Jourdanton District of Innovation Plan

Approved April 24, 2017

During the 84th Legislative Session, HB 1842 was passed in order to provide more local control in certain areas. HB 1842 allows a traditional public school to utilize the exemptions in Education Law that charter schools currently utilize. We feel this is a great opportunity for our local district to create a plan based on the needs of our students and community that will remain in effect for the next five years (2017-2022).

Jourdanton ISD took the first step in exploring this opportunity when the JISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution initiating the process in February 2017. The Board then held a public hearing to consider whether the district should develop an innovation plan, at which time the Board decided to move forward in the process. A committee was appointed to develop an innovation plan. The committee created a district of innovation plan. The plan then will be posted on-line for at least 30 days.

The Jourdanton ISD Innovation Plan was adopted April 24, 2017. The term for this plan is for five years unless amended or terminated earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with Texas Law. In the event Jourdanton ISD feels other exemptions would benefit the district, community, and/or students, the Board of Trustees will follow procedures to amend the plan.

District of Innovation Committee Members:

  • Audra Locke – Parent
  • Monique Martinez – Parent
  • Joe Garmon –Teacher/Coach
  • Rachel Zarosky –Teacher
  • Justin Holland – Teacher/Coach
  • Kristen Stofa – Teacher
  • Martha Gonzales – Teacher
  • Missy Korus -Counselor
  • Robert Rutkowski – Principal
  • Keith Chapman - Principal
  • Theresa McAllister-Superintendent
  • Pepper Jo Bauerle- Executive Director of Support Services

District of Innovation Timeline:

February 15, 2017- Board of Trustees approve resolution to develop innovation plan

February 27, 2017 – Board of Trustees hold a public hearing in accordance with the statute/ Board of Trustee give guidance to the Superintendent of whom they would like on the committee.

February 28, 2017 – March 10, 2017-- District of Innovation Committee will meet to construct plan.

March 20, 2017 -- Draft to the Board of Trustee for review

March 21, 2017—Post proposed plan on the district’s website for a minimum of 30 days for all to review. Superintendent notifies the Texas Commissioner of Education of the intention to vote on adoption of proposed plan.

April 24, 2017—District of Innovation committee presents plan in a public hearing. Board of trustees vote to formally approve the innovation plan.

April 25, 2017-- Superintendent gives formal notification to the Texas Commissioner of Education if/when plan is adopted.

  1. School Start Date:

Current Law:

Sec. 25.0811. FIRST DAY OF INSTRUCTION. (a) Except as provided by this section, a school district may not begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August.

Innovation Strategy: The current process does not allow flexibility for our school district and what is the best fit for our students, school, and community. With this flexibility of an earlier start date it allows the district to determine locally, on an annual basis, what best meets the needs of our district. Jourdanton ISD would have the ability to create a calendar that could start earlier than the fourth Monday of August but not before the second Monday of August.

  1. Probationary Contracts:

Current Law:

Sec. 21.102. PROBATIONARY CONTRACT. (b), a person who is employed as a teacher by a school district for the first time.

(b) A probationary contract may not be for a term exceeding one school year. The probationary contract may be renewed for two additional one-year periods, for a maximum permissible probationary contract period of three school years, except that the probationary period may not exceed one year for a person who has been employed as a teacher in public education for at least five of the eight years preceding employment by the district.

Innovation Strategy: Currently Jourdanton ISD issues a one year probationary contract to experienced teachers, new to the district with five of the last eight years employed in public education. Jourdanton ISD will issue a two year probationary contract to experienced teachers, new to the district with five of the last eight years employed in public education, which would allow Jourdanton ISD to determine locally what best meets the needs of our district.

  1. CTE Teacher Certification

Current Law:

Sec. 21.003. CERTIFICATION REQUIRED. (a) A person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B.

Innovation Strategy:

The current state teacher certification requirements could potentially inhibit the District's ability to hire teachers to teach specialized Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. In order to enable more students to obtain the educational benefit of specialized CTE course offerings, the District will establish its own local qualification requirements and its own requirements for training of professionals and experts to teach such courses in lieu of the certification requirements set forth in law. A list of these course is available upon request.

Qualification Requirements:

Industry certified in content area; or a teacher certified at appropriate grade span with at least two years teaching experience.