HB 1842 provides FISD with the opportunity to design a strategic plan
according to the needs and resources of our district while maximizing local control.


The District of Innovation concept was passed into law by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842, which created Texas Education Code chapter 12A. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in Chapter 12A and their most recent academic performance rating must be at least acceptable.

A local school district may want to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction, governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgeting or other ideas. An innovation plan also allows a school district to gain exemption from many Texas Education Code requirements. Essentially, innovation plans will be about local control. Community members should note that each innovation plan will be unique to the local school district and no two plans may look the same.

A District of Innovation may adopt a plan that includes exemptions from most of the same state laws that are not applicable to open enrollment school districts.
These laws could include:
• Site-based decision making processes (to the extent required by state law)
• Uniform school start date
• Minimum minutes of instruction
• Class size ratio
• The 90 percent attendance rule (but compulsory attendance still applies)
• Student discipline provisions (with some key exceptions, like the requirement to have a code of conduct and restrictions on restraint and seclusion)
• Teacher certification (except as required by federal law)
• Teacher contracts
• Teacher benefits, including state minimum salary schedule, duty-free lunch, and planning periods
• Teacher appraisal system

the Process
9/12/16 FISD Board to consider to Adopt a Resolution

10/10/16 Public Hearing
Board adopts a resolution to study becoming a District of Innovation and appoint a committee.

10/12/16 – 1st Committee Meeting

10/27/16 – 2nd Committee Meeting

11/9/16 – 3rd Committee Meeting

12/7/16 – 4th Committee Meeting

1/4/17 – 5th Committee Meeting

1/4/17 – DOI Proposed Plan

1/10/17 – Intent to adopt to Commissioner

1/19/17 – FEIC / DOI Public meeting

1/20/17 – Revised DOI Proposed Plan

2/13/17 – Present to Board for approval


What is the process for becoming a District of Innovation?
The steps include the Board passing a resolution to start the process; a public hearing is held at a Board meeting; The Board appoints a District of Innovation (DOI) Advisory Committee to develop an innovation plan; an innovation plan is developed and posted online for 30 days; the DOI Advisory Committee holds a public meeting and approves the plan by at least a two-thirds majority. The commissioner is notified of intent to adopt a plan. The School Board approves plan by a two-thirds majority vote. Notify commissioner that plan is adopted. Plan is in effect for up to 5 years.

Is there a financial impact to becoming a District of Innovation?
The designation does not change anything as it relates to state funding formulas. There may be a potential for savings if certain flexibilities are pursued.

Are the rules firmly established for the long term or could they potentially change over time?
Because this is a new concept, nothing is set in stone. There is no guarantee that districts that have already been designated would be grandfathered in any way if the rules change in the future.

Will the district have the ability to modify the plan?
The innovation plan is a “living” document that can be modified through a process much like the process used to create the original plan with a majority vote.

Could the state remove this designation?
Again, there is no guarantee that the rules would not change in the future and, if they do, no way to know how districts that already have completed the process would be affected. Each legislative session presents opportunities for bills impacting education to be introduced, which is how Districts of Innovations came about in the first place (HB 1842). Also, District of Innovation designation could be terminated if a district’s rating dropped to Academically Unacceptable (in two out of three years).

DOI Team

1. Trish Hanks
2. Thad Roher
3. Lynn Hobratschk

4. Diane Myers
5. Mark Griffon
6. Dana Drew
7. JT Patton
8. Barry Clifford
9. Kristen Moffitt
10. Nelda Guerra
11. Stacy Daugherty
12. Albert Cipolla
13. Andrea Niles
14. Annetta Dinjar
15. Barsa Harclerode
16. Delaney Lyon
17. Diane Jones
18. Donna Stokes
19. Emily Ford
20. Jann Davies


Deputy Superintendent 
Assistant Superintendent
Assistant Superintendent
Director of Testing
Assistant Principal
Assistant Principal
Assistant Principal



21. Jenny Wiest
22. Karen Hillier
23. Kim Cole
24. Kristen Westerfield
25. Kristi Carpenter
26. Kristin Hamon
27. Kristin James
28. Lauren Durso
29. Lauren Malone
30. Marinne Harner
31. Mary Beth Hillenburg
32. Mary Guynes
33. Nicholle Barcelo Sutton
34. Nicole Ferro
35. Shawna Lewis
36. Tammy Lewis
37. Tawni Slaughter
38. Connie Morgenroth
39. Leah Tunnell
40. Dayna Owen
41. Susan Kirkpatrick

Asssistant Principal
Human Resource Director
Director of Communication
STEM Director