Innovation Authorization and Oversight
To provide schools with opportunities to create truly flexible school environments, PMT oversees the process for schools to earn additional autonomies by pursuing individual school innovation status or innovation zone (iZone) status. In addition, PMT oversees the renewal processes for innovation status and iZone status.
If you have questions about innovation school authorizing or renewal, contact Angie McPhaul, Senior Manager of Authorizing.
Applying for Innovation Status
The Innovation Application serves as both a planning tool and application guide.
Existing district-run schools that would like to prepare and submit an Innovation Application for their school must complete the Innovation Application. The Innovation Application includes a plan narrative, a 5-year budget projection and related appendices. As part of an Innovation Plan, a school must specify any waivers from district policies, state statutes and/or active collective bargaining agreements that they will need in order to run their school consistent with their design. Please contact Angie McPhaul, Senior Manager of Authorizing, for the Innovation Application.
Applying to form an iZone
The iZone Application serves both as a planning tool and application guide.
Each group of schools seeking to form an iZone is required to complete a single application, as well as any needed changes to the innovation plans of the individual schools. All schools that are part of the submitted application must be DPS schools that have previously been granted innovation status. In addition, sections of the application are differentiated based on the areas in which the iZone is seeking innovations.
Please contact Angie McPhaul, Senior Manager of Authorizing, for the iZone application.
Innovation School Renewal
The Innovation Schools Act requires that all innovation schools go through a renewal of their status at least every three years. The renewal process is an opportunity for DPS to review the impact of innovation status on a school’s performance, as well as for the school community to reflect on their strategic innovation plan as a tool to improve student achievement.
The five required elements for innovation renewal are:
- Legally required revisions in a school's innovation plan narrative and waivers around changed Federal policy, changed District policy or CBA contract changes.
- One- or two-page summary letter from the school principal describing innovation strategies implemented at the school and the resulting impact.
- Revised academic goals for the next three years and explicit connection of these goals to the innovation plan strategies.
- Updates to the innovation plan that reflect current programming or school model.
- Staff, CSC and administrator consent processes. (Materials are supplied to the school by PMT.)
While innovation schools undergoing renewal should consult the materials provided to them for more specific information and dates, below is a general timeline for innovation renewal:
Before August 16
School leader and PMT partner
August 7 - November 1
Engagement with staff to update innovation plan
School and staff members
No later than November 1
Submit innovation plan to Portfolio for review
School leader sends plan for
Portfolio, Legal, HR review
Make revisions to plan and finalize plan with PMT
Sent to school staff for review no later than December 2
Required two-week window
School staff members
DCTA covered staff, admin, CSC
For more information, please contact Becky Zachmeier, Accountability Specialist
All iZones must apply for renewal at least every three years. The iZone-specific performance goals are used to assess progress along with indicators of organizational and financial health.
For questions about the iZone renewal process, please contact Angie McPhaul, Senior Manager of Authorizing.