District of Innovation
Red Oak ISD is a District of Innovation, a designation that grants flexibility to Texas school districts, allowing them to pursue local initiatives.
Every decision is made with our students in mind. Being a District of Innovation allows us to fully support student learning. With a goal of preparing students to be successful in the world in which they will enter upon graduation, Red Oak ISD has made major changes to our classroom environment and all components of our program, including our staff development training, hiring practices, and our instructional delivery.
Greater flexibility empowers us to take actions that support classroom instruction. Thanks to its designation as a District of Innovation, Red Oak ISD is taking the following action steps:
- Hire the best instructors in hard-to-fill areas: Red Oak ISD may now hire dual credit professors (from an accredited university) or industry experts to teach Career and Technology Education courses if certified teachers are not available. We recently hired industry professionals to teach graphic design and manufacturing. We are also partnering with Texas State Technical College to provide dual credit welding classes for our students.
- Provide enrichment and academic support camps for students: A calendar exemption allows the district to add time for student enrichment and intervention. Students will be able to add variety and enrichment to their learning by taking classes ranging from SAT prep classes to fine arts activities and intervention sessions.
- Block out time for parent-teacher conferences: Calendar flexibility allows us to devote two half-days (the evening of Nov. 16 and the morning of Nov. 17) to parent-teacher conferences. Nov. 16 is a regular school day, and Nov. 17 is a student holiday.
- End school before Memorial Day: Although Red Oak is not currently requesting a change to the requirements for start or end dates, it is able to design its calendar so that school ends before Memorial Day. Texas Education Code currently requires 75,600 minutes of instruction per school year, and Red Oak ISD is exceeding that requirement. However, to offer future flexibility regarding start date, the district thought it would be wise to include such a request in its District of Innovation plan, which is in effect through the 2020-2021 school year.
- Extend teacher probationary contracts to two years: This gives instructional leaders additional time up to two years to evaluate teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom, regardless of service record. This permits us the option of providing an additional year on a probationary contract so that we have more information regarding performance before moving the teacher to term contract. We plan to consider this option on a case by case basis this spring when looking at contract renewals.
In May 2016, the ROISD School Board passed a resolution allowing the district to explore becoming a District of Innovation. The designation as District of Innovation allows Texas public school districts more flexibility and local control.
What is a District of Innovation?
A District of Innovation is a designation that allows Texas public school districts more flexibility and local control. The designation is made possible through legislation (House Bill 1842, Texas Education Code Chapter 12A) by the Texas Legislature in 2015.
The Process that Red Oak ISD Followed
- School Board Trustees passed a District of Innovation Resolution and held a public forum on May 16 that allowed the district to move forward with the design of the program.
- The District Advisory Committee (DAC), which is made up of parents, community members, business representatives, teachers and administrators, discussed the District of Innovation at its May 19 meeting. The group voted to support the effort.
- Public meetings were held June 21 and June 23.
- A draft of the District of Innovation Plan was posted for public review.
- The School Board unanimously approved the plan at the July board meeting. The District has completed all steps to be a District of Innovation.
Links to State Resources that Further Explain the Law and the Process:
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