AISD Trustees approve “District of Innovation” and school closings plan

At the May 16 Board meeting, Aldine ISD Trustees approved the Aldine District of Innovation (DOI) plan. The DOI designation will provide Aldine some of the flexibilities available to state charter schools and give the district more local control.

One immediate result will be the closing of four elementary schools, and the repurposing of many more.

The 84th Texas Legislature’s House Bill 1842 produced the DOI concept. In October 2016, the AISD Board of Trustees passed a resolution to pursue the plan. In November 2016, Trustees appointed a DOI Committee, which consisted of 47 parents, grandparents, community members and campus and district staff members. A majority of the VEAC and a two-thirds majority of AISD Board members approved the DOI plan.

The DOI committee worked on the plan for three months. Aldine’s DOI will focus on the following:

•Flexible instructional schedules

•Exemption from certain class size waivers

•Exemption from the 90% attendance rate

•Teacher certification for certain CTE classes

•Early start date (the 2017-18 school year will begin on Monday, Aug. 21, instead of the state-mandated start date of Aug. 28)

One of the benefits of being a DOI district is more local control over how the district educates Aldine students. The district will continually monitor the plan’s effectiveness and will recommend to the Board any suggested modifications. The plan may be amended, rescinded or revised by the Board during the plan’s five-year term. The DOI plan can be found on the district web site (

Also at the May board meeting, Trustees approved a school closure plan that will take effect at the start of the 2018-19 school year.

The plan includes the closure and repurposing of Bethune Academy and the relocation of Bethune students to the newly renovated Anderson Academy; the permanent closure of Mendel Elementary School and the relocation of Mendel students to the newly converted Escamilla Elementary School; and the relocation and rebuilding of Francis Elementary School and Johnson Elementary School.

The district conducted five community meetings from March 23-May 2 to inform the community of the closure plan. The district received valuable input from parents, staff and the community at each of the four affected schools. The school closure plan is aligned with AISD’s grade reconfiguration and boundary plans that will take effect at the start of the 2018-19 school year.