On March 8, 2016, Keller ISD passed a resolution to possibly alter the state of the district for years to come.

The Board of Trustees came to the decision to initiate the process of KISD becoming a District of Innovation, or “DOI”. The DOI distinction was introduced by the 84th Texas Legislature in House Bill 1842 to allow school districts flexibility that is similar to that of an open enrollment charter school. For KISD this means exemption from some requirements in the Texas Education Code for the next five years upon approval of the plan.

The process began with a selection of community members joining a large committee to discuss the topic. From there, members were required to fill out interest forms to be selected into sub-committees, where they tackled different laws that KISD was attempting to find relief from.

The first general committee meeting took place on September 15, 2016, with many of the sub-committee meetings following in the weeks after. The DOI plan was adopted by the Board on January 19, 2017, however, some specific policies arrested in development. The areas KISD seeks to alter are outlined as follows:

  1. “Ninety Percent Rule” for class attendance
  2. Length of school day
  3. Earliest possible school start date
  4. Minimum days of attendance
  5. Requirement to have in school disciplinary placements for students, including minimum academic requirements for disciplinary placements
  6. Three-day limitation on suspensions
  7. Campus Behavior Coordinator
  8. Planning and preparation periods
  9. State certification requirements for teachers and other educators
  10. Certified employee contract rights (specifically second probationary year for teachers hired under 5 of 8 rule and suspensions without pay)

Click here for Keller ISD’s official Local Innovation Plan, from which these areas were referenced.

These policies extend beyond Timber Creek High School and into the district overall. Timber Creek Talon reporters researched these policies, conducted interviews on the specifics with committee members and district-level organizers and have attempted to, as much as possible, explore the impacts of each recommendation on students, teachers, parents and other members in the Keller ISD community.

Some of the proposed adjustments in policy have already been enacted — specifically, the “earliest possible school start date” recommendation was already approved for the 2017-18 school year, with students beginning classes on August 15, 2017. (See the full calendar for next school year by clicking here)

Other proposed adjustments aren’t as clear.

Our student reporters have worked diligently to attempt to clarify as many questions as possible with each policy. If you have additional unanswered questions, please use the comments fields or contact us via editor@timbercreektalon.com and we will continue to ask.

Click each title below, or the policies listed above, to see more on each policy:

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