Introduction:  House Bill 1842, passed during the 84th Texas Legislative Session provides public school districts the opportunity to seek designation as a District of Innovation to obtain exemption from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code.  On January 12th, 2017, the Board of Trustees, after a public hearing, adopted a resolution to initiate the process of designation as a District of Innovation.  That same evening they appointed our local District Improvement Committee to be the Local Innovation Committee appointed to draft the Princeton ISD local innovation plan.

    On February 6, 2017, the District Improvement Committee/Local Innovation Committee met for the purpose of educating the committee about HB 1842 and Districts of Innovation.  The committee discussed possible exemptions and decided which exemptions to pursue and include in the Local Innovation Plan for Princeton ISD.  On February 13, 2017, the committee met and based on direction provided by the Board and input from a public meeting of stakeholders, the Committee voted unanimously  to propose this plan to the Board of Trustees for final approval at the March 20, 2017, regular Board Meeting. Final approval by the Board came after the plan was posted on the District Website for no less than 30 days for further public input.

    Prerequisite:  A district must receive a “met standard” rating to be eligible to become a District of Innovation.  Princeton ISD meets this standard.

    Term:  The term of the District of Innovation Plan, as outlined by the Texas Education Agency, is five years; therefore, the plan commenced with the 2017-2018 academic year and will conclude at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees or the Commissioner of Education in accordance with the law.  The Local Innovation Team will continually monitor the effectiveness of the Plan and recommend to the Board any suggested modifications as needed.

    Mission Statement: The mission of Princeton Independent School District is to inspire and enable each student to achieve his or her full potential.

    District Goals:  

    • Provide child-centered campuses that encourage all students to experience success
    • Recruit, challenge, develop and retain qualified and productive staff that is supportive in all areas
    • Foster Community Involvement
    • Provide for the growth and ever-changing demographics of Princeton ISD

    It has been determined that the following requirements of the Texas Education Code currently inhibit the pursuit of the mission and goals of Princeton Independent School District in meeting the needs of students.

    First Day of Instruction

    Innovation Plan Exemption from TEC 25.0811 (a) Except as provided by this section, a school district may not begin student instruction before the 4th Monday of August. 

    Benefit of Exemption: To best serve the students of Princeton ISD, we propose to create a school calendar which serves the needs of our local community.  We propose moving the mandatory start date earlier than the fourth Monday in August.  Waiting to start classes until the fourth Monday in August forces semesters to be significantly unequal in length. Flexibility to begin instruction earlier in August will enable our district to better balance instruction time in each semester as well as making an effort to end our first semester prior to Winter Break.

    Teacher Certification for Career and Technical Education Instructors

    Innovation Plan Exemption from TEC 21.003 Certification Required.   (a)  A person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, education diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B.

    Benefit of Exemption:  While this exemption would be exercised in a limited way for specific situations, it would allow the District to recruit teachers from the field, including individuals from certain trades and/or vocations with industry knowledge and real world experience.  In addition, this would potentially allow us to offer more dual credit opportunities in CTE courses, and hire experienced community college instructors in these areas as well.

    Evaluation of Local Plan:  It is noted that through the annual review process, further innovations and exemptions may be needed to advance the work of the District in meeting the needs of students, and amendments may be necessary.  As other districts across the state pursue this process and implement plans through this provision for additional flexibilities and more local control, new ideas for innovation may emerge that have great applicability for PISD.  It is fully understood that the renewal process or amendment process must be in compliance with all sections of the adoption process.  The District also shall notify the Commissioner of any actions taken to amend, rescind, or renew the Plan along with the associated TEC exemption and local approval dates.  It is further understood the Board may convene the Local Innovation Plan Committee prior to the annual review process if deemed necessary.