District of Innovation & Local Control
Eanes ISD first became a District of Innovation recognized by the Texas Education Agency in December 2016. During the 2016-17 school year, the District assembled a committee composed of teachers, parents, administrators and community members to develop Eanes ISD’s Plan for Innovation and Local Control. Eanes ISD’s Board of Trustees approved this original Plan in December 2016. With assistance from the District Leadership Team, the Board of Trustees adopted amendments to the Plan in April 2020.
Under state law, a District of Innovation plan can be in effect for five years; the Eanes ISD Plan for Innovation and Local Control expired in the 2021-22 school year.
At its March 10, 2022 public meeting, the District Leadership Team reviewed the proposed plan and approved it by a majority vote of the committee members. At the April 12, 2022 Special Meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Eanes ISD Plan for Innovation and Local Control for 2022-2027.
Eanes ISD District of Innovation Plan, Posted online on March 11, 2022 and Adopted by the Board of Trustees on April 12, 2022.
The District Leadership Team (DLT) in consultation with the administration proposed amendments to Eanes ISD's Plan for Innovation and Local Control, which was first adopted in 2016. The amendments were developed, discussed and unanimously recommended by the DLT. The amendments apply additional innovative governance guidelines to the unique, local and instructional needs of Eanes ISD students and community. In accordance with Texas Administrative Code Rule §102.1307, a timeline was followed for consideration and adoption of these amendments:
Feb. 25, 2020 – Board of Trustees passed a resolution to notify TEA of intent to amend plan
Feb. 28 , 2020– Amended plan was posted on the district website for at least 30 days
March 2, 2020 – DLT held public meeting to unanimously recommend the amendments
March 10, 2020 – Board reviewed the amended plan as approved and recommended by the DLT
March 31, 2020 – Board of Trustees unanimously adopted the amended plan
April 1, 2020 – TEA was notified and the amendments went into effect
Eanes ISD pursued the designation due to the following benefits:
- Flexibility: Districts will have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from certain mandates including the uniform school start date and required minutes of instruction.
- Local control: Districts decide which flexibilities best suit their local needs.
- Autonomy: Districts must submit a district of innovation plan to the commissioner of education, but approval is not required.
After numerous discussions, the DOI committee identified the following exemptions on which to focus:
- maintain reasonable class sizes in grades K-4 of 22:1 or less, except in rare and extenuating circumstances
- determine a flexible school start date
- allow unique alternatives to educator certification for distinctive courses or needs
- adjust instructional minutes and school-day length
- implement a local teacher and administrator appraisal system
The calendar, which was part of the discussion of flexible start dates, was also approved for the 2017-18 school year.