Lamar CISD Board Approves District of Innovation Designation

Mar 22, 2023 | Lamar CISD Communications

At the March 21 Board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved several innovations as part of a District of Innovation (DOI) designation. The following recommendations were approved: 

Innovation #1 Teacher Certification 

Innovation: Continue to seek certified educators for teaching positions and maintain expectations for employee certification. When search efforts have been exhausted, the District will be able to recruit, hire, and locally certify, individuals who are knowledgeable and are fully equipped to perform the duties of the following hard to hire teaching positions:  

  • Career & Technical Education 

  • World Languages  

The District will set and require minimum qualifications which may include:  

  •  Professional work experience  

  • Formal training/education in the content area  

  • Active/relevant professional industry certification  

  • A combination of work experience, training, and education  

  • Demonstration of successful experience working with students 

Qualification criterion will vary by position. The District must provide teachers hired under this option with the training necessary to carry out the expectations of their positions. 

This will increase our candidate pool and we will be able to hire industry experts for courses that have become “hard to fill” positions including career and technology, and world languages such as French, ASL, and Chinese. In the current educational environment, traditional certification requirements are increasingly challenging to find and we do not want to limit course availability. 

Innovation #2 First Day of Instruction 

Innovation: Lamar CISD Board Approves District of Innovation Designation The first day of instruction may be scheduled prior to the 4th Monday in August, but not prior to the 2nd Monday in August. The scheduled start date will be set to best meet the needs of the District’s students, staff, and community. 

Rationale: This would adjust the first day of instruction to provide strategic breaks for staff and students, and it would include the following: 

  • Balanced number of school days and holidays for each semester, particularly at the secondary level for one-semester courses 

  • 45-day penalty-free period for contract release 

Innovation #3 Designation of Campus Behavior Coordinator

Innovation: The principal may delegate the duties of the Campus Behavior  

Coordinator to campus administrator(s) and the District will provide the training and guidance necessary for them to execute expectations, practices and protocols that also meet all other provisions of the applicable code. This will ensure consistency and adherence to policy and legal requirements. 

Rationale: This would allow principals to delegate duties to campus administrator(s), which will better serve the needs of District students and families, while also increasing the effectiveness of District administrators.  

Innovations Not Implemented 

While there are portions of a DOI designation that have been implemented in other districts, Lamar CISD will not implement the following:   

  • We will NOT eliminate teacher contracts 

  • We will NOT decrease the 75,600 required minutes of instruction 

  • We will NOT reduce teacher compensation 

  • We will NOT eliminate teacher lunch and planning time 

  • We will NOT hire random, uncertified staff to teach core classes at any grade level 

Annual Review Process

The District’s Local Innovation Plan must be reviewed yearly. As shown in the illustration below, if a new innovation is introduced or a change is suggested, then the DSIC must review the proposal and approve or deny it. If the DSIC approves the change, then it will go to the Board of Trustees for a final vote and must receive a 2/3 majority vote in order to become approved. If the Board of Trustees approves the change, then the Local Innovation Plan will be updated. If there is a vote to reject the change by the DSIC or the Board at any stage during the process, then no change will be made. 

Annual Review Process Flow Chart 


Quick Timeline

July 2022 

  • DOI was brought to discussions among district leadership by Superintendent Dr. Roosevelt Nivens in July of 2022.  

November 9, 2022 

  • Dr. Nivens and former Chief Learning Officer Dr. Terri Mossige shared the overview of the DOI process with Districtwide Student Improvement Council (DSIC). 

  • DSIC (as the Local Innovation Committee) voted to explore becoming a DOI and we had two public meetings to discuss innovations for the local level.  

February 3, 2023 

  • The local plan was posted for 30 days on the District website. 

February 27, 2023 

  • Dr. Nivens notified the commissioner and the TEA accreditation department of the board's intent to vote on the proposed plan and sent the plan for review.  

  • During this time, Dr. Nivens received communications from TEA That innovation #5 and #6 we're not allowable per TEC code 37.005. This was an update that came just days before the district started the initial planning phases of becoming a DOI. 

  • At the February Board meeting, Board members asked if it was possible to vote innovation by innovation versus voting the plan as a whole. District leadership consulted with TEA, and the Board was allowed to vote innovation by innovation if the plan was publicly posted for 30 days. Additionally, innovations could be reduced, but not added.  

March 7, 2023 

  • DSIC met and voted to allow the Board to vote innovation by innovation. 

To learn more about DOI, please click HERE.

To watch the March Board meeting where the Local Innovation Plan was presented and approved, please click HERE

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