DISTRICTS OF INNOVATION

Senate Bill 2191 was passed during the 2015 legislative session. This bill established Districts of Innovation, which aim to better prepare students for success in life and work and may include at a minimum goals and performance targets.

WHAT GOALS AND PERFORMANCE TARGETS ARE MEASURED?

  • Reducing achievement gaps among groups of public school students by expanding learning experiences for students who are identified as academically low-achieving
  • Increasing student learning through the implementation of high, rigorous standards for student performance
  • Increasing participation of all students or subgroups of students in various curriculum and instructional components to enhance student achievement
  • Increasing the number of students who are college- and career-ready and reducing the number of students that exit high school in need of remediation
  • Motivating students by expanding curriculum choices and learning opportunities

HOW DO DISTRICTS EARN THE DISTRICT OF INNOVATION TITLE?

Districts must notify the Office of the Chief Academic Officer at the Mississippi Department of Education of interest or intent to apply for Innovative District status by August 31st and submit a completed application by November 30th of each year in order to be considered in the current round of SB2191 application reviews for the following school year. The application must include an innovative plan that addresses the following areas:

  • Innovative design
  • Accountability, effectiveness, and performance targets
  • Students
  • Funding
  • Staffing
  • Stakeholder collaboration
  • Governance
  • Waivers and exemptions needed to implement the plan successfully
  • Timeline of activities
  • Signed list of assurances

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION?

Once the application is submitted, the district will be invited to present the innovative plan to a panel of reviewers who will provide feedback and ask clarifying questions. Following the interview, a decision will be made, and selected districts will be awarded District of Innovation status along with the approved waivers requested. If the application is not accepted, districts will be asked to revise and resubmit their plan for reconsideration.