Community members now have an opportunity to review a plan that could bring more flexibility to schools, allowing Round Rock ISD to meet students’ needs and align with its Strategic Plan.
Round Rock ISD’s District of Innovation (DOI) [roundrockisd.org/district-of-innovation/] design committee concluded their recommendation on September 12 for the District’s exemption from seven Texas Education Code (TEC) statutes including:
- teacher certifications for dual credit, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and foreign language courses;
- minimum minutes of instruction for unique scheduling and flexibility;
- minimum attendance for class credit to focus on content mastery versus seat time;
- calendar requirements for the first and last day of school;
- class size ratio requirements for grades K-4 to minimize classroom disruption;
- September 1 age deadline for five-year-olds entering kindergarten; and
- requirements for teacher mentors.
House Bill 1842 allowed school districts to gain more local control through a community-based plan for 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.
Round Rock ISD’s plan aligns with its community’s Strategic Plan, adopted by the Board in May 2015 [roundrockisd.org/strategicplan]. The committee gave Careful consideration to the selection of the exemptions contained in this plan.
In its recommendations, the DOI design team stipulated that changes in teacher qualification requirements will be limited to teachers of hard-to-fill courses in CTE, bilingual, and foreign language, as well as dual credit.
If the Board approves a DOI plan at the October 20, 2016, regular meeting, the administration will work with Trustees to set local policies and support changes. Districts review DOI plans on an annual basis.
The 30-day review will conclude with a meeting by the DLC, which is a representative group of staff, parents, and community members who meet to review District performance and make recommendations to the Board.