Keller district officials are seeking parents, community members, teachers, employees and business partners to participate in focus groups in early January.
Leah Beard, KISD director of organizational improvement, said district officials want input on innovative ideas in education, strategic planning and graduation requirements and to assess satisfaction with the district.
The deadline for registering interest is Dec. 14. Facilitators with K12 Insight, an educational survey company, will lead discussion sessions Jan. 3-5 at the Keller ISD Education Center. Groups will be conducted in morning, afternoon and evening, with each member participating in one 90-minute meeting.
“K12 will report back on trends across different groups, what are people wanting from our schools and what are other innovative ideas out there,” Beard said.
The District of Innovation Committee that met over the fall prompted some interesting discussions, but its purpose was to compile recommendations for areas that Keller schools should seek exemption from state laws, Beard said.
Members of the District of Innovation Committee have been asked to participate in the focus groups to continue some of the discussions that began in the committee. Some teachers who attended those meetings said they were nervous about losing some of the protections of state laws.
School districts that declare District of Innovation status can seek exemption from certain laws to gain some of the flexibility of charter schools but must enact policies to replace those laws.
Keller’s committee recommended seeking exemption from several laws, including the mandatory late start date, requiring teacher certification for certain positions and several requirements around student discipline. Two that did not move out of committee because of teacher concerns involved the 22-1 class size in elementary schools and 30-minute teacher lunch breaks.
Bringing District of Innovation Committee members in with other parents, teachers and other community partners will allow for the exploration of more topics, Beard said.
Participants will be chosen in a way that makes seven groups with balanced representation of stakeholders. For more information, visit kellerisd.net and look for the link, “Join Community Focus Groups” or email firstname.lastname@example.org.