Fort Bend ISD Renews Innovation District Plan

Fort Bend ISD has renewed its Innovation District Plan. (Journal Hunter Marrow/Community Impact)

Fort Bend ISD has renewed its Innovation District Plan.

With a 6-to-1 vote at its Feb. 14 meeting, the Fort Bend ISD board of directors renewed the plan, which was set to expire at the end of the 2021-22 school year since the plan was approved. for the first time for the 2017-18 school year, according to a February 14 FBISD Agenda report.

With the renewal, the district will continue to benefit from flexibility and exemptions from sections of the Texas education code, not only allowing FBISD flexibility in its school schedule, but allowing the district to waive certain teaching certifications. for hard-to-fill areas such as world languages, and vocational and technical training.

The plan also exempts FBISD from the 90% attendance rule requiring students to be present 90% of the days the course is offered. This exemption is designed to meet the needs of students through alternative delivery models outside of a traditional classroom setting.

The attendance rule was the subject of discussion among board members following a report by the district’s demographer, Population and Survey Analysts, which predicted that next school year, out of a total of 88,512 resident students living within FBISD boundaries, 4,978 of them will attend charter schools. This projection is higher than the number of students attending private schools, at 4,882.

“When I think about improving an innovation district plan, especially this 90% rule, I wonder how we’re actually going to use it in a way that maybe it’s more appealing to someone who isn’t typically looking for five-days a week, in a face-to-face school situation,” said Position 1 board member Angie Hanan.

His sentiment was echoed by Position 6 board member Kristen Davison Malone, who asked district officials if some high school students with special circumstances could be accommodated.

According to district officials, as the renewed plan is implemented, these concerns will be addressed.