District of Innovation Plan Moves Forward

Laura Nicolescu, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Frisco ISD is one step closer to becoming a District of Innovation after trustees at Monday’s school board meeting voted to notify the Commissioner of Education of their intent to vote on the Local Innovation Plan at the Feb. 13 board meeting.

The concept was created by the 84th Legislature in 2015 and allows school districts to access many of the same options that are currently available to charter schools. It would give FISD more flexibility with regard to school start date, designation of campus behavior coordinator and minutes of instruction at the Pre-K level. A public hearing on the proposed plan was held at the Jan. 5 board meeting.

The school board also considered a resolution urging the Texas Legislature to repeal a new state accountability system that utilizes A through F grades to rank schools and districts. The decision was made to table the item to allow time for further discussion.

The ratings, which rely heavily on student performance on STAAR, but also weigh attendance, graduation and dropout rates, are set to be used for the first time in August 2018, but the state released preliminary work-in-progress grades for each of the five domains earlier this month, noting models are likely to change before the system is implemented.

In addition, the board also heard an update on the priorities-based budget process and efforts to work with staff and community members to develop cost-savings strategies for the district moving forward. FISD intends to present the proposed 2017-18 budget in May for adoption in June.