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District of Innovation

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

TASB Process
Education Code Chapter 12A
Commissioner’s Rules

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
  • 1/5/17 – Final Proposed Plan Posted
  • 1/10/17 – Intent to adopt to Commissioner
  • 1/19/17 – FEIC / DOI Public meeting
  • 2/13/17 – Present to Board for approval



2017 Team

1. Trish Hanks Superintendent
2. Thad Roher Deputy Superintendent 
3. Lynn Hobratschk Asst. Superintendent
4. Diane Myers Asst. Superintendent
5. Mark Griffon Principal
6. Dana Drew Principal
7. JT Patton Principal
8. Barry Clifford Principal
9. Kristen Moffitt Principal
10. Nelda Guerra Principal
11. Stacy Daugherty Director of Testing
12. Albert Cipolla Community
13. Andrea Niles Community
14. Annetta Dinjar Asst. Principal
15. Barsa Harclerode Community
16. Delaney Lyon Asst. Principal
17. Diane Jones Asst. Principal
18. Donna Stokes Community
19. Emily Ford Community
20. Jann Davies Teacher
21. Jenny Wiest Community


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