NZISD approves innovation status

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North Zulch ISD passed a resolution to officially become a District of Innovation at their monthly board meeting for March on Thursday.

“Since we are a smaller district, the class size ratio and how to address that was one of the big things that we looked at,” said Janie Pope, North Zulch Elementary principal and a member of the school’s District of Innovation committee. “We will also have more control over the calendar, which will have a more even number of days between both semesters. This was a deciding factor because we wanted to add more days of instruction in the first semester.”

The district’s new status will also allow them to hire qualified instructors for a number of vocational classes. They can now bring in experienced industry experts who have not necessarily received degrees in teaching to lead those courses.

The process that led to District of Innovation began during the board’s meeting on Nov. 12, when they passed a resolution to consider seeking the status. It will exempt them from certain Texas Education Agency stipulations and allow them operate independently in a number of areas.

The board also approved the passage of the 2019-20 school calendar. The new calendar features a number of noticeable changes including an earlier start date to the new semester in August. This will allow for a more equal number of school days in each semester. NZISD will also feature a nine-week grading period next year in contrast to the current six-week grading period.

The board also approved a resolution of a service agreement with Interquest Detection Canines of Southeast Texas. As they have in the past, the district will periodically allow the service to send a dog to campus to inspect the parking lot and inside the building itself for any illegal or threatening items therein.

The agenda featured two action items that were tabled until the board reconvenes for their April meeting. This included a proposed repeal of all previously adopted policies and adoption of (LOCAL) policies as prepared by TASB as well as a proposal to select Way Services Ltd. for an energy professional services contract via the Interlocal Purchasing System.

NZISD board meetings are traditionally scheduled for the second Thursday of the month. The meeting for March was pushed back to accommodate the Madison County Fair.

In other news, the board:

Approved board minutes of the Feb. 14 regular meeting and the Feb. 28 special meeting

Approved instructional materials allotment and TEKS certification

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