• District of Innovation - Renewal for 2022-2027


    Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD is proposing renewing our District of Innovation Plan. Based on our past plan and feedback from our District Planning and Advisory Committee, EMS ISD will present to the Board of Trustees an Intent to Adopt a District of Innovation Renewal Plan. The term of the Plan is for five years, beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2027, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the law. Please direct any questions or suggestions to Dr. Dana Barnes at dbarnes@ems-isd.net.

    If, within the term of this Plan, other areas of operations are to be considered for flexibility as part of HB 1842, the Board will appoint a committee to consider and propose additional exemptions in the form of an amendment. Any amendment adopted by the Board will adhere to the same term as the original plan.

    The District of Innovation Renewal is:

    I. Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD District of Innovation Introduction

    House Bill (HB) 1842, passed during the 84th Legislative Session, permits Texas public schools to become Districts of Innovation and to obtain exemption from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code. On November 15, 2021, the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District’s Board of Trustees (“Board”) passed a Resolution to Adopt a District of Innovation Plan to increase local control over District operations and to support innovation and local initiatives. The adoption of this plan seeks to increase the District’s flexibility in order to improve educational outcomes for the benefit of students and the community. On January 24, 2022, the Board held a public hearing and appointed the District Planning and Advisory Committee to be the District of Innovation Planning Committee (“Committee”). The Committee met on September 29, 2021 and October 27, 2021 to discuss and draft the Local Innovation Plan (“Plan”).

    II. TERM

    The term of the Plan is for five years, beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2027, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the law. If, within the term of this Plan, other areas of operations are to be considered for flexibility as part of HB 1842, the Board will appoint a committee to consider and propose additional exemptions in the form of an amendment. Any amendment adopted by the Board will adhere to the same term as the original plan.

    III. CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT

    The Local Innovation Plan is guided by and aligned with Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Mission, Beliefs, and ASPIRE 2025 Strategic Plan.

    Mission
    The mission of Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District is to foster a culture of excellence that instills a passion for a lifetime of continuous achievement in every student.

    Beliefs

    1. Every student is a unique individual with unique potential.

    2. Effective communication is key to success.

    3. Engaged and interested students learn more effectively.

    4. Respect is a key to success.

    5. Education is a team effort.

    6. High quality educational facilities optimize student and staff success.

    7. Accountability is essential to success.

    8. A physically and emotionally safe environment promotes student learning.

    9. A high quality education is barrier free.

                                                                               Excellence in Academics

    Teaching and Learning:

    1. EMS ISD will create a system of support, Pre-K through 12, to maximize student potential.

    1.1 Develop a system to foster an environment of engaging and challenging learning while maintaining high expectations and accountability.

    Recruitment & Retention of Quality Staff:

    2. EMS ISD will create a culture of excellence in employee recruitment, development, and support.

    2.1 Develop a systematic approach to aggressively pursue and retain highly qualified personnel and to meet the prioritized staffing needs of the campus and district.

    Social/Emotional Support:

    3. EMS ISD will create a system of support where staff and students’ social and emotional needs will be met.

    3.1 Develop and implement a systemic, aligned social and emotional framework that addresses the unique needs of students, staff, and families.

                                                                     Excellence in Personalized Opportunities

    Student Engagement:

    4. In EMS ISD, each student will be involved in developing and executing a dynamic, customized, personal education plan from registration to graduation which capitalizes on embedded robust opportunities where choice matters.                                                                                                                                            

    4.1 Create a culture that promotes building trusting relationships which provide students the opportunity to take ownership of their learning without fear of failure.

    Staff Engagement:

    5. In EMS ISD, each staff member will be actively involved in the development of a personalized professional development plan that aligns with the EMS ISD strategic plan and the learning platform.

    5.1 Foster a culture of personalized, continuous growth for teachers and staff that leads to excellence.

    Family Engagement:

    6. In EMS ISD, every family will have opportunities to engage in the educational experiences of their child.

    6.1 Maximize opportunities to engage all EMS ISD populations to enhance community involvement.

     Excellence in Organizational Improvement

    Systems Thinking:

    7. In EMS ISD, each department and campus will have clear and systemic written policies and procedures communicated to stakeholders.

    7.1 Create or refine department and campus processes and procedures utilizing a continuous improvement model and promoting intentional two-way communication that aligns with district expectations.

    Safety and Security:

    8. In EMS ISD, each stakeholder will be afforded opportunities to participate in the continual improvement of safety and security across the district.                             

    8.1 Develop a consistent system to evaluate best practices and industry standards to improve security while ensuring all stakeholders have access and operational knowledge of district reporting tools.

    IV. INNOVATIONS

    The EMS ISD School Board and the Local Innovation Committee considered all areas available for local innovation and created a plan in the best interests of the District and its students that centers around two areas:

    1. Educator Certification Required (TEC 21.003) DBA (Exhibit) DBA (Legal) DBA (Local)
    TEC 21.003 states “a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B.” An exemption from these requirements allows EMS ISD to issue a school district teaching permit to individuals who do not hold a teaching certificate, but whom the district deems best to teach in a particular area. EMS ISD is committed to hiring the best staff available and lists “Develop a systematic approach to aggressively pursue and retain highly qualified personnel and to meet the prioritized staffing needs of the campus and district” as one of its district strategic goals. Occasionally, teachers are needed for positions that are difficult to fill. This exemption relates only to those positions the District identifies as difficult to fill and would be assessed on an individual basis. Staff hired under a school district teaching permit will benefit from the same rights and responsibilities as certified teachers within the district. After the required posting period and candidate interviews, the principal must specify in writing the reason for the request and document what specific credentials (i.e., experiences and expertise) the prospective teacher possesses that would qualify the individual to teach that subject(s). The superintendent must approve the person and the assignment. The District and local campus will assess appropriate training needs for any teacher hired under this exemption. Finally, this is a local certification only and does not transfer to another school district. EMS ISD District of Innovation plan will comply with the requirements to have a certified educator in a bilingual, English as a Second Language (ESL), or special education classroom.

    2. Uniform School Calendar-First and Last Day of School (TEC 25.0811) (TEC 25.0812) EB (Legal) EB(Local)
    Texas Education Code Section 25.0811 states that a school district may not begin instruction before the fourth Monday in August. Texas Education Code Section 25.0812 states that a school district may not schedule the last day of school before May 15. Local control of the instructional calendar affords the District the following advantages:

           Benefit of Exemption for EMS ISD

    • Elimination of imbalanced 6 weeks and semester schedules while having the ability to end the

      first semester prior to the holiday break.

    • Alignment of calendar with college/university semesters for Dual Credit, Advanced Placement

      Exams, and STAAR/EOC timelines.

    • Ensure hour/seat time requirements are met for Certification courses.

    • The balanced semesters will align with college semesters as well, allowing more opportunities

      for summer school, internships, and industrial certification opportunities.

    • Starting one week earlier will also accommodate new and innovative educational models such

              as longer and more effective summer programming.

    3. School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Meetings – (TEC § 28.004) (BDF(LEGAL)) (DCB(LOCAL))

    Texas Education Code Section 28.004 requires the school board of each school district to establish a local school health advisory council to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction. Further, the law requires the health advisory council to meet at least four times each year.

    Plan
    Due to the size of the District, EMS ISD seeks exemption from the statutory provision requiring the SHAC to meet at least four times each year. This innovation will be implemented by the District as follows:

      • The SHAC will meet twice per year – once in the Fall and once in the Spring.

      • The Board will be kept informed following each SHAC meeting.

      • This exemption directly supports the District’s commitment to health education and instruction without overburdening designated council members.

    4. Removal of Unwanted Visitors – (TEC § 37.105) (GKA(LEGAL)) (GKA(LOCAL))

    Texas Education Code Section 37.105 limits a school districts discretion as to how and when a person can be refused entry or ejected from a school district’s property or school-related event. Under the law, an individual must first refuse to leave peaceably upon request and either (1) pose a substantial risk of harm to any person or (2) behave in a manner inappropriate for a school setting and be given, at a minimum, a verbal warning before they are ejected or refused entry, and the person persists in the inappropriate behavior. Upon ejection or refusal of entry, an individual must also be given notice of how they may appeal the ejection.

    Plan
    Due to an increase in the prevalence of unruly visitors acting inappropriately for a school setting, this plan exempts the District from the statutory provision above that requires a verbal warning prior to ejection or refusal of entry. This exemption is in the best interests of the District and protects the District’s commitment to providing a safe, stable educational environment and allows the District to avoid interruptions or interference with its daily operations. This innovation will be implemented by the District as follows:

    • The District will allow designated staff members the authority to remove parents or visitors whose behavior is deemed inappropriate for a school setting without any prior warning or written notice.

    • Following a parent or other visitor’s ejection or refusal of entry from District property, administration will send written notice to the individual regarding the consequences and their right to appeal.

     

    V. DISTRICT OF INNOVATION TIMELINE

                                                                  District of Innovation Timeline

                                                                         May 2021- April 2022 

        • April 21, 2021- DPAC will meet to discuss District of Innovation Timeline for June 2022
        • April 22, 2021- District Leadership Team will meet to discuss District of Innovation Timeline for June 2022 
        • June 21, 2021 - Report to the Board the timeline for renewing the District of Innovation  
        • September 29, October 27, 2021 — DPAC Committee will meet and draft a plan to present to the Board of Trustees  
        • November 1-January 14, 2021 — Presentation of DOI plan to all campuses  
        • November 1-January 14, 2021  — EMS ISD District of Innovation Plan will be posted on EMS ISD website for a minimum 30-day period  
        • January 19, 2022 — DPAC will host a public meeting and discuss feedback and suggestions for improvement. Final version approved with a majority vote    
        • January 24, 2022 — EMS ISD District of Innovation Report plan will be presented to the Board. Board President will notify the Commissioner of Education Morath of Intent to Adopt District of Innovation plan report   
        • January 25, 2022 – Send signed Letter of Intent to Adopt to TEA 
        • January – February- Continue to receive feedback from community 
        • February 28, 2022 — A Public Meeting for the DOI renewal will be held.  Board of Trustees will take action on the proposed District of Innovation plan with more than a two-thirds majority vote.   
        • March 1, 2022 — EMS ISD District of Innovation plan will be filed with the Commissioner of Education   
        • March 2, 2022 — EMS ISD will renew its designation of being a District of Innovation with TEA and TASA beginning July 1, 2022 and expiring on June 30, 2027.  The District of Innovation plan will be posted on the DOI website for the duration of the plan  
        • April 25, 2022—Board of Trustees will take action on the DOI local policies