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District of Innovation

Center Point Independent School District

District of Innovation Plan

June 22,2022

Local Innovation Committee Members:

              Cody Newcomb, Superintendent           Casey Johnson, Exec. Director of Student Services

     Kim Bishop, Chief Financial Officer            Jocelyn Ritz, Special Ed Director

     Beverly Newcomb, Secondary Counselor      Rhonda Ruesch, HS and MS Principal 

     Jennifer George, Elementary Principal 


House Bill 1842, passed during the 84th Legislative Session, permits Texas public school districts to become Districts of Innovation and to obtain exemption from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code.   On June 13, 2022, the Center Point Independent School District's Board of Trustees (“Board”) passed a Resolution to Initiate the Process of Designation as a District of Innovation in order to increase local control over District operations and to support innovation and local initiatives to improve educational outcomes for the benefit of students and the community.

On June 20, 2022, the Board appointed a local District of Innovation Committee comprised of various stakeholders. The Committee met on June 21, 2022 and June 22,2022  to discuss and draft this Local Innovation Plan.


The term of the Plan is for five years, beginning August 2022 and ending at the end of August 2027, unless terminated or amended earlier by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the law. The Committee will continually monitor the effectiveness of the Plan and recommend to the Board any suggested modifications to the Plan.


The Plan's comprehensive educational program is guided by and aligned with the District Goals, District Vision & District Mission.

A. District Goals

  1. Provide diverse academic opportunities for all students:

    1. Vocational

    2. College workforce prep (Dual Credit when possible)

    3. Accelerated learning

  2. Continue with professional development and look for enhancements. Look for opportunities to diversify teaching staff.

  3. Educating the community about school district activities, operations and events.

  4. Continue to stay ahead of technology trends and requirements by providing students and staff with technology tools to be successful.

B. Vision

Our Students:

  • Are prepared to reach their full potential in the real world

  • Are challenged and empowered by critical thinking exercises

  • Are successful in academic and extracurricular activities

  • Exhibit high levels of life skills

  • Understand the importance of education

 Our Learning Environment provides

  • Adequate funding that supports students and family involvement

  • Up-to-date technology that is available to all students and staff

  • The community with information regarding their public education system

  • A safe climate that is conducive to achievement

  • An environment designed to attract and retain highly qualified teachers and staff

  • Our students with teachers who exhibit solid classroom management techniques

 Our community and district provides

  • State-of-the art facilities and technology

  • An aligned curriculum at all levels

  • Opportunities to form partnerships with the school

  • Support to foster pride in our students

  • Positive support to students, faculty, and staff

C. Mission

"The mission of the Center Point Independent School District is to provide excellence in education for every student.  With a dedicated, caring staff, we seek to foster a safe, positive, and creative atmosphere.  In this environment, students will be empowered with the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills necessary to succeed in a complex, global, multi-cultural society

D. Innovations


(Texas Education Code §21.003, Texas Education Code  §21.0031, Texas Education Code  §21.053)


TEC §21.003. CERTIFICATION REQUIRED. (a) 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:

 TEC §21.0031. FAILURE TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION; CONTRACT VOID. (a) An employee's probationary , continuing, or term contract under this chapter is void if the employee: (1) does not hold a valid certificate or permit issued by the State Board for Educator Certification; (2)   fails to fulfill the requirements necessary to renew or extend the employee's temporary, probationary, or emergency certificate or any other certificate or permit issued

 TEC§21.053. PRESENTATION AND RECORDING OF CERTIFICATES. (a) A person who desires to teach in a public school shall present the person's certificate for filing with the employing district before the person's contract with the board of trustees of the district is binding. (b )An educator who does not hold a valid certificate may not be paid for teaching or work done before the effective date of issuance of a valid certificate.


TEC §21.003 , §21.0031, and §21.053 limit the applicant pool from which the District can hire teachers.  With current teacher shortages, innovative solutions are necessary to provide instructors for hard to fill positions. The District will always seek to hire the most qualified candidate for every teaching position and will seek to hire certified individuals to fill teaching positions when possible. The District is seeking flexibility and exemption from TEC §21.003, §21.0031, and §21.053 for those circumstances where a certified teacher cannot be obtained.

Center Point ISD will allow District Teaching Certifications based on skills and experiences outside the traditional teacher certification pathway according to the following criteria:

  1.  An individual with certain qualifications who is not state certified as a teacher can be eligible to teach in hard to fill positions including, but not limited to, TEA approved shortage areas such as mathematics, science, Career & Technical Education (CTE), etc.

  2. All Special Education and Bilingual/ESL teachers will be required to be SBEC certified.

  3. A person seeking District Teaching Certifications should have the abilities and related knowledge/experience to fulfill the requirements of the position.

  4. The principal must submit to the Superintendent and/or the Superintendent's Designee, a request for District Teaching Certifications outlining all the individual’s credentials/qualifications. 

  5. Qualifications that may be considered but are not limited to: 

  1. Professional work experience

  2. Formal training and education including Associates (CTE),  Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral Degrees

  3. Active professional relevant industry certification or registration

  4. Combination of work experience, training, and education

  5. Demonstration of successful experience working with students

  1. Determinations shall be made on a case-by-case basis.

  2. An employee working under a District Teaching Certification will adhere to the same professional standards, ethics, and requirements of all certified teachers including 30 clock hours per year of continuing education.

  3. An employee working under a District Teaching Certification will be appraised under the same teacher appraisal system of all certified teachers. 


(Texas Education Code §21.102)



TEC §21.102 requires that teachers newly-hired by the District who have five years of experience in public education in Texas within the last eight years can only be placed on a one-year probationary contract, and after the first year, must be placed on a term contract.



The one-year probationary period is insufficient to evaluate a teacher’s effectiveness in

the classroom because the teacher contract renewal timelines demand that

employment decisions be made before the end of the school year. Therefore, beginning

with the 2022-2023 academic year and beyond, for all experienced teachers, counselors,

librarians, or nurses new to Center Point ISD that have been employed as a teacher (or

other role) in public education for at least five of the eight previous years, the

probationary period when becoming employed by Center Point ISD shall be for a period

of two years, with probationary contracts issued for each of the two years.



(Texas Education Code §25.112, Texas Education Code §25.113)



TEC §25.112 requires districts to maintain a class size of 22 students or fewer for

kindergarten through 4th grade classes. TEC §25.113 requires district to notify parents

of waivers or exceptions to class size limits.


Beginning-of-the-year hiring decisions will be based on projected 22:1 ratios. To the

extent possible, each school year will begin with enough teachers to establish a student

to teacher ratio of no more than 22:1 in kindergarten through 4th grade homeroom classes. Each section in a grade level will receive new students equally. If two or more classes in a

grade level exceed a 24:1 ratio at any time during the year, the superintendent, campus

principal, and grade level teachers will have a thoughtful conversation. The superintendent will then determine what is in the best interest of the students. Parents will not necessarily be notified of class size increases.



(Texas Education Code §25.036)



TEC §25.036 permits a district to accept, as transfers, students who are not entitled to enroll in the district. TEC §25.036 has been interpreted to establish the acceptance of a transfer as a one-year commitment by the district.



Center Point ISD maintains a transfer policy under FDA (Local) requiring non-resident

students wishing to transfer into CPISD to file a transfer application each school year. In

approving transfer requests, the availability of space and instructional staff, availability

of programs and services, the student’s disciplinary history records, work habits, and

attendance records are evaluated. Transfer students are expected to follow the attendance requirements, rules, and regulations of the District. The District is seeking to eliminate the provision of a one-year commitment in accepting transfer applicants. On rare occasions, a student’s behavior may warrant suspension (in or out of school), placement in a disciplinary alternative program, or expulsion. In addition, student attendance may fall below the TEA 90%

attendance standard. In these rare cases, Center Point ISD seeks exemption from the one-year transfer commitment. Non-resident students who have been accepted as inter-district transfer students may have such transfer status revoked by the superintendent at any time during the year if the student is assigned discipline consequences of suspension (in or out of school), placement in a disciplinary alternative program, or expulsion. In addition, students not meeting the State’s 90% attendance standard may also be subject to immediate revocation of the transfer status.



(Texas Education Code §11.251, Texas Education Code §11.252, Texas Education Code §11.253)


TEC §11.251, TEC §11.252, and TEC §11.253 mandate specific guidelines and procedures for the membership of these committees, which limits flexibility for districts to collaborate and make

decisions in an effective and timely manner.



CPISD seeks to return Site Based Decision Making back to the local district/campus by

allowing the local district to determine the makeup of the committee. Further, CPISD

will determine which decisions will be referred to the committee, except those prescribed by law.


(Texas Education Code  §25.0811, Texas Education Code  §25.0812)  


Texas Education Code  §25.0811 First Day of Instruction (a)  Except as provided by this section, a school district may not begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August.  A school district may: (1)  begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August if the district operates a year-round system under Section 25.084; or (2)  begin instruction for students for a school year on or after the first Monday in August at a campus or at not more than 20 percent of the campuses in the district if:(A)  the district has a student enrollment of 190,000 or more;(B)  the district at the beginning of the school year provides, financed with local funds, days of instruction for students at the campus or at each of the multiple campuses, in addition to the minimum number of days of instruction required under Section 25.081;(C)  the campus or each of the multiple campuses are undergoing comprehensive reform, as determined by the board of trustees of the district; and(D)  a majority of the students at the campus or at each of the multiple campuses are educationally disadvantaged.(b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a school district that does not offer each grade level from kindergarten through grade 12 and whose prospective or former students generally attend school in another state for the grade levels the district does not offer may start school on any date permitted under Subsection (a) or the law of the other state.


Texas Education Code  §25.0812 Last Day of School(a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), a school district may not schedule the last day of school for students for a school year before May 15.(b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a school district that does not offer each grade level from kindergarten through grade 12 and whose prospective or former students generally attend school in another state for the grade levels the district does not offer may schedule the last day of school on any date permitted under Subsection (a) or the law of the other state.


Center Point ISD requests the freedom to develop a calendar that better fits the needs of the community, if the committee so chooses.  Flexibility in this area would allow the District Committee to balance the first and second semesters and provide more instructional days prior to state testing.




June 13, 2022

Board of Trustees passed the Resolution to initiate the process of Designation of a District of Innovation.

June 20, 2022

Board of Trustees conducted a public hearing to discuss the District of Innovation process and possible options.  The Board of Trustees approved the formation of an official District of Innovation Committee.

June 20, 2022

District of Innovation Committee formed.

June 21, 2022

District of Innovation Committee meeting

Jun 22, 2022

District of Innovation Committee meeting

June 23, 2022

DOI plan uploaded to website for public review/comment

June 23,2022

Notification to TEA of the proposed DOI Plan emailed.

Aug 9, 2022

Public meeting of District Advisory Committee for DOI plan

August 10,2022

Center Point ISD Board of Trustees will consider adoption of the  District of Innovation plan.

August 11, 2022

If approved, the DOI  plan will be submitted to the Texas Education Agency. The district will notify the commissioner of education and ensure the plan is posted on the district website.