District of Innovation

Garland ISD has met all of the process requirements outlined by the TEA and the Commissioner of Education to receive the designation as a District of Innovation.

Plan renewal

 Since April 11, 2017, Garland ISD has been designated as a District of Innovation. As one of over 912 Texas school districts, the District took advantage of this designation, implementing a local innovation plan that addressed the following flexibilities or exemptions:

  1. A flexible school start date. Traditional law would not allow us to start before the 4th Monday of August.

  1. Teacher Certification flexibility for CTE Courses, high demand, and dual credit courses: The District was granted the flexibility to hire community college instructors, university professors, and industry experts without having to apply for each exemption that required TEA approval.

  1. Garland ISD was granted the flexibility to eliminate the value-added measure for teacher and administrator appraisals.  

  1. Collaborative discipline among campus administrators, vs. designating a campus behavior coordinator to be solely responsible.

Along with the four exemptions listed above, the District implemented two other exemptions that are no longer valid, due to changes in policies and procedures. The addressed flexibility in meeting instructional time requirements and choosing Universal Group Coverage providers for employees.

The current local innovation plan expires on April 11, 2022, and Garland ISD recognizes the importance of renewing our existing plan to ensure existing exemptions remain in place. 

Public meeting to consider proposed renewal

The District of Innovation renewal process requires our District Educational Improvement Committee (DEIC) to hold a public meeting to consider the renewal of the proposed plan and approve it by a majority vote of the members. The meeting shall be held in public and allow for public comment.  

Garland ISD values the input of all of its school community members and would like to invite the public to participate in providing input on the existing local innovation plan. If you would like to participate or know of someone who would, please attend/have them follow the virtual meeting and share your/their input. 

See Feb. 2 DEIC District of Innovation Renewal Meeting details

If you cannot participate in the virtual meeting or prefer to submit your input about the existing District of Innovation Plan via email, please send your responses to cavierne@garlandisd.net.

Resources for more information

 Current plan

The local Innovation Plan was developed and approved by the Local Innovation Committee (District Educational Improvement Council) on April 5, 2017.

Our innovation plan was then approved by the Garland ISD Board of Trustees on April 11, 2017.


An innovation plan allows our district to:

  • gain greater local control in decision-making to benefit our students and staff
  • have increased autonomy from state mandates that govern educational programming
  • be empowered to innovate

We have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from mandates such as:

  • school start date
  • 90% attendance rule
  • required minutes

Districts are not exempt from statutes that address curriculum, assessment and graduation requirements nor are they exempt from academic and financial accountability.

Plan term

The plan has a term of five years, and it may be amended, rescinded, or renewed. An amendment to an approved plan does not change the date of the term of designation as a District of Innovation, and exemptions that were already formally approved need not be reviewed.

Additional information about District of Innovation and a list of current Districts of Innovation can be accessed at the Texas Education Agency website.