• Frequently Aaked Questions

    1. What is System of Great Schools?

    System of Great Schools is the development of a collaborative vision between the community and the school district to innovate and support choice options to enable all families to ensure that all students are sitting in seats in high performing schools

    Districts involved in the SGS Technical Network are working to create opportunities within their communities to create a shared vision of what a "great school" looks like. Once that vision is established then thoughtful actions will be developed to provide families with increased and better educational options for their children. The bottom line is innovative thinking to enable more students to sit in seats in better schools.

    2. What is the System of Great Schools Technical Network?

    The SGS Technical Network is comprised of eight school districts in Texas selected via application to participate in partnership with the Texas Education Agency and outside advisors toward changing their way of thinking about education within their communities.

    3. What is this SGS Technical Network costing the district?

    Membership in the SGS Technical Network is being funded through the Texas Education Agency.

    4. Who attended the SGS Summit and where was it held?

    The districts selected for Cohort 1 are: Midland ISD, El Paso ISD, San Antonio ISD, South San Antonio ISD, Galveston ISD, Manor ISD, Fort Worth ISD and Spring Branch ISD. All of these districts sent representatives to Austin, TX to participate in the SGS Summit at the end of June 2017. Participants for Midland ISD were Superintendent Orlando Riddick, Board President Rick Davis, Chief Academic Officer Patrick Jones, Executive Director of Accountability Dr. Elise Kail and Community Member and President of Educate Midland Laura Roman. This group was able to hear from leading experts from across the country.

    5. What communities around the nation represent "national experts"?

    Some of the communities that have already implemented school choice options within their public school systems are: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC.

    6. How can I get involved in these discussions?

    Click here and provide your input and voice during the Superintendent's Listen & Learn Tour.

    If you are unable to attend a Listen & Learn session, click here and provide input electronically.

    7. What is a District of Innovation?

    The District of Innovation concept, passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842, gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open-enrollment charter schools.

    Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation include:

    Local control: Districts decide which flexibilities best suit their local needs.
    Customization: Districts can create an innovation plan for a level of school (e.g., only high schools), grade level, or a single campus.
    Autonomy: Districts must submit a district of innovation plan to the commissioner of education, but approval is not required.
    Flexibility: Districts will have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from mandates such as:

    • School start date
    • 90% attendance rule
    • Class-size ratios
    • Site-based decision-making processes
    • Certain student discipline provisions
    • Use of planning and preparation periods
    • Teacher appraisal requirements