In a school district where students have developed a table which is currently being used by astronauts on the International Space Station and where elementary and high school students are currently awaiting patents on their science fair projects, it may seem unnecessary for a high performing school district like the Clear Creek Independent School District to seek state permission to be innovative but the state-designation will allow the school district further flexibility to meet student needs. “The designation will allow us some leeway on some state laws that frankly have inhibited our ability to set a calendar that meets our community’s needs, give teachers the time and professional learning to maximize student instruction, and really take this notion that learning can happen any time, any place and at any pace,” said Greg Smith, Superintendent of Schools.
On Monday, September 26, 2016, the Clear Creek Independent School District held a public hearing to discuss the district’s process of declaring their eligibility to become a district of innovation. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board voted to pursue the designation as a District of Innovation and appoint a committee to develop a plan. The plan will be presented in November.
The District of Innovation concept was passed into law by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842. The law allows traditional independent school districts to access most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan.
CCISD would join a growing list of Texas public school districts that have sought this designation. The school board has adopted a resolution which outlines parameters for a committee to work within including the assertion that the school district will uphold all laws and policies related to teacher contracts.