Eula Independent School District

Local Innovation Plan

The 84th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1842 which allows public school districts to declare exemptions from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code by becoming a designated District of Innovation.

TIMELINE Process for designating Eula ISD as an Innovated District

November 14, 2016

Eula ISD Board of Trustees discusses rules and process for becoming an Innovation District.

November 14, 2016

Board votes to adopt Resolution to initiate consideration for becoming designated as an Innovation District.

November 16, 2016

Secondary Innovation Team meets to consider the district as a Designated Innovated School.

November 17, 2016

Elementary Innovation Team meets to consider questions about the district becoming a Designated Innovated School.

December 12, 2016

A Public meeting was held to discuss and consider Eula ISD as a designated Innovation District.

December 12, 2016

District hosted a 1:45 PM Public Meeting to consider Eula ISD pursuing a Designated School of Innovation.

December 12, 2016

Eula ISD Board selected the District Innovation Committee, the current Eula ISD District Leadership Team, to develop the local innovation plan.

December 14, 2016- January 2017

District Innovation Committee meets to finalize Innovation plan.

District Innovation Plan posted for 30 days on Eula ISD website starting in December 14.

January 4, 2017

DIC meets to consider any changes and vote with a 2/3 vote to finalize & approve the Eula District Innovation Plan and present it in a Public Hearing and Board recommend passage by the board of Trustees after presentation.

January 16, 2017

District Innovation Committee hosts public meeting to consider final version of Eula ISD Innovation Plan; DIC presents the proposed District Innovation Plan to Board of Trustees. The board approved the plan with a unanimous vote; and the Board voted to notify Commissioner on the adoption of the Eula ISD District of Innovation plan.

January 2017

District sends notification of Innovation Plans to Commissioner of Education for approval.

District Innovation Committee (DIC)

Tammy Ivy Parent Jay Odom, Parent Mary Mosley Community Member

Brad Gray Community Member

Gerald Price Business Member

Shae Sanford Junior High Teacher

Jessica Farmer Elementary Teacher

Angela Roberson Elementary Teacher

Katey Fostel Elementary Counselor

Ann Clark Special Programs

Angela Conway High School Teacher

Toby Christian High School Teacher

Jayton Thompson High School Teacher

Tammie Nickell Elementary Teacher

Local Innovation Committee (LIC)

Melanie Walker Elementary Teacher (C) Lori Oglesby High School Teacher (C)

Kortni Collins School Counselor

Cody Bob Williams Elementary Principal

Candilyn Smith High School Principal

Tim Kelley Eula ISD Superintendent

Josh Fostel Business Manager/AD

David Turner Technology Director

Eula ISD Board of Trustees

Bill Dean, President Tandi Riley Vice-President Marilyn Cole Secretary

Joe Baze Member

Darrell Conway Member Brent Gray Member Hoss Sasin Member

TEA Exemptions Process

Texas Education Code Exemptions

District Innovation Committee in conjunction with the Local Innovation Committee reviewed the subchapters of the Texas Education Code to determine which permissible exemptions currently inhibit the district from maximizing the educational opportunities of the students who attend Eula ISD.

I.Uniform Start Date (TEC §25.0811)

State law currently prohibits school districts from starting class before the fourth Monday in August, unless they are year-round districts.

Rationale for Exemption
The flexibility of the start date allows the district to determine locally, on an annual basis, what best meets the need of the students, the school, and the community. In addition, this flexibility allows the district to better align its starting date to accommodate the start date of colleges in which the district uses for dual credit courses. Another benefit of exempting this restriction is it allows the school to look at starting classes as a short week which can ease the transition for students entering kindergarten, middle school, and high school. Additionally, the ability to change the school start date can also help to better balance the number of instructional days in each semester.

  1. Length of School Day (TEC §25.081)

State law currently requires that all school days must be 420 minutes long each day in order to count for ADA calculations, funding purposes, and to accumulate instructional minutes towards the 75,600 minutes required annually.

Rationale for Exemption
Exemption from the 420-minute day requirement would allow Eula ISD the flexibility needed to alter the school day schedule on selected days, whenever locally determined necessary or beneficial to the district and its stakeholders. While there is a waiver process available to request exemption from this requirement, the waiver is limited to a 6-day maximum number for the school year.

Exempting completely from the 420-minute requirement would give the district a significant amount of local control over scheduling (above and beyond the 6-day maximum as needed) without the fear of diminishing state funding or losing credit for instructional time that might cause the district to fall out of compliance with annual minute requirements. This would allow the district the flexibility to schedule non-instructional days into the schedule to allow for our teachers to analyze student data and engage in targeted, relevant professional development.

Eula ISD does not have any intentions to shorten the school day on a regular basis, or without specific purpose. To the greatest extent possible, “early release” days would be planned ahead of time and noted in the district calendar, which is approved by the Board of Trustees, published, and distributed to stakeholders in advance of the school year and continuously published using school media. We will also follow the state minimum of minutes required for funding for the year.

  1. Teacher Certification (TEC §21.003, §21.044, §21.053 and §21.057)

State law maintains that a person may not be employed as a teacher by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued by the appropriate state agency. In the event a district cannot locate a certified teacher for a position or a teacher is teaching a subject outside of their certification, the district must request emergency certification from the Texas Education Agency and/or State Board of Educator Certification.

Rationale for Exemption

The district will maintain its current expectations for employee certification and will make every attempt to hire individuals with appropriate certifications for the position in question. However, when that is not reasonably possible, Eula ISD would like the ability to make decisions locally regarding teacher certifications.

a.The district may allow a certified teacher to teach subject(s) out of their certified field if the certified teacher possesses credentials that would qualify the individual to teach the subject(s).

b.The district will have the flexibility to hire individuals with experience and who are knowledgeable in a CTE field and/or hold an industrial certification to teach a vocational skill or course through a local teaching certificate.

c.The district will also have the flexibility to hire individuals who are native speakers with qualified experience to teach a bilingual education course or languages other than English through a local teaching certification.

d.Noncertified individuals hired by the district to teach courses in a core subject, such as mathematics, English, history, or science, will be placed on a local plan outlining and monitoring progress toward completion of a teacher certification in the assigned teaching area or field.

e.Additionally, Eula ISD will notify parents if a locally certified teacher is employed for their child's class. This process will allow more flexibility in our scheduling, and provide more options for our students in class offerings leading to industry recognized certifications.

  1. Class Sizes and Student-Teacher Ratios (TEC §25.111, §25.112, §25.113, and §25.114)

State law requires districts to maintain an average student-teacher ratio at most of 20 to 1 for average daily attendance. For physical education, the student-teacher ratio cannot be greater than 45 to 1. In Kindergarten through grade fourth the class student-teacher ratio must not exceed 22 to 1.

Rationale for Exemption
Small class sizes play a positive role in the classroom, it must be balanced with the logistics of the timing of adding staff, and the best teacher to student ratio that can be achieved given the total number of students. While it is often cited that smaller class sizes improve academic performance, the decision for what size is the appropriate size should be a local decision. Many times it is not the number of the students but the makeup and chemistry of the classroom which influence the learning environment. Most importantly, research clearly shows it is the teacher in the classroom that has the greatest impact on student learning, not absolute class size.

While Eula ISD will continue to strive for a class ratio of 22:1 or less, the district will determine locally the adequate teacher/student ratio.

  • V.Contract Service Days (TEC §21.401)
    State law currently requires educators employed on a 10-month contract to provide a minimum of 187 days of service.

  • Rationale for Exemption
    With the passage of §25.081 which changed the required days of instruction to minutes the law did not address contract days for 10-month contract employees. The determination of how many days are required to fulfill an employee's contract should be a local decision. Determination by the district to reduce the number of teacher contract days from 187 days of service will have no effect on teacher salaries.

Term and Implementation

The term for this plan begins on August 1, 2017 and is for five years unless terminated or amended by the Board of Trustees in accordance with Texas law. In the event Eula ISD feels other exemptions would benefit the district, the Board of Trustees will nominate a new committee and follow all procedures for amending this plan.

This innovation plan and specific implementation of the plan will be developed by the appropriate campuses and principals. Adjustments to Eula ISD Board Policy and other district policies will be researched, reviewed, and adopted by the Board of Trustees.