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District of Innovation

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District of Innovation

February 14, 2016

                           District of Innovation

Dimmitt ISD Local Innovation Plan

April 1, 2017 through April 1, 2022

School Board Approval

March 27th, 2017 

  1. Introduction

During the 84th Legislative Session, HB 1842 passed which allows Texas public schools to become Districts of Innovation. As such, districts are able to gain local control of certain operations currently under the control of the Texas Education Agency and become exempt from certain sections of the Texas Education Code that inhibit the goals of the district as outlined in the locally adopted Innovation Plan. Dimmitt ISD is seeking the District of Innovation status to increase the District’s flexibility in order to improve educational outcomes for the benefit of students and the community.

  1. Term

The term of the plan is for five years, beginning April 1, 2017 and ending April 1, 2022, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with HB 1842.  The Committee will continually monitor the effectiveness of the Plan and recommend to the Board any suggested modifications to the Plan.   Any future amendments will adhere to the same term of the original plan.

  1. District of Innovation Committee Members

Jill Millican, Assistant Superintendent

Patrice Hill, Director of Special Education

Christine Arnold, DHS Assistant Principal      

Jason Hamlin, DMS Assistant Principal

Johnny Dopp, RES Assistant Principal

Jackie Odom, DHS Teacher

Laci Vogel, DHS Teacher       

Angela Larkin, RES Teacher

Tanya Moroney, DMS Teacher           

Mandi Chavira, RES Teacher                          

Shamarie Schumacher, DMS Teacher


  1. District of Innovation Timeline

Board approval of Resolution                                      November 14, 2016

Public Hearing                                                             December 12, 2016

BOE approval of Committee Members                                    December 12, 2016

DEIC passes plan by 2/3 majority vote                                    February 9, 2017

Public meeting                                                             February 9, 2017

School board notifies Commissioner of intent to vote             February 13, 2017

Plan posted online                                                       February 14, 2017

School Board Votes to approve plan                           Approved March 27, 2017


5. Innovations

  1. School start / end date (TEC §25.0811a) (TEC §25.0812) (EB Legal)

Texas Education Code Section 25.0811 states that a school may not begin instruction before the fourth Monday in August. Texas Education Code Section 25.0812 states that a school district may not schedule the last day of school before May 15. Local control of the instructional calendar offers the District the following advantages:

  • Alignment of calendar with dual credit and AP courses
  • Creates balanced days of instruction for each semester
  • Moves more instructional days prior to state mandated assessment dates


  1. Certifications Required (TEC §21.003) (DK Legal )

Texas Education Code Section 21.003a states that 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. Flexibility to establish local certification requirements has the following advantages:

  • Allows for flexibility in hiring professionals transitioning from industry to teaching
  • Increases possibility of course offerings, particularly in CTE and STEM
  • Allows for increased scheduling flexibility


  1. Teacher Contract Days (TEC §21.401) (DCB Legal)

Texas Education Code Section 21.401 states that a contract between a school district and an educator must be for a minimum of 10 months' service.  An educator employed under a 10-month contract must provide a minimum of 187 days of service. Local control to reduce teacher contract days provides the following advantages:

  • Increase daily rate paid to teachers
  • Improve recruitment potential of teachers from surrounding areas

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