November 2, 2015
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
Subject: 2016-2017 Innovative Course
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is now accepting
applications for innovative courses for the 2016-2017 school year.
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section
74.27, allows school districts to offer innovative courses to enable
students to master knowledge, skills, and competencies not included in the
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. State-approved innovative courses may satisfy state
elective credit toward graduation. With the approval of the local board of
trustees, school districts and charter schools may offer state-approved
innovative courses without modifications.
Before applying for approval of an innovation course, please
review the TEKS-based courses and the currently approved innovative courses. You
may find that an existing TEKS-based course adopted by the SBOE or a
currently-approved innovative course will meet your needs. Please note that
proposed innovative courses cannot duplicate existing TEKS-based or approved
innovative courses. Applications for courses that are significantly similar to
a TEKS-based course or an approved innovative course will be denied. 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 TEA Innovative Courses webpage.
Innovative Course Approval
The TEA will
conduct a rolling review of innovative course applications for the 2016-2017
school year according to the following timeline. The TEA will review the
applications in the order in which received. Applicants are encouraged to submit
their applications as soon as possible.
Phase One: Applications received by December 18, 2015
wishing to submit innovative course applications that are required to be
approved by the SBOE (i.e., courses whose content does not fall under either
the foundation or enrichment subject areas) are strongly encouraged to submit
applications during this phase. Applications for innovative courses requiring
SBOE approval will be presented to the SBOE for consideration at the January
wishing to submit innovative course applications required to be approved by the
commissioner of education (i.e., courses whose content falls under the
foundation or enrichment subject areas including career and technical education)
may also submit applications during Phase One. Applications received by December
18 will receive a final determination no later than February 15, 2016.
Phase Two: Applications received between December 19,
2015 and January 29, 2016
Entities wishing to submit innovative course applications
required to be approved by the commissioner of education are strongly
encouraged to submit applications during Phase Two. Applications received by January
29 will receive a final determination no later than March 31, 2016.
Phase Three: Applications received between January
30, 2016 and March 1, 2016
is the final deadline for submission of innovative course applications. Applications
not received by this date or considered incomplete on March 1 will not be
considered for approval for the 2016-2017 school year.
for innovative courses that are received by March 1 will receive a final
determination no later than May 2, 2016.
that all applications will be reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis.
Applications received earlier in each review period and/or with fewer necessary
adjustments can be approved more expeditiously than those received later or those
that require more significant changes.
The 2016-2017 innovative course application and procedures
may be accessed via the Innovative Courses webpage.
Approval for use of the innovative courses listed on the
attached document will expire at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. The
Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) codes associated with
expiring innovative courses will be deleted from the system in July 2016 if the
courses are not renewed. The original applicant of each expiring course will be
notified and provided an opportunity to submit an application for renewal of
the course. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, courses and associated
codes for any expired courses will no longer be available for use.
Should you believe that your district has current approval
for any of the listed expiring courses, you may submit your documentation
verifying TEA approval to Kelsey Kling, Enrichment Program Coordinator, by fax
at (512) 463-8057 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions related to innovative courses
or the approval process, may be also be directed to Ms. Kling by email or by phone
at (512) 463-9581.
Attachment: 2015-2016Expiring Innovative Courses