School board approves District of Innovation

First meeting to discuss district changes planned for January

Olivia Taggart, Editor-in-chief

With state legislature laws constantly restricting public schools’ decisions, the school board voted to become a District of Innovation on Nov. 27.

A District of Innovation is a school district that has been freed from having to follow all of the state regulations while still being required to meet state accountability standards in terms of standardized testing, student progress and graduation rates, to name a few.

“State legislature has constantly passed new regulations on public education,” Superintendent C.D. Knobloch said. “The regulations restrict the number of required school minutes, the start date of school after summer, as well as many others, but by becoming a DOI, the school is freed up to find creative ways to make sure the district is meeting accountability standards.”

We want to have a wide-open mind to see if we can alter what needs to be done so kids get the best education possible.”

— Superintendent C. D. Knobloch

Two years ago, the state regulations for number of school days (180) changed to 75,600 minutes. While the school board is not required to follow the regulations, they don’t plan on completely disregarding the rules they deem useful.

“We want to have a wide-open mind to see if we can alter what needs to be done so kids get the best education possible,” Mr. Knobloch said. “Being  a DOI could free us up from state regulations, giving us more local control to better meet the needs of our learners.”

Converting into a District of Innovation won’t change the core curriculum, but it may add more electives.

“State legislature requires that all teachers have a certification in the class they teach, but a DOI doesn’t require that,” Mr. Knobloch said. “For example, if we had students who were interested in becoming plumbers and a certified plumber in town agreed to be at the school for an hour a day, we could let students take a plumbing class and possibly get a certification from that class.”

A District of Innovation Committee has been approved and are planning to meet for the first time in January.