School Board Approves Local Innovation Plan, 2017-18 School Calendar

Feb 16, 2017

The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees approved a Local Innovation Plan this week, putting FISD on a growing list of Texas school districts who’ve become Districts of Innovation.  

The designation was created by the Texas Legislature and allows districts to access most of the flexibilities available to charter schools under state law. 

Staff members who serve on the District Improvement Team (DIT) previously approved the plan, which was proposed by a committee of parents and staff members in December.

The plan exempts Frisco ISD from state requirements regarding the school start date, designation of campus behavior coordinator and minutes of instruction at the Pre-Kindergarten level.

This paved the way for the adoption of the 2017-18 school calendar and a school start date of August 21, which is the third Monday in August.

This is one week earlier than in past years, since without the exemption available through becoming a District of Innovation, Frisco ISD was subject to a state law which dictates that school cannot begin prior to the fourth Monday in August. The approved innovation guideline states that Frisco ISD will not start school before the second Monday in August, with preference given to the third Monday.

Other highlights of the 2017-18 school calendar include:

  • Last Day of School – June 1
  • Thanksgiving Break – November 20-24
  • Winter Break – December 18 - January 1, with students returning on January 3
  • Spring Break – March 12-16
  • Bad Weather Make-Up Days – March 30 and May 25, with school to be held May 25 if only one day is needed

The Local Innovation Plan also exempts Frisco ISD from state requirements regarding campus behavior coordinator and minutes of instruction at the Pre-Kindergarten level.

The law states that the duty of campus behavior coordinator is to be assigned to one administrator. The approved guideline states that Frisco ISD principals can delegate these duties to more than one campus administrator, as was done before the law was enacted, but that all other provisions of this chapter of the Education Code will be in place, such as timely notification to parents.

With regard to minutes of instruction, this exemption applies only to Frisco ISD’s half-day, morning and afternoon Pre-Kindergarten program at the Early Childhood School. Pre-K students attend school for three hours, which, under the current statute, does not meet the required minimum minutes of instruction. The structure of this program is repeated across the state and the District is hopeful that this unintended consequence will be addressed in the current legislative session so that districts will not have to face any negative funding implications.

The Local Innovation Plan will be reviewed on an annual basis, and any future amendments to the plan would have to be approved by the Local Innovation Committee, District Improvement Team (DIT) and School Board.

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