovation. Alvarado ISD’s Board of Trustees approved this original Plan in April 2017.
Under state law, a District of Innovation plan can be in effect for five years; the Alvarado ISD Plan for Innovation expired at the end of the 2021-22 school year.
At its January 2022 public meeting, the District Site Based Committee reviewed the proposed plan and approved it by a majority vote of the committee members. At its March 24, 2022 meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Alvarado ISD Plan for Innovation for 2022-2027.
Alvarado ISD's District of Innovation posted online on February 14, 2022 and adopted by the Board of Trustees on March 24, 2022.
Alvarado ISD pursued the designation due to the following benefits:
- Flexibility: Districts will have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from certain mandates including the uniform school start date and required minutes of instruction.
- Local control: Districts decide which flexibilities best suit their local needs.
- Autonomy: Districts must submit a district of innovation plan to the commissioner of education, but approval is not required.
After numerous discussions, the DOI committee identified the following exemptions on which to focus:
- determine a flexible school start date
- maintain reasonable class sizes in grades K-4 of 22:1 or less, except in rare and extenuating circumstances
- allow the district the option to issue probationary contract for a period of up to two years
- allow the district to abstain from the state requirement that each school have a designated campus behavior coordinator
- allow unique alternatives to educator certification for distinctive courses or needs
- allow for the district's banking contract to be extended beyond the allowable contract term
- will not require the district to maintain a record of each verbal warning of potential removal from district property/facilities
- exempted from future Texas Education Code mandates
- revocation of out of district transfers
Any questions, concerns or comments can be sent to Renee Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org.