Weatherford News

Millsap - district of innovation

The Millsap School District has moved closer to becoming one of the state's few Districts of Innovation (DOI).

The Millsap School Board took the final steps in approval at the recent board meeting. Superintendent Deann Lee said the next day a letter was sent to the state commissioner of education to inform him the district had met the legal requirements to become a DOI as of June 1.

"This has been an extremely positive process for MISD as we have met and planned with stakeholders over the last four months," Lee said. "DOI offers flexibility in several areas which will allow us to better fulfill our strategic plan."

The District of Innovation concept, passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842 in 2015, gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open-enrollment charter schools. Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation include increased local control, customization of innovation plans, and autonomy since approval by the Commissioner of Education is not needed.

Some of the potential exemptions from state mandates are the school start date, 90-percent attendance rule, class-size ratios, site-based decision making processes, certain student discipline provisions, teacher certification requirements and others.

Neighboring Brock is also in the process of becoming a DOI.

Also at the recent Millsap board meeting, the upcoming MISD board election was canceled as there are no opponents to those whose terms are expiring. Brady Burchette and Mike Burton will continue in their at-large trustee roles and Morgan Williams will be a new board member.

"She has been extremely involved in the district, serving on numerous committees and volunteering in many capacities," Lee said.

One spot remains open and will be filled by appointment of the board, Lee said. Trustees will be sworn in at the May board meeting.