There is growing concern and frustration on behalf of many parents that district school officials will not disclose information about which schools may be seeking an assessment waiver via the Innovation Schools Act. For more information please click HERE.
Many parents have contacted district administration and building staff by phone and email to no avail. We still do not know which schools, if any, are included in the District’s plan for an ‘innovation zone’ and to date there have been no community meetings, district-wide communication nor public information shared with parents about whether their school may be participating.
Douglas County Parents
Voices for Public Education
I recently learned that the Douglas County Board of Education (BOE) adopted a resolution on September 2, 2014 authorizing schools to submit an innovation waiver to the State Board of Education (SBE) under the Innovation Schools Act (Act). The purpose of this action is to allow a group of schools to become an “innovation zone” so they may waive certain state statutes, including but not limited to state mandated assessments required by the READ Act if approved by the SBE.
As you may know, the Act requires that any innovation plan, whether submitted by a school or created by a school district/BOE, must provide evidence that a majority of building administration, teaching staff and members of the School Accountability Committee “consent to designation as an innovation school.” The plan must also include “a statement of the level of support for the designation as an innovation school demonstrated” by other school employees, students, parents and the surrounding community. When a school district and/or BOE is creating a plan for an innovation school zone, the statement of the level of support shall be determined by “specifically solicit[ing] input concerning the selection of public schools included in the innovation school zone and the strategies and procedures that would be used…”
To date there has been little to no communication from schools or district administration officials about which schools will be seeking READ Act assessment waivers, nor do we know if any middle or high schools may be seeking other assessment waivers. What’s most concerning is that parents have no idea whether or not their school will be included in the innovation zone. Because of the lack of communication, parents’ only recourse is to ask our principals directly which is why I’m emailing you today.
Please confirm whether our school is or is not seeking any assessment waiver for the 2014-2015 or 2015-2016 school year(s), and provide any relevant information that may help me understand where you are in the waiver process including evidence that a majority of the building administration, teaching staff and members of the SAC “consent to the designation as an innovation school.” I also respectfully request that you respond to this email within 48 hours of receipt.
Thank you, in advance, for your timely response. I’m very grateful of the contribution you make to our school community and I look forward to partnering with you on this and any other important initiative facing our school(s).