The Leander ISD Board of Trustees adopted the proposed plan to become a District of Innovation for the sole purpose of allowing LISD flexibility with the school year calendar at the Feb. 15, 2018 Board meeting.
The plan was developed by teachers and instructional staff from throughout LISD, along with parents, students and community representatives.
For future consideration of the district’s Innovation Plan, LISD’s intent will always be to follow the same process as the adoption for District of Innovation. The LISD Board demonstrated that intent through the motion from the Dec. 7 meeting directing the innovation committee and the language in the innovation plan. In approving District of Innovation, they also included language in the motion to further state their intent to follow the same process.
Innovation Plan Process
District of Innovation History
The 84th Legislative Session passed House Bill 1842 amending Chapter 12 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) by adding Chapter 12A entitled “Districts of Innovation”. Districts of Innovation (DOI) provided traditional school systems flexibilities from some specific mandates, thus expanding opportunities for local control.
LISD Innovation Committee
The Leander Independent School District Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to study the Districts of Innovation process on November 16, 2017. On December 7, 2017 the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a motion to form an Innovation Committee from the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DWEIC). In the same motion, the Board of Trustees outlined the parameters for the Innovation Committee, specifying that the only flexibility the district will seek is the start date of the academic school year. Currently, per TEC 25.0811, a district may not start instruction prior to the fourth Monday in August.
The Innovation Committee was formed on December 12, 2017 and is comprised of the Chief of Staff and fourteen members of the Districtwide Education Improvement Council (DWEIC). The fourteen members from DWEIC were randomly selected from volunteers to fill seven staff vacancies and seven parent/community member vacancies.
LISD Innovation Committee Members
- Matt Smith, Chief of Staff
- Angela Haas, Wiley Middle School
- Jessy Hanshaw, Running Brushy Middle School
- Monette McIver, Community Representative
- David Morgan, Parent Representative
- Amber Patrick, Reagan Elementary
- Catherine Robinson, Steiner Ranch Elementary
- Amber Ryder, Parent Representative
- Chris Simpson, Leander High School
- John Tomaszewski, Parent Representative
- Susan Whisenant, Parent Representative
- James Williams, Community Representative
- Amanda Willim, Reed Elementary
- Sylvia Wood, Rouse High School
- Mei Xu, Parent Representative
LISD District of Innovation Timeline
- Nov. 16, 2017 – The LISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution to initiate the Districts of Innovation process in LISD.
- Dec. 7, 2017 – The Board of Trustees held a public hearing on Districts of Innovation and directed an Innovation Committee to study and develop a LISD Innovation Plan.
- Dec. 12, 2017 – The Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DWEIC) convened to hold a random drawing from the DWEIC volunteers for seven LISD staff representatives and seven Non-LISD staff representatives to serve with the LISD Chief of Staff on the Innovation Committee.
- Dec. 18, 2017 – Two additional volunteers from the DWEIC parent/community group were selected through a random drawing to fill the final open positions on the Innovation Committee.
- Dec. 19, 2017 – The Innovation Committee met to study and craft a LISD Innovation Plan based on the Board of Trustee parameters.
- Jan. 9, 2018 – The Innovation Committee met a second time to continue the development of a LISD Innovation Plan.
- Jan. 11, 2018 – The LISD Innovation Plan was presented to the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DWEIC).
- Jan. 12, 2018 – The Innovation Plan is posted on the LISD website
- Feb. 8, 2018 – A Public Meeting was held on the Innovation Plan.
- Feb. 12, 2018 – The Commissioner of Education was notified of LISD’s intent to vote on the adoption of the Innovation Plan.
- Feb. 15, 2018 – Board of Trustees voted on the adoption of the Innovation Plan.