Flexibility Process

  • School leaders should engage their leadership teams and teachers around opt-out decisions and carefully consider the capacity of both the leadership team and the school staff to implement new resources and/or programs. It is important to note that opt-out schools will be responsible for creating a robust plan to ensure implementation of the alternative resource. Curriculum adoptions happen every 7 years, so it is important to ensure that a school has a sustainable implementation plan that can be executed by the school over the long term regardless of who is leading the school. This robust plans allows us to keep our promises to students and families. Additionally, school leaders should review their enrollment projections and budget to ensure the decision is fiscally responsible. 

    If a school leader decides they'd like to pursue opting out of a district resource, they will engage in a two-part opt-out process. Part one is a capacity and infrastructure review and part two is a review of the high quality instructional material and the schools implementation plan. 

    Part One:

    1. By February 16th, 2024, the School Leader will inform the district via the Flexibility Decision Form (to be released 2/8/24) if they'd like to request to opt-out of any of the district resources up for adoption. 
    2. The district will then conduct a capacity and infrastructure overview of the interested school. (See details of capacity review on page 8 of the Flexibility Handbook). 
    3. After the capacity and infrastruture overview is completed, a determination will be made regarding the schools ability to execute on an alternative resource which will not receive district support. 
    4. If the school is approved, they will submit a formal opt-out request. If the school is denied, they will work with their Collaborative Director on next steps. 

    Part Two:

    1. The requesting school will submit an opt-out propsal. This proposal must include the alternative resource, a description of how it aligns to the districts vision for high quality instructional materials, a professional learning plan, and a budgetary plan. 
    2. A Central Team will then review the schools opt-out proposal and will submit a formal recommendation to District Leadership. 
    3. District Leadership will review the recommendation and make the final opt-out decision. 

    Note: Schools who are At or Above the district performance in “status” (i.e. percent of students who achieve Meets or Exceeds on CMAS or benchmark on COSAT; percent of students at Grade Level and Above for READ ACT) for all students AND BOTH Black and Hispanic students on the specific content area matching the curriculum up for adoption will be eligible to bypass part one and automatically move to part two of the flexibility process. While a capacity review will still be conducted for the school in question, it will not serve as a potential barrier for the school to submit an alternative curriculum.

    Innovation Schools: Each Innovation School has a unique and individualized Innovation Plan that is tailored to the mission and vision of their school. Waivers will continue to grant schools the flexibilities identified. Because of the individualized nature of the plans themselves, the Flexibility process may apply to each Innovation school in a slightly different way. For Innovation Schools, the district will run part one and part two of the Flexibility process in tandem, rather than running the processes separately. This means that if an Innovation School is interested in using an alternative high quality curricular resource, the Innovation School in question will be asked to submit their alternative resource and implementation plan while the district simultaneously conducts a capacity and infrastructure review. The capacity and infrastructure review will not act as a threshold barrier for any of our Innovation Schools and will instead be used to inform the schools overall application. If the school’s plan guarantees curriculum flexibility, this review process will simply be used to provide feedback on the resource and implementation, unless there are legal concerns with the chosen curriculum.



  • What does it mean to opt out?

    Each year, school leaders have the choice to opt into certain district-adopted curriculum, curriculum-aligned professional learning and assessments. A school leader may also make the decision to pursue opt-out opportunities relating to the district-supported option(s) if they believe another resource or program will better meet the needs of their teachers and students. This will then trigger an opt-out review process, which ensures that the materials in front of our students in every school have gone through a rigorous review process and that a school has sustainable structures to support alternative reousrces. When a school leader successfully declines district-adopted resources, they will receive earmarked funds that may only be used to purchase the approved external resource. 

  • I successfully opted out. What's next?

    A member of the cross-functional Universal Flexibility team will be in touch to support you in working alongside the Purchasing department to purchase the approved alternate resource. 

  • What supports will I receive if my school is approved to use an alternative curriculum?

    In order to offer high-quality support, the District does not have the ability to provide comprehensive support outside of its recommended curriculum. As such, schools choosing to opt out of District-supported options will subsequently have a greater level of school-based responsibility than schools opting into the District options. The links below outline in detail the District supports tied to curriculum and assessment decisions. 

  • When will I be able to utilize the earmarked devolvement funds?

    During an adoption cycle in the areas of curriculum, curriculum-aligned professional learning, and assessment, schools can either opt into the district option or pursue opt-out opportunities. In the case that a school successfully opts out of a district option, the funds may only be applied to the approved curricular materials. Schools are encouraged to purchase the approved curriculum materials in the Spring before the purchase order deadline cutoff for the year so they may receive the materials in time for the following school year. Funds used to purchase the approved materials will then be added to the school budget during Fall adjustment.

  • If I am approved to use an alternative resource, can I have support in purchasing other materials?

    The Curriculum Purchasing Team (“Purchasing”) will provide purchasing support to schools that successfully opt-out of district-adopted resources. Purchasing will assist the school in purchasing the approved alternative curriculum and/or local assessment. A school may choose to partner with other schools to increase their purchasing power. If so, they should reach out to Purchasing to coordinate their purchase and negotiation with a vendor.


  • Please email flexibility@dpsk12.org with any questions or feedback.  We will connect you with the right representatives from supporting departments. Please also leverage your Collaborative Director for coaching and support throughout the decision-making process.

    Ellie Roberts
    Site Manager