2015-2016 Innovative Course Applications

Word Version 

  December 5, 2014

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

Subject:  2015-2016 Innovative Course Applications

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is now accepting applications for innovative courses for the 2015-2016 school year. The Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Section 74.27, allows school districts and charter schools to offer approved innovative courses to enable students to master knowledge, skills, and competencies in courses for which there are no Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Each innovative course must be academically rigorous and address documented student needs. Innovative courses must be approved by either the State Board of Education (SBOE) or the commissioner of education before a district may award state credit toward graduation. With the approval of the local board of trustees, school districts and charter schools may offer, without modification, state-approved innovative courses.

Please note that innovative courses cannot significantly duplicate existing approved TEKS-based or innovative courses. Applications for courses that are significantly similar to an already approved course will be denied. Before you decide to apply for innovative course approval, please review the TEKS and currently approved innovative courses to be sure that such a course is needed. You may find that an existing TEKS-based course or a currently-approved innovative course will meet your needs. TEKS-based courses can be found in 19 TAC, Chapters 110-128 and Chapter 130 at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/index.html. A list of currently approved innovative courses is available on the innovative courses webpage at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=6079.

Innovative Course Approval Process

The TEA will accept applications for innovative courses for the 2015-2016 school year on a rolling basis from the date of this letter until February 27, 2015. Applications will be reviewed based on the order in which they were received. Applicants should expect notification of the final status of the application approximately 60 calendar days following receipt of the application. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible.

The 2015-2016 innovative course application and procedures may be accessed via the innovative courses webpage at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=6079. Questions related to innovative courses or the approval process, may be directed to Kelsey Kling, Program Coordinator, Enrichment Education, by phone at (512) 463-9581 or by email at kelsey.kling@tea.texas.gov.

Expiring Innovative Courses

Approval for use of the innovative courses listed on the attached document will expire at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. The Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) codes associated with these expiring innovative courses will be deleted from the system as of July 2015 if the course is not renewed. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the courses and associated codes may no longer be available for use. The original applicant of each expiring course will be notified and provided an opportunity to submit an application for renewal of the course.

If you believe that your district has active approval for any of the courses our records show as expiring, please provide evidence of that approval to Kelsey Kling, Program Coordinator, Enrichment Education, at kelsey.kling@tea.texas.gov.. You may submit this evidence by emailing a copy of the letter from TEA indicating continued approval.

Sincerely,

Monica Martinez
Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs

 

MGM/kk

Attachment – 2014-2015 Expiring Innovative Courses