• Wimberley Independent School District
    District of Innovation Proposals for 2017-2022
    Board Final Approval 5/15/17

    School Calendar /Flexible Start Date
    (TEC §25.0811) (EB LEGAL)
    Current Law
    Students may not begin school before the 4th Monday of August. For many years this
    was the rule. However, districts had the option of applying for a waiver to start earlier.
    The vast majority of districts applied for the waiver and would begin the 3rd Monday,
    some even going as early as the 2nd Monday. The Texas tourism groups lobbied to
    have this stopped because they believed it was hurting their tourism business.
    Therefore, several years ago the legislature took away all waivers and dictated that
    districts may not begin until the 4th Monday, with no exceptions.
    WISD Proposal
    Wimberley ISD would like the flexibility of looking at the calendar each year and
    starting earlier. Removing the uniform start date could also let the district start
    classes as mid-week, easing the transition for students entering kindergarten,
    middle school, and high school.
    Class Size 22:1 Ratio
    (TEC §25.112) (EEB LEGAL)
    Current Law
    Kindergarten – 4th Grade classes are to be kept at a 22 student to 1 teacher ratio
    according to state law. When a class exceeds this limit, the district must complete a
    waiver with the Texas Education Agency. These waivers are never rejected by TEA.
    Along with the waiver, it is required that a letter is sent home to each parent in the
    section that exceeds the 22:1 ratio, informing them the waiver has been submitted.
    Many times soon after the waiver is submitted, students move out of the district and we
    are below the 22:1 ratio.
    WISD Proposal
    Over the last several years, Wimberley has had to write waivers for a handful of
    classes and the TEA always approves the waivers. Wimberley ISD would seek
    board approval to exceed the 22:1 in any K-4
    th grade classroom. Parents will be notified within the first three weeks of the start of school of any classroom size
    that is above the 22:1 ratio.
    Behavior Coordinator Assignment-Student Discipline Provisions
    (FO LEGAL & LOCAL) (TEC §37.0012)
    Current Law
    Currently Senate Bill 107 requires the designation of a campus behavior coordinator on
    each campus. This designee is responsible for maintaining student discipline and the
    implementation of Chapter 37, Subchapter A.
    WISD Proposal
    The proposal is for the District to abstain from the state requirement that each
    school have a designated campus behavior coordinator. WISD’s approach to
    discipline is becoming more collaborative, with multiple people providing
    emotional and social support to students, rather than just one person. Exemption
    from this requirement will allow the option of increasing collaboration in regard to
    student discipline, as outlined in the WISD Student Code of Conduct. Campus
    Administrators will continue to inform parents of discipline /incidents involving
    their children.
    Teacher Contracts-Extension of Probationary Contracts
    (TEC §21.102(b)) (DCA LEGAL)
    Current Law
    TEC 21.102(b) states that a probationary contract may not exceed one year for a
    person who has been employed as a teacher in public education for at least five of the
    eight years preceding employment with the district.
    This time period may not be sufficient to evaluate the teacher’s effectiveness in the
    classroom since teacher contract timelines demand that employment decisions must be
    made prior to state assessment results.
    WISD Proposal
    Wimberley ISD would like to create a policy where experienced teachers,
    counselors, or nurses new to the district that have been employed as a teacher in
    public education for at least five of the eight previous years, may be issued a
    probationary contract for up to two years from the last date of district
    employment.
    District Transfer Policy
    (TEC §25.036)
    Current Law
    A district may choose to accept, as transfers, students who are not entitled to enroll in
    the district under §25.001. Under §25.036, a transfer is for a period of one school
    year.[64] The district may charge tuition under a transfer agreement to the extent
    permitted under §25.038.
    WISD Proposal
    The district would like the option of being able to terminate the transfer
    agreement for students in K-11 when the student/ parent has not been
    forthcoming with information regarding discipline, special programs or other
    issues that end up costing the district to keep the student enrolled.
    At any time during the school year, a transfer student who becomes a discipline
    issue, poor attendance, or is in need of special services which exceeds state
    funding for that student, WISD can terminate their transfer agreement.