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.

About the plan renewal

Since March 23, 2022, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Garland ISD was granted the flexibility to eliminate the value-added measure for teacher and administrator appraisals.  
  4. Collaborative discipline among campus administrators, vs. designating a campus behavior coordinator to be solely responsible.


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.

District of Innovation Plan term

The local Innovation Plan was developed and approved in a public meeting by the Districtwide Education Improvement Council (DEIC) on February 2, 2022. Additionally, the Garland ISD Board of Trustees approved renewing the existing Local Innovation Plan and the District of Innovation designation on March 22, 2022.  A Notice of Adoption Renewal was sent to TEA and the Commissioner of Education as required by 19 TAC §102.1313(a)(3).

On May 24, 2023, the Districtwide Education Improvement Council (DEIC) held a public meeting where an amendment to the Innovation Plan was reviewed and approved. On June 27, 2023, the Board of Trustees of the Garland Independent School District approved amending the
existing Local Innovation Plan.

The plan covers five years, and it may be amended, rescinded or renewed at any time.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

Garland ISD will use the DEIC to conduct annual reviews of the local innovation plan to consider any amendments and flexibilities to meet the District's needs in the best way. For information about the District of Innovation designation and the local innovation plan reviews, please don't hesitate to contact the Garland ISD Office of Innovation at (972)487-3138.

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

Resources for more information

If you have difficulty accessing the information in any of these documents because of disability, please contact Jasmine Preston, Coordinator of Web Services at 972-487-3265 or