District of Innovation (DOI)

SBISD Trustees Seek Input on Possible Enactment of District of Innovation Exemptions

On April 25, 2016, the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees (Trustees) voted unanimously for SBISD to become a District of Innovation (DoI), enabling SBISD to exempt itself from certain state laws that pose barriers to innovation related to curriculum, instruction, parent or community involvement, school calendars, budgeting, and governance.

Public Comment

January 2019

CTE & Dual Credit Teacher Certification Exemption
Proposed Action:
  • SBISD proposes to exempt the District from the certification requirements for new teachers of Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses, when an individual holds industry credentials and/or has work experience in the area(s) of the course(s) he or she is hired to teach. CTE courses are industry-related courses related to such fields as health science, engineering, construction, business, architecture, and much more. An important objective of CTE courses is to provide students with state-of-the-art experiences to ready them for work in the industry today and into the future. Teachers with industry experience are critical to achieving this objective.
  • SBISD proposes to exempt the District from the CTE certification requirements of current SBISD teachers who are certified to teach non-CTE courses but have industry credentials and/or work experience that qualifies them to teach specific CTE courses, including some special education teachers.
  • SBISD proposes to exempt the District from the certification requirements for teachers of Dual Credit courses when those individuals hold credentials to teach the course at the college level.
  • Students often benefit from learning in CTE courses from individuals with industry experience.
  • CTE teaching positions are often difficult to fill due to a lack of available applicants.
  • Acquiring a standard teacher certification for individuals with industry experience is time consuming and expensive for individuals. This barrier to entry is a disincentive for individuals with industry experience who want to teach in their area of expertise.
  • Special education teachers are often qualified to teach workforce readiness courses. These courses do not qualify for CTE funding unless the teacher is CTE certified or is qualified to teach CTE through a District of Innovation waiver.
  • Allowing SBISD to hire individuals credentialed to teach college-level courses (even in the absence of a standard high school teaching certification) to teach our dual credit courses, when appropriate, and the opportunity exists, will enable the District to “lock-in” high quality instructors.
Considerations and Safeguards:
  • Hiring of teachers under these provisions will involve campus personnel, District CTE and Human Resources personnel to ensure individuals are strong candidates to work with our students.
  • Any individual hired under the provisions of this proposal will participate in a District-created and managed teacher training program. This program will cover topics including, but not limited to, instructional planning and delivery, student assessment, classroom management, and serving students with special needs.
  • Teachers hired under this District of Innovation exemption will only be able to teach classes in which they either hold a teacher certification or meet the credentials articulated in this plan.
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