(1) DISTRICT INNOVATION SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY.–
(a) A district school board may operate an innovation school of technology for the purpose of developing the innovative use of industry-leading technology while requiring high student academic achievement and accountability in exchange for flexibility and exemption from specified statutes and rules. The innovation school of technology shall operate within existing resources.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 1002.451
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 1.01
(b) An innovation school of technology is a school that has, on a schoolwide basis, adopted and implemented a blended learning program. A blended learning program is an education program in which a student learns in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. Blended learning models must include major components such as differentiated instruction, data-driven placement, flexible scheduling, differentiated teaching, and self-paced learning. The school may use one of the following blended learning models:
1. Flipped classroom model in which students use online instructional videos and practice concepts in the classroom with the support of the teacher;
2. Flex model in which students learn primarily online and teachers act as facilitators; or
3. Rotation model in which students move between different learning modalities, such as online instruction, teacher-directed instruction, seminar or group projects, and one-on-one teacher coaching. Rotation models include individual, station, and laboratory models.
(c) An innovation school of technology must be open to any student covered in an interdistrict agreement or residing in the school district in which the innovation school of technology is located. An innovation school of technology shall enroll an eligible student who submits a timely application if the number of applications does not exceed the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building. If the number of applications exceeds capacity, all applicants shall have an equal chance of being admitted through a public random selection process. However, a district may give enrollment preference to students who identify the innovation school of technology as the student’s preferred choice pursuant to the district’s controlled open enrollment plan.
(2) GUIDING PRINCIPLES.–An innovation school of technology shall be guided by the following principles:
(a) Meet high standards of student achievement in exchange for flexibility with respect to statutes or rules.
(b) Implement innovative learning methods and assessment tools to implement a schoolwide transformation regarding industry-leading technology to improve student learning and academic achievement.
(c) Promote enhanced academic success and financial efficiency by aligning responsibility with accountability and industry-leading technology.
(d) Measure student performance based on student learning growth, or based on student achievement if student learning growth cannot be measured.
(e) Provide a parent with sufficient information as to whether his or her child is reading at grade level and making learning gains each year.
(f) Incorporate industry certifications and similar recognitions into performance expectations.
(g) Focus on utilizing industry-leading hardware and software technology for student individual use and to develop the school’s infrastructure in furtherance of this section.
(3) TERM OF PERFORMANCE CONTRACT.–An innovation school of technology may operate pursuant to a performance contract with the State Board of Education for a period of 5 years.
(a) Before expiration of the performance contract, the school’s performance shall be evaluated against the eligibility criteria, purpose, guiding principles, and compliance with the contract to determine whether the contract may be renewed. The contract may be renewed every 5 years.
(b) The performance contract shall be terminated by the State Board of Education if:
1. The school receives a grade of “F” as an innovation school of technology for 2 consecutive years;
2. The school or district fails to comply with the criteria in this section;
3. The school or district does not comply with terms of the contract which specify that a violation results in termination; or
4. Other good cause is shown.
(4) FUNDING.–A district school board operating an innovation school of technology shall report full-time equivalent students to the department in a manner prescribed by the department, and funding shall be provided through the Florida Education Finance Program as provided in ss. 1011.61 and 1011.62. An innovation school of technology may seek and receive additional funding through incentive grants or public or private partnerships.
(5) EXEMPTION FROM STATUTES.–
(a) An innovation school of technology is exempt from chapters 1000-1013. However, an innovation school of technology shall comply with the following provisions of those chapters:
1. Laws pertaining to the following:
a. Schools of technology, including this section.
b. Student assessment program and school grading system.
c. Services to students who have disabilities.
d. Civil rights, including s. 1000.05, relating to discrimination.
e. Student health, safety, and welfare.
2. Laws governing the election and compensation of district school board members and election or appointment and compensation of district school superintendents.
3. Section 1003.03, governing maximum class size, except that the calculation for compliance pursuant to s. 1003.03 is the average at the school level.
5. Section 1012.33(5), relating to workforce reductions, for annual contracts for instructional personnel. This subparagraph does not apply to at-will employees.
6. Section 1012.335, relating to contracts with instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011, for annual contracts for instructional personnel. This subparagraph does not apply to at-will employees.
7. Section 1012.34, relating to requirements for performance evaluations of instructional personnel and school administrators.
(b) An innovation school of technology shall also comply with chapter 119 and s. 286.011, relating to public meetings and records, public inspection, and criminal and civil penalties.
(c) An innovation school of technology is exempt from ad valorem taxes and the State Requirements for Educational Facilities when leasing facilities.
(6) APPLICATION PROCESS AND PERFORMANCE CONTRACT.–
(a) A district school board may apply to the State Board of Education for an innovation school of technology if the district:
1. Has at least 20 percent of its total enrollment in public school choice programs or at least 5 percent of its total enrollment in charter schools;
2. Has no material weaknesses or instances of material noncompliance noted in the annual financial audit conducted pursuant to s. 218.39; and
3. Has received a district grade of “A” or “B” in each of the past 3 years.
(b) A district school board may operate one innovation school of technology upon an application being approved by the State Board of Education.
1. A district school board may apply to the State Board of Education to establish additional schools of technology if each existing innovation school of technology in the district:
a. Meets all requirements in this section and in the performance contract;
b. Has a grade of “A” or “B”; and
c. Has at least 50 percent of its students exceed the state average on the statewide assessment program pursuant to s. 1008.22. This comparison may take student subgroups, as defined in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. s. 6311(b)(2)(C)(v)(II), into specific consideration so that at least 50 percent of students in each student subgroup meet or exceed the statewide average performance, rounded to the nearest whole number, of that particular subgroup.
2. Notwithstanding subparagraph 1., the number of schools of technology in a school district may not exceed:
a. Seven in a school district that has 100,000 or more students.
b. Five in a school district that has 50,000 to 99,999 students.
c. Three in a school district that has fewer than 50,000 students.
(c) A school district that meets the eligibility requirements of paragraph (a) may apply to the State Board of Education at any time to enter into a performance contract to operate an innovation school of technology. The application must, at a minimum:
1. Demonstrate how the school district meets and will continue to meet the requirements of this section;
2. Identify how the school will accomplish the purposes and guiding principles of this section;
3. Identify the statutes or rules from which the district is seeking a waiver for the school;
4. Identify and provide supporting documentation for the purpose and impact of each waiver, how each waiver would enable the school to achieve the purpose and guiding principles of this section, and how the school would not be able to achieve the purpose and guiding principles of this section without each waiver; and
5. Confirm that the school board remains responsible for the operation, control, and supervision of the school in accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and district procedures not waived pursuant to this section or waived pursuant to other applicable law.
(d) The State Board of Education shall approve or deny the application within 90 days or, with the agreement of the school district, at a later date.
(e) The performance contract must address the terms under which the State Board of Education may cancel the contract and, at a minimum, the methods by which:
1. Upon execution of the performance contract, the school district will plan the program during the first year, begin at least partial implementation of the program during the second year, and fully implement the program by the third year. A district may implement the program sooner than specified in this subparagraph if authorized in the performance contract.
2. The school will integrate industry-leading technology into instruction, assessment, and professional development. The school may also restructure the school day or school year in a way that allows it to best accomplish its goals.
3. The school and district will monitor performance progress based on skills that help students succeed in college and careers, including problem solving, research, interpretation, and communication.
4. The school will incorporate industry certifications and similar recognitions into performance expectations.
5. The school and district will comply with this section and the performance contract.
(f) Three or more contiguous school districts may apply to enter into a joint performance contract as a Region of Technology, subject to terms and conditions contained in this section for a single school district.
(g) The State Board of Education shall monitor schools of technology to ensure that the respective school district is in compliance with this section and the performance contract.
(h) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section, including, but not limited to, an application, evaluation instrument, and renewal evaluation instrument.
(i) This section does not supersede the provisions of s. 768.28.
(7) REPORTS.–The school district of an innovation school of technology shall submit to the State Board of Education, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives an annual report by December 1 of each year which delineates the performance of the innovation school of technology as it relates to the academic performance of students. The annual report shall be submitted in a format prescribed by the Department of Education and must include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(a) Evidence of compliance with this section.
(b) Efforts to close the achievement gap.
(c) Longitudinal performance of students, by grade level and subgroup, in mathematics, reading, writing, science, and any other subject that is included as a part of the statewide assessment program in s. 1008.22.
(d) Longitudinal performance for students who take an Advanced Placement Examination, organized by age, gender, and race, and for students who participate in the National School Lunch Program.
(e) Number and percentage of students who take an Advanced Placement Examination.
(f) Identification and analysis of industry-leading technology used to comply with this section, including, but not limited to, recommendations and lessons learned from such use.