Mansfield ISD Magazine Fall 2016 | Page 9

Mansfield ISD Becomes a District of Innovation M ansfield ISD is now a District of Innovation and has adopted a local innovation plan to better serve MISD students and create new opportunities for them. The District of Innovation concept was passed by the Texas Legislature in House Bill 1842 (HB 1842) to give school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. The district’s local innovation plan opts out of the following sections of the Texas Education Code: • §21.003 Certification Required • §25.0811 First Day of Instruction • §25.0812 Last Day of School Mansfield ISD is among the first groups of school districts in the state to adopt a local innovation plan. “Our goal is to always put children first,” said MISD Board President Raul Gonzalez. “There’s a lot of misinformation about public schools, and becoming a District of Innovation allows us to compete with the other types of schools that are out there. It will provide new opportunities that will benefit our students, and I am excited about that.” The flexibility in certification gives MISD the ability to hire professionals with industry experience to teach Career And Technical Education (CATE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) courses. The change will provide more students the opportunity to take such courses and obtain professional certifications. By opting out of the uniform school calendar, MISD can eliminate imbalanced six weeks and semester schedules while still ending the semester prior to the holiday break, align the district’s calendar with other testing and exam timelines, ensure requirements are met for certification courses, and create flexibility to pursue year-round school of choice for identified populations. No changes will be made to the 2016-17 MISD calendar. Mansfield School & Family 7